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Tips for Cleaning the Bathroom to Prevent and Control Mold
If there's one thing we don't want to share our bathrooms with, it's mold and its creepy companion, mildew. If these two culprits are showing up in your bathrooms, it may be because you are unwittingly inviting them in. An untreated plumbing leak is one invitation to mold and mildew, but careless daily habits are another, more common, way they get a toehold into your bathroom. Nancy Bock, Vice President of Consumer Education at the American Cleaning Institute®, identifies some common culprits and offers suggestions for sending them packing.
Soap Scum: Mildew can grow on the soap scum that creates a ring around the bathtub or settles in the sink. Use a soap-scum remover on a regular basis to easily clean those deposits.
Moisture in the Shower: Use a daily shower cleaner on the walls and tub. Mist surfaces right after showering while the walls are wet and warm – no rinsing, wiping or scrubbing is necessary. And use a squeegee to clean the glass doors before stepping out of the shower.
Condensation Buildup: Use the exhaust fan when bathing or showering. The Home Ventilation Institute recommends that a fan should be left on for 20 minutes or more to clear humidity adequately and to ensure moisture and condensation in the fan body or ducting is minimized. If your fan doesn’t have a timer, it’s an easy add-on installation.
Towel Patrol: Mold and mildew love it when towels are left in a puddle on the floor. They should be hung up to air-dry after each use. Bathmats, too, should be hung to dry. And all these items should be laundered at least once a week.
For family members with asthma, many of these best practices will help keep mold and mildew, which can trigger an asthma or allergy attack, under control.
Note that there are many cleaners on the market especially formulated to remove mold and mildew from hard surfaces such as porcelain, ceramic and tile, as well as ones specially designed to remove mildew from grout. If you use any of these, be sure to read and follow the directions on the product label. And never, ever mix cleaning products.