If your shower or tub smells musty, check the caulk for mold. Mold commonly appears in powdery black, orange, or green patches, and it thrives in moist environments, such as in bathrooms.
Replacing caulk is a tedious task, but it may not be necessary to replace moldy caulk. However, it is essential to remove the mold as soon as possible to prevent health issues. Follow these tips to remove mold from shower caulk without having to call mold remediation services.
Prepare to Remove Mold From Caulk
To remove mold from caulk, gather:
- plastic gloves
- activated charcoal
- broom or mini-vacuum
- spray bottle
- cotton balls (optional)
- scrub brush
- wet sponge
- white vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice
- ammonia, borax, or 3% hydrogen peroxide (optional)
Never touch mold with bare hands, and ventilate the area by running fans or opening windows. A respirator protects you from the fumes better than a paper mask.
Sweep or vacuum loose dust and debris from the caulk to keep from spreading dirt around. Mold that sits on the caulk too long breaks it, and it will need replacing.
Apply Non-Toxic Mold Killers
Start removing the mold by trying non-toxic mold killers. Pour undiluted vinegar or lemon juice in a spray bottle, mist the mod, and let the vinegar sit several minutes.
Use a sponge or rag to scrub the mold, and rinse. If the caulk has been broken by the mold, scrape it off with a screwdriver, and discard it.
Dampen a scrub brush with warm water and a small amount of baking soda, and scrub the mold. Alternately, mix one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda and warm water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle, mist the molded area, then scrub and rinse. Another option is to mix a cup of borax in a gallon of water, and scrub the area with a sponge.
Clean with Hydrogen Peroxide or Ammonia
Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, and mist the mold. Let the cleaner stand several minutes scrub, and rinse with a damp sponge.
Alternately, moisten several cotton balls in the mixture, and stretch it around the molded area. If the mold is in the vertical part of the caulk on the wall, stretch the cotton ball starting at the top of the wall. Leave the cotton balls for two hours, then remove and discard them.
Mix equal portions if ammonia and warm water in a spray bottle, and shake the bottle. Spray the mold, let it sit several minutes, then wipe the mixture with paper towels or a sponge. You may need to repeat procedures to remove all the mold.