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The growth of mold and mildew is something all of us have to tackle within our homes. No matter how many times you clean the surfaces, it may not seem to be enough to get rid of the mildew stains. In this article you will find out how to clean shower grout mildew.
The hack of applying a grout whitening color to get your unsealed shower grout looking bright and clean can only go so far before you have to clean the shower grout.
You will also learn what causes mildew, and how to prevent them from happening in the shower grout. This is especially true for those living in humid regions. So what can be done to get rid of mildew and prevent it from coming back?
What is Shower Grout Mildew?
What is mildew and what causes it in the first place? Knowing this will help us understand how we can prevent it. Mildew is a kind of mold that typically grows on flat surfaces, which includes bathroom floors, kitchen tiles and rooms. It is a type of fungus that grows over time, in places prone to moisture.
Mildew can be seen in a white powdery form, or yellowish and dark brown as it ages. While in general mold and mildew is good for nature in decomposing organic matter such as fallen leaves and trees in a natural cycle, it is not beneficial at all indoors. Mildew not only makes your surfaces look ugly, it also poses health risks.
Grout is a dense mixture made by combining water, cement and sand. This is used to fill gaps especially between tiles in your bathroom floor. Without grout, there are going to be uneven surfaces and ugly gaps between tiles that not only look bad but could accumulate dust and dirt if left that way. So they are usually filled with grout during the installation of tiles. Shower grout is referring to the grout used in between tiles in your shower.
Once filled with grout, your bathroom floor looks even and has a great finish. However, over time, when not maintained well, these surfaces turn out to be a great breeding ground for mildew. It’s important to know how to clean shower grout mildew so that you keep your surfaces clean and free of health risks.
How to Prevent Mildew
Moisture is mildew’s best friend. Learning how to prevent mildew in shower grout is just as important as cleaning it in the first place.
To prevent the growth of mildew, you need to keep your surfaces dry. Considering that you find it mostly in your kitchen and bathroom — places that are bound to get wet. So how do you prevent mildew and keep these spaces dry?
You may not be able to keep these areas completely dry at all times. But you can make efforts to make them less damp.
The following tips and suggestions help you with ways to prevent the growth of mildew in your house.
How to Keep the Shower Dry and Prevent Mildew
Use grout sealer
To prevent the growth of mildew, always use a grout sealer on schedule. Grout sealer needs to be reapplied each year. You can follow the specifications on grout sealer because some only need reapplication every 2-3 years.
When you grout is sealed, it has as a layer of protection that resists water penetration. It can prevent the growth of mildew, and keep the grout lines clean and tight.
First, clean the grout to get rid of the mildew and stains. You can use a mildew removal spray. Then, you can apply the grout sealer.
Use a towel rack
Do not leave wet towels or any damp clothes in the shower. Have a hanging rack in the bathroom to spread out damp towels to get a thorough dry.
Mildew resistant shower curtains only
Use mildew resistant shower curtains that do not retain moisture. Draw the shower curtain to let the water droplets on the curtains dry faster.
Consider a dehumidifier
If the moisture levels are constantly out of control, use a dehumidifier in the damp areas of your home. That’s especially if you live in humid regions, or have the air conditioner on in the Northern summer.
Increase the bathroom ventilation
Turn on the ventilation or exhaust fan in the bathroom during a shower and for 10-15 minutes after the shower.
Once you are out of your shower, keep the door open to let any steam from the hot water escape.
If the weather allows and you don’t have the air conditioning on, you can open the window to let the steam escape.
Squeegee after a shower
After every shower, you can use a squeegee or a towel to wipe down your shower. To be fair, this is not my preferred method.
Fix bathroom leaks
If you have taps or showerheads that leak, make sure to fix them as soon as possible to reduce the lingering moisture in the bathroom.
How to Clean Shower Grout Mildew
Despite your attempts to maintain your clean surfaces, you spot mildew growing on your bathroom floor tiles and walls. Here are some effective DIY methods on how to clean shower grout mildew easily.
1. Mildew Stain Remover Spray
Mildew stain remover spray is a great cleaning agent for mildew on all types of shower surfaces, including the grout lines.
Simply spray this solution onto the mildew and you will see it melt away from the surface. Wipe or rinse it off in the shower.
2. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Your first line of DIY mildew offense is to mix a cup of baking soda and vinegar to get a thick paste.
Apply this paste with a used toothbrush or stiff brush directly onto the grout lines and leave it on for a few minutes before scrubbing it hard.
If you have a thick layer of mildew you can apply this paste overnight and scrub the grout in the morning.
3. Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine bleach is a whitening agent and a chemical, so you will want to wear a mask and a pair of gloves before you work with it. Work carefully because it is toxic to skin.
Mix one part bleach with three to four parts water. Apply this solution on the grout lines with a brush and let it sit to disinfect that area. Then scrub away after about an hour.
Make sure the bathroom is well-ventilated and don’t let kids or pets breath in the chlorine. As well, never mix the chlorine bleach with other cleaning products.
For stubborn layers of mildew, you can directly apply the chlorine bleach onto the grout lines and let the it work for a few minutes before you scrub away with a stiff brush and wash the floor.
Remember, bleach cannot be used for colored tiles or grout as it will cause it to fade. It’s best used on white surfaces.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
If none of the above methods seem to be effective, you can use hydrogen peroxide. It’s a sustainable cleaning agent used to get rid of stubborn stains and dirt. Mix hydrogen peroxide with white flour to form a thick paste and apply it directly on the grout lines. Leave it on for about thirty minutes to an hour and then scrub away with a used brush.
5. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Alternatively, you can use hydrogen peroxide in combination with baking soda. Apply the hydrogen peroxide on the grout lines and leave it on overnight. In the morning, apply the baking soda with a wet brush. This will help the mildew get scrubbed out of the grout lines and be washed away. Scrub until the surface is clean and wash the floor with warm water.
The above methods and mixtures work in most cases, but they aren’t always enough for extreme cases. If you are wondering how to clean shower grout mildew if they have already formed very thick layers on your surfaces in your absence, it may be time to call in a professional local cleaning service.
This usually is only necessary if you’ve been away for a significant amount of time. In any case try these methods mentioned above first to try and get rid of mildew.
How do you remove mold and mildew from shower grout?
The best DIY methods to remove mold and mildew from shower grout include using a paste made of baking soda and vinegar, or chlorine bleach applied directly to the grout. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of mildew.
How do I get my shower grout white again?
Mix one part bleach with three to four parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the grout lines and wait for about an hour before wiping the surface. You can also apply bleach onto the surface directly to get rid of tough layers of mildew and scrub away with a used paste after an hour, to make your grout white again.
Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on your bathroom floors and tiles facilitated by moisture. Keep your bathroom, kitchen and other spaces in your houses moisture-free to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. If you are wondering how to clean shower grout mildew, some easy methods include using a thick paste made out of vinegar and baking soda. You can also use chlorine bleach directly on the grout lines. When none of the methods work, you can use hydrogen peroxide on the grout lines to get rid of mildew.