Want to know how to get rid of moldy caulking in your shower? Use the following cleaning tip to remove black mold from caulk around your tub. When your bath and shower area are showing the potential of shower mold, you need to find effective ways to get rid of it!
Everyone knows mold is gross. Unhealthy. Bad for you. Yet, it’s in pretty much every home, especially in areas where there is moisture naturally, like in your bathroom!
We have mold growing in our bathroom, along our bathtub, in the caulking that’s there. As we live in an apartment, it’s not exactly up to us to remove and replace the moldy caulking, though that would be the ideal way to deal with the situation – remove the caulking and reapply new caulking around our tub, addressing any underlying issues that may be there.
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If you own your home, that is the best route to go.
But, if you want a “quick fix” or something that is more affordable than new caulking, and likely far less time consuming, and don’t want to wait two days for the new silicon caulk to dry, the following is cleaning tip that works really, really well. You can clean the affected area without having to remove the old caulk!
Be sure to hit up my follow-up post with info on how to tackle all the other black mold in showers you may be dealing with – grout, drains, curtains, walls, ceilings, and more!
You can watch the video explanation here:
How to Get Rid of Mold in Shower Caulking
This simple bleach solution will have your shower walls looking great in no time at all! If you have a mold problem, this cleaning solution can really help! Anywhere that there is excess moisture can cause issues so it’s a good idea to use this on shower tiles and to help clean shower caulk.
Materials Needed to Remove Mold from Caulking
- Cotton balls or Cotton Coil (preferred for large areas)
- Ventilation mask (optional but recommended)
*Please remember that bleach is a harsh chemical. You MUST wear gloves and use ventilation. Use at your own risk.
Instructions on How to Remove Mold on Caulking
How to Remove Mold from Caulking in Shower
- Fill a large bowl with water.
- If using cotton balls, you can stretch out the cotton balls before dipping them in the bleach water to make it easier to attach to a wall.
- Put on gloves and mask, open a window, and/or turn on the fan in the bathroom.
You don’t want to mess with toxic fumes and have a health risk. If you have a bathroom fan, turn it on to help with having adequate ventilation. Open any nearby windows as well.
- Add a small amount of bleach to the water. Mix.
- Dip cotton balls (or coils) into the bleach water.
- Apply the cotton balls directly onto the caulking with mold on it in your shower or bathtub.
- Continue adding cotton balls to moldy parts of the shower.
Continue adding more cotton balls or cotton coils to all moldy caulk in your shower, including along window ledges, and up the walls. Because the cotton is so wet, it will stick vertically. However, start at the top and work your way down if bleaching moldy caulking vertically, as the liquid will seep out and make the cotton balls below it fall off. It’s okay to keep the cotton fairly wet, but it doesn’t have to be super wet and drenched, especially if doing vertical parts.
- Leave the cotton there for about 2-4 hours or until mold is removed. Be sure to shut the bathroom door and keep the fan running as you wait.
- Spot check an area to see if the mold on shower caulking is gone. If not, reapply and wait another hour.
- If the spot check looks good, continue to remove the cotton balls or cotton coils from your bathtub caulking.
Discard them into a trash bag. Always be sure to handle bleach with gloves on and a mask if you have one (and glasses if you are worried about splashing or spills).
- Let air dry.
You don’t need to rinse with water, though I found it helped make the smell go away faster.
*If it doesn’t work, check the date of your bleach. Bleach has a fairly short shelf-life. If you haven’t used your bleach in five years, or your bottle doesn’t smell very strongly like bleach, get a new bottle and try this again.
An important note about using bleach to remove mold
Bleach is no longer considered to be the best way to remove mold. It is only effective if the mold is on a non-porous material like tile, bathtubs, glass, and countertops. It doesn’t reach the mold growing underneath the surface. Also, bleach can damage the materials it is used on as it’s a harsh, corrosive chemical. The fumes are strong and harsh and it must be handled with gloves.
Also, you should NEVER mix bleach with ammonia.
