Mold in Shower Drain: Sources and Fixes

Molds tend to love bathrooms as they offer the perfect conditions for their development. Bathrooms are wet, moist, humid, and dark at times. Mold and mildew grow on walls, in baths, showers, wood, rugs, grouts, and sinks. The most common cause for mold is lingering moisture and lack of ventilation; when you start noticing a musty smell then your bathroom has a mold infestation. 

Mix ½ a cup of baking soda with ½ a cup of water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the shower drain then let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing. Rinse with hot water to clean mold in the shower drain. Mold is caused by dump conditions and is prevented by keeping the bathroom well-aerated.

There are different types of molds, it is not easy to identify and differentiate them but different species differ in color and texture.  Not all types of molds are toxic but are a potential hazard and should be treated until identified and proved otherwise. This is your guide on the causes of mold, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it.

Mold in Shower Drain: Sources and Fixes

What Causes Mold in Shower?

If your shower drain smells musty then that’s most likely the smell of mold growing in your drain. Mold spores tend to release tiny puffs of gas as part of their metabolic process that has a distinct musty smell. When inhaled, mold spores can cause irritation, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

Some of the causes of mold in the shower include the following:

  1. Lingering moisture and heat in your bathroom cause a humid and ideal environment for mold spores to grow.
  2. Lack of ventilation in the bathroom.
  3. Damp cellulose materials such as rugs provide the ideal conditions for breeding.
  4. Leaks from pipes, taps, and toilets seeping into wood and plaster boards.
  5. Stagnant water; the regular presence of water and moisture can easily cause mold to grow.
  6. Damaged grout, the tiles in your bathroom is exposed to water and moisture constantly and if it’s cracked or chipped then it can harbor mold. 

Any of these conditions would cause mold to grow and spread from your bathroom to the rest of the home if there’s no intervention. 

How to Get Rid of Mold from the Shower Drain

There are different types of mold and all infestations should be taken seriously. If you find black-colored mold in your bathroom then you should stop immediately and inform a professional. Otherwise, if you are dealing with any other type of mold within a region of less than 10 square feet, then getting rid of it shouldn’t be a problem. 

Here are methods and steps on how to clean a shower drain:

Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide

One natural way to get rid of mold in the shower entails using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide as follows:

  1. Start by taking half a cup of baking soda and mixing with a cup of water.
  2. You then pour the baking soda paste into the drain.
  3. Wait for close to half an hour.
  4. Pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the drain.
  5. Lastly, wait for close to half an hour the run hot water through.

Hot water helps in further killing any remaining mold or mildew. 

Hydrogen peroxide is a good natural cleaner as it can also be used to remove hair dye from shower stalls in a short time.

Vinegar with Baking Soda

Another natural method is to use baking soda with vinegar as follows:

  1. Pour a half a cup of dry cup of baking powder down the drain.
  2. Followed by a cup of white distilled vinegar. 
  3. Wait for about 15 minutes for the froth to settle.
  4. Run hot water through your drain for about two minutes and wait for five minutes.
  5. The final step is to run cold water down the drain for a minute.

Baking soda and vinegar both have strong anti-fungal properties and can also destroy any clogs in your pipes. 

Vinegar can also be used in cleaning shower doors since it’s a great surface cleaner that doesn’t leave behind stains and residue.

Borax and Water

Borax is a cleaning agent that does a great job against mold and mildew as follows:

  1. Mix half a cup of borax with half a cup of water to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the outer rim of the shower drain opening and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Scour and scrub everywhere especially the mold stained area to loosen any mold remnant. If you deem it necessary then rinse and repeat.
  4. Have hot water run down the drain for about two minutes.

Make sure you open the windows to provide ventilation for your bathroom when working with such chemicals as Borax.

Baking Soda and Water

Clean mold with baking soda and water as follows:

  1. Mix half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of water to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the outer rim of the drain opening and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Scour and scrub everywhere especially the mold-stained area to loosen any mold remnant. If you deem it necessary then rinse and repeat.
  4. Have hot water run down the drain for about two minutes.

Repeat the procedure if you feel the first time hasn’t cleaned the shower drain well. 

Other methods to clean a smelly shower drain entail the use of baking soda, white vinegar, Borax and other requirements.

Professional Help

If none of the above methods works or you suspect the infestation is black-colored mold, seek professional help. In case of any mold related symptoms get medical attention, molds are a serious health hazard.

Note: Always be keen when handling hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and bleach down the drain or any other chemical drain cleaner as the mixture can create toxic gases.

How to Prevent Mold in Shower Drain

Prevent mold in the shower drain as follows:

  1. Make use of a ventilation fan while showering and leave it running for close to half an hour or leave your bathroom windows open frequently for as long periods.
  2. Keep your humidity levels low by the use of air conditioners or dehumidifiers. It is best to keep them below 50%.
  3. Use shower curtains that are mildew-resistant or have a shower screen installed if not then have it replaced frequently.
  4. Make use of a shower curtain and always have it properly tucked in as it keeps water off your floor.
  5. Clean your bathroom frequently, from your shower door or curtain, bathroom rugs to drains and shower equipment without forgetting to skimp both visible and hidden places. Hang damp towels and rags to dry.
  6. After every shower or bath, be sure to wipe down your shower door or curtain with a dry rag to remove any excess and stagnant water. Also, pour a bit of vinegar through your drain.
  7. After showers, spread out your shower curtain fully to ensure it fully dries and isn’t damp.
  8. Make use of sanitizing products and bleach while cleaning instead of perfumed products.
  9. If possible, use gloss paint on surfaces as is it hardens them and mitigates mold from growing.
  10. Avoid keeping bottles of shampoo, shower gels, toys, or loofas in your shower as it leaves room for mold to grow on.
  11. Replace grout or caulk that is wholly infected with mold as they are porous materials and may have molds living within.
  12. Check pipes frequently to ensure they aren’t leaking.
  13. Change your air filters regularly and be on the lookout for any signs of a mold or mildew infestation.

Although the vinegar solution has a slight odor, it will dissipate after a while but help with deodorizing while acids in vinegar eat away and kill any remaining mold spores as well as keep of future mold.

Removing or handling shower mold is easier when you already have a prevention system in place. A couple of well-placed applications of hydrogen peroxide or vinegar will help you prevent shower molds. We hope the article above has been of great help to you.

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