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How To Get Rid of Shower Mold

This post is not a “magic bullet”. It’s main purpose is to save those of you who have this same problem lots of wasted time and effort. I wish somebody had told me this sooner. :-) For months I have been trying every product and method known to man or woman to remove the mold that had somehow taken hold in the two corners where the shower door meets the shower stall.

I started out with natural cleaners (lemon juice, vinegar, tea tree oil, etc) and eventually was forced to try more caustic measures. My most recent attempt involved spraying straight bleach from a spray bottle, letting soak for several hours and then trying to rub off the black stains with a Magic Eraser. Nothing.

Getting Rid of Mold

After more research today on the subject, I finally realized that NO CLEANER was going to get rid of this gunk because it was now PART of the silicone caulking. It wasn’t something that could be scrubbed off, because it was IN the caulk. ugh. While that was NOT what I wanted to hear…it made perfect sense and I had reached the point whereI was willing to do WHATEVER it took to get rid of it.

Getting Rid of Mold

So…with a single-edged razor blade and a pair of tweezers…I proceeded to remove the caulk on the two shower door seams. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Run the blade underneath the edge of both sides of the caulk line, then I took the tweezers and pulled off sections at a time. Probably took me about 15 or 20 minutes. Tops.

Getting Rid of Mold

And here is proof positive of what I was talking about.  See that black spot.  That is mildew ENCASED in the silicone. It’s not on the surface of either side of that little clear piece of silicone…it is actually embedded inside of it! No WONDER nothing I tried worked!

After I’d scraped off all the silicone caulk…I gave the areas another good cleaning with some diluted bleach and dried it thoroughly. (It should be noted that now that the caulk has been removed…other less caustic cleaning agents could be used such as Lemon Juice, Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, Tea Tree Oil or Borax).

Getting Rid of Mold

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to FINALLY have that black stuff gone!

Even though it was a very small amount…mold is nothing to mess around with. Shower mold dangers include a number of respiratory disorders, stomach infections and allergies.

Now that the mold is gone…it’s all about prevention.

Getting Rid of Mold

Ventilation:
Obviously ventilation is important. I plan on replacing our bathroom ceiling fan with a new and improved model. It doesn’t seem to be doing the job lately and has been making a crazy sound.

Keeping the Shower Dry
I’m also going to take the advice of my friend Denise in ARK and keep a “shower drying towel” hanging on a special hook in the bathroom and do a quick wipe down after each shower.

Shedding Some Light On The Subject
And finally, since mold flourishes in the dark and our shower is in a windowless room with the toilet, keeping light on the subject is going to be imperative. Haven’t quite figured out what my plan for that will be yet…but I will. :-)

But for now….I’m off to research how to replace silicone caulking in your shower!

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  • I was away for several months, from this horrible winter and returned home to find mold on the tile grout in my marble shower. Using almost anything on marble is forbidden because it is so porous. I finally found a website that suggested putting hydrogen peroxide (so cheap) in a spray bottle. I sprayed it, did a little scrubbing and WOW! It’s clean and now I have put car wax on it – looks great!
    I would suggest car wax on any new grout – even vinyl – and do it once a year. I am old and tired of the whole grout issue!

  • […] DON’T forget to turn on the bathroom fan while you shower to prevent mold, which is a major allergen. If you do get mold in your bathroom you’ll want to get rid of it as soon as possible. […]

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  • Im confused? I understand you have to cut away all the crudy ugly black mold which chaulk is hold and keeping pockets of water. But in your article you took it off and What ?? you didn’t replace it??? you leaving it all bare? isn’t Chaulk there for a reason?? hmmmm

    • Yes, you do need to replace the caulking otherwise you can end up with water leaking onto the floor and the glass breaking away from the door frame. If it’s caulking between stone and the tub or shower wall you need to replace it to prevent moisture and leakage problems underneath your tub/shower as well. It doesn’t sound like she replaced hers and she may end up with more serious problems. I can’t get rid of the mold in the silicone caulking that holds my glass shower stall wall up, and I have to hire a contractor to come in and rip out the caulking and replace it :| It’s really a pain