However, the bleach does do a great job at removing mold usually and also removes any mold stains as well, which is why I used it in my bathroom. I usually prefer less harsh chemicals or natural cleaning agents, but I am also a fan of using something that works, the first time.
Other alternatives to using bleach to remove mold from caulking would be:
I, however, have not been able to find many tutorials on how to use these products specifically for cleaning moldy caulking in bathrooms, so if anyone has tried using them, with success, I’d love to know! I tried making a paste of water and OxiClean and slathered it onto the moldy caulking, but it did absolutely nothing. It dried out shortly after application and didn’t remove the stains at all.
You can always buy mold resistant caulk to use, and that is a great idea. This might be the only way to keep your caulk looking nice and clean. Regular cleaning can also help and ensure that you have the proper ventilation. To stop the growth of mold, understand that you need to know that mold will grow in a moist environment and a perfect place for it to start is a warm dark bathroom. Gather supplies and with a little effort, you can find a way to take care of that moldy bathroom caulk so that your bathroom looks great. Simple steps to take care of cleaning off that area!
If you know how to remove mold from caulking without using bleach, I’d love to know!
In the meantime, bleach totally works to get rid of mold on shower caulking! Just be careful handling it. Enjoy a whiter bathroom!
For more tips on how to clean, especially your bathroom, check out these cleaning tutorials:
- How to clean a bathtub the easy way
- How to clean a bathtub with Bar Keepers Friend
- How to clean shower heads
- How to remove hard water stains from windows
- How to clean grout in the bathroom
- How to clean porcelain sinks
- How to remove rust stains from porcelain sinks
- How to shine bathroom faucets
- How to clean a curling iron
For mold in the caulking of my tubs, I use a gel toilet bowl cleaner that contains bleach. I squirt it on and let sit for an hour or so. I then get an old toothbrush and scrub a little, then rinse. Because it is a gel it stays on very well.
randal arendt says
Black mold on bathtub caulking can be removed by spraying undiluted bleach onto it every few hours over the course of a day or two. It gradually disappears but can require repeated spraying.
Katelyn Fagan says
Yes, I’ve heard that a spray can work well too. Just be careful with the spray (aka use that ventilation!).
Linda Locke says
The product that worked the best for me was X14. It was very potent so you had to make sure you had the fan running and the windows open. It is very hard to find now so I’m not sure if they have removed this item from the shelves. Also Tilex mold and mildew remover work really well too
We use Benefect. It’s non toxic and really works. It kills mold at the root but doesn’t remove the stains however.
Mrs. M says
My tenant pulled off some tiles in the shower. There is black behind it…does anyone know how can I clean that until I can re tile? Have to wait till January.
Chris H. says
While the bleach will turn your caulk white again, it is not killing the mold. Only vinegar can do that, (as a natural substance), as it is a natural fungicide. Spray your affected areas with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Let dry and then do your cotton ball/bleach process. Now the mold shouldn’t come back.
Christine Pankovcin says
Wow…great tip… thanks!!!!
How do people remove mold on a painted window sill and window frame?
This was awesome! I used the cotton coil and splashless bleach in a squeeze bottle. I put the bleach on the caulking put the cotton coil around sticking it to the bleach and calking then went over the cotton with bleach. It was fantastic! Looks brand new!
Michele Trow says
HELP I AM TRYING TO ORDER YOUR SPEED CLEAN DEEP CLEAN EBOOK AS WELL AS YOUR BATHROOM CHECKLIST AND LAUNDRY ROOM TIPS BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO BE WORKING
Thank you for this!!! It worked perfectly. Wish I could show off my before and after photos. I’m thrilled 🙂
Katelyn Fagan says
Oh yeah!! I’m so glad!!
sharon princer says
having a problem with dark grout lines between porcelain tiles on bathroom floor,
Greg Sureseal says
Getting rid of black mold in your shower caulking is not easy, so I am grateful for the easy guide here. I will follow this guide, and I am sure the black mold will be removed successfully.