From the grimiest student flats to the most lavish of luxury apartments, when it comes to bathrooms, there’s a plague that seems inescapable no matter how clean you keep your home… Mould!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Believe it or not, bathroom mould is actually preventable. Yep – no longer will you have to spend days desperately trying to scrape grubby black fungus off your walls, or try hard not to touch the sides when you take a shower – that pristine bathroom really could be yours.
Follow these six steps, and hopefully you’ll be able to control the mould before it controls you…
1: Become a fan of fans
The first thing you need to think about is ventilation. As Ash Chilver, sales director of bathroom specialists HiB (hib.co.uk), explains: “Effective ventilation in bathrooms is crucial in reducing the build-up of unsightly and potentially dangerous black mould and spores.” Ultimately, if you don’t want mould, make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated, and often the best way to ensure this is with an extractor fan. Of course, opening the window when the bathroom’s getting steamy is a good idea – but this isn’t always a practical option for everybody, which is why extractor fans come in handy. Mould grows best in humid conditions, so keeping the room well-aired is the first step towards keeping it under control.
2: Let there be light
Like most nasty things, mould thrives in darkness, so make sure your bathroom gets plenty of light. As bathrooms retailer Victorian Plumbing (victorianplumbing.co.uk) notes, when it comes to reducing bathroom mould, a “simple yet effective method is increasing the amount of sunlight entering the room”. And don’t worry, you can always get opaque window film if letting your blinds down might reveal a bit too much.
3: Stop drying your clothes in the bathroom
The moisture from your clothes contributes to the humid conditions that allows mould to grow. In a well-ventilated bathroom, this may not be so much of an issue, but if you are having mould problems and you’re drying laundry in the bathroom, it’s extremely likely that this will be exacerbating the issue. If you really must dry your clothes in the bathroom, open a window to let the room breathe.
4: Keep dust at bay
Sure, there’s more to life than housework, but dust is a food source for mould, so dusting is essential for preventing its growth, along with regularly cleaning your bathroom surfaces with suitable products. Get into the habit of dusting regularly and it won’t seem like a massive job – and will certainly be quicker and easier in the long-run than having to tackle thick mould that’s set in.
5: Get some gadgets on board
There’s a gadget for everything these days – and mould-prevention is no exception. One interesting gizmo is the GROHE Sense Smart Water Sensor (£51.99, grohe.co.uk), a nifty device that can sense the humidity in your home and alerts you when conditions are getting a little too mould-friendly, so you can tackle the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
Another useful gadget is the Minky Damp Guard (£7.99, minky.com), a moisture absorber which provides a budget-friendly way to ensure moisture doesn’t build up in your home. Simply place it in an appropriate place in the bathroom, let it work its magic, and empty the contents and replace the tablets when required.
6: Pick paints wisely
If parts of your bathroom walls are painted, it’s a good idea to pick a paint that contains mould-fighting ingredients. There are a number of options out there, including paints from Zinsser Perma-White Interior Paint (RRP £18.94 for 1L, zinsseruk.com), which contains a biocide that protects against fungal degrading, meaning less unsightly mildew and mould for you.