As a long time professional in the tile and grout business, I can tell you first hand that one of the most common questions I get asked and the most common situation I see in bathroom showers or tubs would be mold. For the most part, most mold or mildew you see in your shower is generally harmless. But who really wants to see that discoloration every day? We all want our shower or tub areas looking as clean as possible, but after years of usage this becomes more and more difficult to do. When our customers discuss how much they dislike seeing mold or mildew and share with us the issues they have maintaining the bathroom- I try to take a step back and have them think about their bathroom shower or tub in a different way. Think about this. Have you ever put on a load of laundry and forgotten about it? You then remember, rush back to the machine, open the washing machine door and poof- you get hit with that all too familiar smell of mildew. After only 45 minutes or so that freshly washed laundry smells like a 3 week old wet towel that you found under your kids bed. Now, take this common situation and think about how most bathroom showers and bathroom tubs are used multiple times a day, depending on how many people are in your home. Bathrooms are wet and almost always have some humidity left in the area all day long, even if you have a vent fan on when you shower. This makes them breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Now think about that laundry again- you start to realize and understand that your bathroom holds up much better than you think.
So what can you do??
Here are my top tips for your bathrooms to keep them looking their best. 1. Leave your vent fan on as long as possible or at a very minimum of 30-45 mins after showering or bathing.
2. Use a mold and mildew product such as Clorox Cleanup Spray or anything with sodium hypochlorite/ bleach. This is available at most supermarkets and hardware stores and comes in a ready to use spray bottle or 1 gallon concentrated that you can apply yourself. I recommend using it when your shower is dry for at least 12 hours, spray the areas where you see mold or mildew or the entire shower/ tub area and let it sit for about 30- 40 minutes. You will most likely have to spray it a few times within that 30-40 minute time span to keep the liquid cleaner wet and not let it dry out. After that you can take your handheld shower head or a container with water and rinse the area well. 3. Another option is to use a 50/50 bleach and water mix. Using a foam brush or Q-tip to apply it directly on the mold/mildew areas. For both options, I generally recommend doing this every 4-6 weeks until your problems have been resolved. After that you can start a maintenance of doing this every 3-6 months to keep the area clean and fresh. With a marble shower you might want to be doing more of a spot treatment directly on the problematic areas, as bleach has the potential to adversely affect stone with over usage. Testing in a small area is always advised first. This should help out with a better way to maintain the health of your bathroom shower and bathroom tub.
Check out our article about Cleaning Your Shower or The Truth About Caulking