Not only is black mold unsightly, it can also pose a health risk to you and your family. This article will address how to remove black mold on shower curtains and how to prevent it from returning.
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What causes black mold on shower curtains?
First, it is important to understand what causes mold on shower curtains. Very simply put, it can grow wherever there is excessive moisture. This moisture can come in many forms including condensation, high humidity, or a leaky pipe somewhere in the house. Prevention is always the first step when it comes to this type of situation. It is important to find the cause before you can begin to remove it.
If you see mold on your shower curtain, then you have a moisture problem. You can resolve this problem by cutting down the amount of moisture in your bathroom and shower area. Sometimes, making sure that the curtain is pulled closed all the way will allow the excess water to run down the curtain and air dry.
Remember that this bacteria is a potentially dangerous substance. It can wreak havoc on someone with a compromised immune system or respiratory problems. Wear the appropriate safety gear when handling this dangerous substance. Make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated area. You can wear safety goggles and a mask to protect your eyes and lungs.
Get rid of black mold in shower curtains
Removing the black substance can be a tricky process. If it is on porous areas, such as carpet and drywall, they may need to be thrown out or removed. If you are trying to remove the bacteria from a vinyl curtain, you can follow the steps below.
Cleaning with bleach
Decide if you will try removing it while the shower curtain is hanging or if you will take it down to clean it. If you are working with a vinyl or plastic shower curtain, you can clean it while it is still hanging up.
Step 1: Make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area, as you will be working with bleach.
Step 2: Spread the curtain open, and using a spray bottle with four parts water and one part bleach, spray the area down with the solution.
Step 3: Wipe it clean with a damp rag or cloth. The black mold should wipe off fairly easily from the smooth surface. Again, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area. Use common sense when working with bleach as it can remove the color from most surfaces. Read the label on the bottle if you are unsure about the surfaces you are about to clean.
Cleaning with vinegar
Some people do not like to use bleach to clean the plastic or vinyl shower curtains because of the toxic fumes. If you would prefer, you can use white vinegar, instead.
Step 1: Fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar and one part water.
Step 2: Spray down the curtain as mentioned above.
Step 3: Give it a good scrubbing. You can leave the spray bottle with the solution in your shower.
As preventative maintenance, spray down the curtain with the vinegar solution once a week and allow it to air dry. This will help prevent it from returning.
Cleaning with baking soda
If you still see any black, pink, green or brown coloring after following the above steps using an anti – mold solution, you could try using baking soda. Simply make a paste using equal parts of baking soda and water. Using gloves, rub this paste onto any remaining moldy areas to remove them. Scrub clean and rinse. Repeat if necessary.
Keep in mind that in order to keep the black substance from returning, it is crucial to find the source of the moisture. Only by cutting down on the moisture, will you be able to control it. Otherwise, it will continue to return time and time again.
How to remove black mold from cloth or fabric curtain
If you are trying to remove black mold from a cloth or fabric curtain, the cleaning process will be a little more difficult. These 2 solutions should work:
- You can try taking down the curtain and washing it with a mild detergent in the washing machine.
- You can also apply vinegar to the darkened areas and scrub it with a brush before throwing it into the machine. Using bleach will most likely ruin the colors, so consider using a color-safe bleach laundry detergent if you opt to use bleach.
How to wash your moldy shower curtains
If you have fabric shower curtains, you can wash them in your washing machine along with a couple of towels. Add a cup of detergent and 1/2 cup of either borax or baking soda. A cup of white vinegar added to the rinse cycle will help remove black mold too. After washing, hang the curtain outside to dry in the sunshine.
Moldy shower liners can also be washed in your washing machine following the directions for fabric curtains – with one exception. Remove the liner before the final spin cycle. Then, simply hang up to dry in the sunshine.
Another cleaning method for a moldy liner involves a bit more work, but is quite effective. Take the liner outside and spread it on a flat surface such as a driveway. Spray the liner thoroughly with an anti-mold solution such as one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water. Equal parts of vinegar and water will work as well. If you can tolerate using bleach, a solution using four parts water and one part bleach will remove it too. Allow the solution to penetrate for a few minutes, then scrub. Don’t forget to treat the other side if necessary. Rinse well and let the liner dry in the sun.
Mold Resistant Shower Curtains
Most resistant liners are made of polyester, vinyl or plastic, which are treated with chemicals. While they do seem to delay the formation of mold, they won’t protect indefinitely. The reason is that the soap scum and bacteria that will eventually coat the resistant liner is what the mold will actually feed on. So, yes, the resistant ones do work, but only until they get a bit grimy. The trick is to clean them frequently and spray with a vinegar solution after each shower. Be sure to close the curtains completely after use so that they will air dry.
Types of Mold
Mold can be found in a vast array of colors including black, brown, green, blue, white, grey, pink, red and orange. The ones likely to show up in your bathroom are usually black, pink, dark green or brown. Any black mold is probably stachybotrys, a particularly bad one due to the mycotoxins it releases. Pink coloring is most likely acremonium, which is known to grow alongside stachybotrys. Green or brown coloring indicates the presence of alternaria, the most common allergenic mold.
This bacteria poses a health hazard, so it is best to throw out any items that the substance cannot be completely removed from. Remember, it grows rapidly in moist conditions. If you don’t want it to return, you will have to control the high-moisture conditions.
After removing the substance from the shower curtain, it is important to keep the curtain as dry as possible. One way to do this is after you have taken a shower; make sure the curtain is pulled closed all the way to allow the water to run-off of the curtain. If you leave the curtain bunched up, it could trap excess water and moisture, causing the mold to return again.
Prevent Mold Growth
The best way to prevent mold is to keep areas prone to it dry and free from excessive moisture. You can use a dehumidifier to try to control the amount of moisture in the air. If you start to see it return, scrub it down and repeat the above process as needed. Sometimes the easiest solution is to buy two shower curtains, a decorative curtain for the outside and an inexpensive disposable vinyl curtain for the inside. If you use this system, you can throw out and replace the disposable liner every month or as needed so that mold doesn’t have time to form on the liner. This inexpensive solution could end up saving you time and money.