  • I just recently replaced the lights over our showers with a fan/light combo. Works great. Notice the fan in the bathroom is always placed over the toilet? Well my water closet along with the fan is located behind a wall. Now that I have a wonderful new fan over the shower, the doors no longer have a lot of fog on them. I also keep a squeegee in the shower and wipe down the entire shower including the floor after each use. I trained my husband to do this years ago. I have very little mold in the shower now. Just a few spots will pop up in the corners, but I blast that with a cleaner containing bleach, and let it sit. Several hours later, it’s gone. Be sure to buy a good fan, at least one that has a 70CFM rating. Mine is a 90CFM. The higher er CFM, the quieter the fan. Good Luck

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  • Jillee, you have once again inspired me to quit fussing about the black mold growing underneath my shower caulking and DO something about it! I found a biodegradable caulk remover – Motsenbocker”s Lift Off. This company has several formulas for different applications – latex paint remover, graffiti remover (removes spray paint), and others. I found it near caulk on the bottom shelf at Home Depot. This product is a winner! My porcelain coated kitchen sink is set in granite and the caulk between them was a disgrace. I pulled out the deteriorated old caulk, applied Lift Off to all that remained and let it sit for 10 minutes, and within an hour my sink and counter top looked fresh and new! The caulk and gunk wipe away with a paper towel or rag. Thanks for all you do to keep me inspired! I’m cleaning my face with castor oil and grapeseed oil, making my laundry powder from scratch, and shopping for hazelnuts!

  • Menards carries a product over in their wallcovering department that you put on the caulk, wait and then with a paper towel you can just wipe away the caulking. Last time I went to buy it the guy said he had never heard of such a thing & that they didn’t carry it, so I went to shelf and found it myself(don’t worry I showed the employee where it was after). Lol, I used towork at Menards myself over 10yrs ago, so I knew what I was talking about ! I think this is the one I bouht there last time http://www.amazon.com/3M-2153DC-NA-Caulk-Remover/dp/B000H5VNG8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343101838&sr=8-1&keywords=caulk+remover

  • @Beverly: A Clorox Bleach Pen will do a great job on those. Also on the silicone IF the mold isn’t yet inside the caulk. Just apply it and let it sit for a couple of hours. Rinse with plenty of water afterwards.

    @Jillee: Thanks for your website, great things in here. I noticed you use a fair amount of borax on your cleaning arsenal. FYI, Borax is now prohibited in the EU because they found out it causes infertility. Maybe you’d like to look deeper into it? I am done having babies, but my daughter isn’t (she’s 2). Thanks!

  • would like to know how to get rid of the mold on the grout inside the shower. I really like this web site. It is full of ALOT of great cleaning tips.
    thanks again. beverly

  • Dear Jillee:Thank you so much for your wonderfully researched website.
    I too, have problems with the mold on the shower, actually at all the lower corners (we live in humid LA), and when I removed all the caulk (silicone, white and clear) and had my husband replace it after letting it dry for several days, it has peeled off by itself.
    I think it may have reacted with the bleach, or vinegar or something I used to clean with. Just thought I’d mention the problem and see if there were any solutions. It didn’t say anything on the tube label to stay away from.
    Looking forward to your article, Amy B. in LA

  • I was dreading having to possibly remove the moldy caulking from my not-quite-five-year-old master bathroom shower, when I stumbled upon a great fix. I soaked toilet paper in bleach and packed it on top and along the entire caulk line at the bottom of the shower and left overnight. The next morning I removed it all and presto…looked like brand new! It has been a month and no recurrence yet!

  • Another great thing to have in there is DampRid. I just put one in my bathroom about a month ago and my mold/mildew problem is slowly but surely disappearing!

  • The tools for removing the caulking are a good idea because they don't cut into the material around the shower and leave scratches where the mold can find a home. I guess ceramic tile wouldn't be a problem, but fiberglass would.

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