Dear Home Ec 101,
What is the best way to clean that black yuk that tends to grow in the corners of the shower? I have a ceramic tile shower and I have used every mixture I can think of to rid the shower of the black stuff from straight Clorox to the gimmicks from “As Seen On TV” and nothing seems to work. Help!
As NOT seen on TV
Ah, moldy shower corners are the bane of professional maids everywhere. Getting it off is tough, and keeping it from coming back is fairly easy- but it takes a bit of commitment on the part of the homeowner.
“Mold spores are everywhere,” says Ivy, trying not to breathe and failing. They are just hanging out in your bathroom waiting for optimal conditions to grow. What does mold need to grow? The proper temperature (which is conveniently about the same temp as your nice, toasty, warm bathroom), a food source (yummy soap!) and water. And that’s the problem. What happens after you take your shower is, the water settles and so do the mold spores. If you don’t keep your shower door open and/or dry the shower walls after showering, and if your bathroom doesn’t have great ventilation, it’s a mold factory waiting to happen.
The easiest way to stop mold growth is to keep it from having enough water to thrive. So, once you get this mold off, make sure you dry down the walls and leave the shower door open after each shower. Also consider running the bathroom fan after each shower. I also read turning on the lights can help inhibit mold growth.
There are a few routes you can take to get rid of this mold. First, make sure you have adequate ventilation by opening any windows you might have in the bathroom and turning on the bathroom fan. My old standby, Bar Keepers Friend®, is what I would try first. Use an old toothbrush or a scrub brush with stiff bristles. You are going to need to put some elbow grease into this – serious scrubbing is required!
Another thing you could try is spraying straight vinegar onto the area and letting it sit for at least 20 minutes, then scrubbing it all off. Vinegar is supposed to both kill and inhibit mold growth. I’ve had good luck with using vinegar on mold, but I can’t say it really has inhibited mold growth. But that’s anecdotal evidence, so don’t take that as gospel.
One more thing you could try is Oxiclean. I’d mix it in a spray bottle with water and apply and let sit like you would with the vinegar. This is not something I have personally tried on mold as luckily, I don’t have a tiled shower and haven’t had too many mold issues. However, I’ve read that it works really well.
There’s one more thing you could try. Again, I have no personal experience with it, but I have both read and heard a lot of good things about it. It’s called Zep Pine Disinfectant and Cleaner. Apparently it’s great for getting rid of mold and mildew and keeping it away.
I know I’ve given you a lot of options here, but this is one of those “there is more than one way to skin a cat” things. (Ack! Who would want to skin a cat, anyway!?) Good luck, and let us know what works best for you!
Still have a question about your bathroom? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.