Mold spores linger in the air around many homes. The mold issue only becomes a menace if the spores find a good environment to thrive. Humidity, warmth, and darkness are the triggers for mold overgrowth.
Watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headaches and tiredness are all symptoms of mold sensitivity. Repeated contact with mold might make a person more sensitive; this can lead to more severe allergic reactions.
These issues are exacerbated indoors, where mold causes indoor air quality concerns. Certain molds, such as Stachybotrys and Aspergillus, can produce mycotoxins, which are poisonous toxins produced by some fungi. Mycotoxin exposure has the potential to cause more serious illness.
Toilets and bathrooms attract mold due to the high moisture content in these areas. A moldy toilet is dangerous for you and your loved ones. It’s essential to eliminate the problem before it gets out of hand. In this guide, we’ve got you covered with the best ways to remove mold from your toilet seat, tank, and rims.
What Causes Toilet Mold
Toilets get moldy because the environment supports the growth of mold fungi and mildew. A toilet is almost always filled with water and dark, since bathrooms are often poorly lit. Sometimes with no natural light, such as in the basement, where there are no windows. These conditions are perfect for mold spores to multiply.
A toilet that’s rarely used in a guest room can harbor more mold than one that gets flushed and cleaned frequently.
Another reason mold may grow in your toilet is if it’s left unflushed for several days. Urine may cause the toilet to have a yellow stain, but poop will attract mold.
How to Remove Black Mold from Toilet Seat, Tank, and Bowl
It’s essential to remove black mold in the toilet because it could lead to health problems and your family. Black mold spores cause skin diseases such as eczema, respiratory problems such as asthma, and nasal congestions. Here are some of the best methods to eliminate dangerous black mold in a toilet.
Remember, it’s critical to address the source of mold growth so that it doesn’t recur. The mold will return if this isn’t done. It’s crucial to ensure that the conditions that caused the mold aren’t going to continue. Low light conditions, undisturbed toilets because of infrequent flushing, and moisture sources must be eliminated besides the mold being removed.
Of course, if you have mold in your house it’s possible that you’d be better off hiring a contractor to take care of the problem. The Rhode Island Department of Health says that when mold growth is larger than 10 square feet (3 x 3 feet), it’s best to hire a professional who specializes in mold removal. If the space is less than 10 square feet, most people can complete the task without much difficulty.
When it comes to your toilet, it’s something you can take care of yourself. Here’s how:
Using White Vinegar and Baking Soda
Many homes will have a bottle of vinegar somewhere on the shelves. White vinegar and baking soda are the safest cleaning methods for humans, pets, and the environment.
When dealing with vinegar, wear gloves because it could irritate your skin. If you have mold allergies, it’s also advisable to put on a mask to not inhale the mold spores.
Mix one cup of vinegar with an equal measure of baking soda. Using a funnel, pour the solution into a spray bottle.
Spray the baking soda and vinegar solution on the mold spores. You also want to make sure you spray about two inches above the spores to prevent mold spread. As you do this, ensure to spray around the rim of your toilet seat.
Allow the mixture to sit on the toilet bowl, rim, seat, or lid for about an hour. This process allows the vinegar to kill all the mold. Depending on the severity of the stains, you could even allow the mixture to remain on the toilet for more hours.
After waiting for about an hour, the mold stains are loosened and ready for scrubbing. Using a toilet brush or a sponge, scrub the surface until all the stains are gone.
Flush the toilet and wipe the seat and lid using a solution of vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.
Place some vinegar and baking soda solution inside the toilet tank to run through several flushes. This process helps to ensure that you kill any mold spores left behind. It also helps tackle any mold growing in the toilet tank, even if it’s not visible to the naked eye.
Using Bleach Solution
Bleach is one of those products that every homeowner should have in their home. The product is great for blasting out germs, odors, and keeping mold at bay. Bleach can tackle any type of mold fungi.
An important note: while bleach is often marketed as a mold remover, but it only works on non-porous surfaces like tiles and sinks. It isn’t effective against porous materials such as wood or drywall. For your toilet, it will work fine.
It’s important to note that bleach is highly corrosive, and you should handle it with caution.
When using bleach, it’s also essential to open the windows and doors for proper ventilation. Bleach fumes are toxic and can cause respiratory problems. That said, here are the steps to follow when cleaning moldy areas in your bathroom.
Wear a pair of gloves and a mask before you start preparing bleach. Mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water in equal parts and pour in a spray bottle.
Pour the solution around the toilet seat, inside the toilet bowl, and around the rims of the bowl. If the problem has persisted in the tank, ensure to pour some of the solution inside. Next, cover the lid of the toilet.
Allow the toilet to soak in the solution for about 30-60 minutes before you start scrubbing.
Scrub the toilet using a brush or a scouring pad, making sure to dislodge any mold growths. Ensure the sponge gets inside the rims of the toilet bowl because it’s possible to leave some mold in these areas.
If the tank has a problem, scrub it as well, using a scouring pad instead of a brush. Since the tank has many components, a toilet brush could damage it.
Flush down the toilet and wipe down the area using the solution. Allow the bathroom to dry before you can use it again.
Spray a little amount of bleach solution inside the toilet tank so that it lingers through the next few flushes. This way, you’ll kill all the mold to prevent mold growth.
Borax is a solid mold remover. If you have a significant mold problem, clean it with borax and then lay a layer of borax on the surface to prevent new growth. Because of its high pH, borax kills mold.
It’s important to note that borax is safe for use around the house but is dangerous if consumed.
Mix one gallon of water with a cup of borax.
Pour the mixture around your toilet bowl, rims, seat, lid, and inside the tank.
Allow the solution to sit for about 30 minutes.
Scrub the areas using a toilet brush or a sponge, but be careful not to damage the components of the toilet tank. Then, flush the toilet and observe if all the stains are gone. If not, you may need to repeat the above steps one more times.
Wipe down your toilet and allow it to dry before using it again.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a safer and cheaper cleaning solution compared to other commercial cleaners. The chemical removes the toughest of stains including mold in the toilet.
Add hydrogen peroxide and water in the ratio of 3:1 into a spray bottle. If you have an excessive amount of mold, you can add hydrogen peroxide without diluting it with water. It typically comes in a bottle with only about 3% dilution anyway.
Spray the solution around the affected areas and allow it to soak in for about 30 minutes.
Scrub the toilet bowl, seat, rims, and tank using a toilet brush or sponge.
Flush down the toilet twice to ensure all the hydrogen peroxide and mold stains are gone.
How to Prevent a Toilet from Getting Black Molds
After you’ve cleaned the black mold spots from your toilet, you want to make sure that the problem doesn’t reoccur. So, what can you do to prevent mold from your toilets and bathrooms?
- Flush the toilet after every use
- Flush an unused toilet at least three times a week
- Scrub your toilet using bleach or vinegar at least once a week
- Place a cup of vinegar solution inside the toilet tank once a week
- Fix any leaks in your toilet or bathroom
- Remember light and heat affect mold growth; be sure you have heat and light periodically in any area of your home that’s susceptible to mold growth
Mold spores inside your home can also cause respiratory issues, skin rashes, watery eyes, itching, and other health issues. Eradicating the problem as soon as you spot it is the best way to maintain a clean and healthy home for you and your loved ones, but it’s also important to prioritize proper maintenance so that you don’t have the same problem happening again in the future.
If you follow the above guide, and the mold stains recur; it’s time to call in a plumber to check for any leaks causing the issue.