How to clean shower? Mold? Specific Questions (with pictures)

skinnyloveNovember 7, 2010

So I'm only 17 but I live with my father whom moved into our basement when I was 12 and was left with my own bathroom and no idea what to do with it! I bleach the tub and clean the toilet/sink here and there but don't really know what I'm doing. Just tonight I've discovered my shower has mold all over. Here are questions and pictures, I'll number them so it's easier to answer

*Sorry some pictures are out of focus my camera is awful, I can try taking better ones if you ask, if you think it would help you answer better

1. What is this gray stuff? Mold or possibly the contractors did a sloppy job? How can I get rid of it?

2. What is this orangish thing? Mold/mildew? Is the rubbery sealer its in caulk? And whatever it is will I have to take it out and re-seal it to get rid of the mold? Also how do I clean the metal parts?

3. How do I clean the jets and this other thing with a orange-pinkish residue? Is it mold?

4. Is this mold/mildew on my curtain? How can I clean it? Or is it ruined?

5. Any ideas how to get this metal thing to stick to the tile?

6. Is this mold or mildew in my shower-head? Is it cleanable?

7. I have stains all over my white walls, but I believe the paint is glossy not matte, are there any ways to clean them?

8. Lastly whats the best way to clean the tile floors? I don't think that requires a photo haha

Sorry the questions are lengthy but any help at all is much appreciated. Thanks.

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Bleach ,spray on a few minutes wash,rinse.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 10:42PM
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We can't tell from some of your pictures, but it looks like you certainly have some mold.
Shower curtain - take it down and wash it with 2 or 3 bath towels. Hang it back up to dry. Repeat whenever it looks spotty.
Shower head - unscrew it and soak in a sink or bucket with about a cup of chlorox for a half-gallon of water.
Other pink areas - spray with bleach-based cleaner
Areas where the caulk (flexible stuff between tiles and tub) is peeling away need to be fixed. Read up on how to remove it and replace with new. Your dad should be doing this but if he isn't you can learn - it's not that hard.
Pink stuff around drains - yes it's mold. Wipe off and use bleach based cleaner but most of all, if water sits there it will mold unless you wipe it every 2 or 3 days. Get in the habit of wiping stuff off with your towel on the day it's headed to the wash. Towel does most of the work, you don't have a pink ring in the sink.
Sorry you are having to live with a moldy bathroom, but you sound like a together kid who can fix things.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Use a spray of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Apparently I was told by a mold specialist that most products on the market today have too much bleach in them and it actually promotes more mold growth. Spray it on. Wait an hour and then rinse.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:19PM
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Are you on well water? Looks like you iron bacteria buildup. You have to remove all the old gunk on the seams, then replace with white silicone. You can silicone the metal ring to shower head. The mold is growing through the grout. Silicone all seams!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 7:06AM
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First of all, don't use bleach. Bleach will not kill established mold. The properties of bleach don't allow it to penetrate into porous materials...the water that carries the sodium hypochlorite (the actual "bleach") will penetrate, but the chlorine will not.

Household bleach is essentially 94% water and 6% sodium hypochlorite, so straight out the bottle or diluted, your killing the surface mold but feeding it's roots when the water saturates the material.

For mold, use a quaternary ammonium chloride product like Shockwave. IF the mold is deep-rooted in difficult materials, it might take a couple of applications.

As has been mentioned, some of your other staining looks like iron build up, you can use a product like Iron Out, or a product like CLR. It might be that the plastic itself is stained, so treatment may not be satisfactory.

You can unscrew the shower head (or handheld unit as a whole) and soak it in CLR or Iron Out. That might dissolve and clean off some of the discoloration.

You might have hard water deposits on the metal. CLR should help with those. Or use a bit of vinegar. Vinegar is a mild acid that might dissolve those mineral depostis, if that is indeed what they are.

Older jetted tubs tended to hold water in the plumbing pipes after the tub had been drained, so there may be some nasty stuff within. You could fill the tub with hot water, run it, let it soak, then add Iron Out and/or Shockwave or a commercial jetted tub cleaner to the same water, run it, let it soak, run it, drain, refill with clean water, run to rinse, drain, and see if that helps.

Mold spores are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. They'll thrive in the correct environment. Cool, moist, etc. You can take away the "moist" with effective bathroom ventilation.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Suggestion for you....removing the old caulk completely without scratching up the tub can be tricky.

I have found that a combination of using straight razor blades in a holder (check in the paint dept of the hardware store) , and an exacto knife (will be in tools or craft section( for corners works very well.

Also, after you get everything cleaned ready to caulk, you want to have it very dry before and right after you caulk. So instead of showering, take a bath with the door to the bathroom open so steam doesn't build up. Check the directions on the caulk, it will probably say to keep dry for 24-48 hours.

And also caulk and grout are not the same thing. If you have any bad grout areas on the tile, you can buy very easy to use grout in a squeeze tube like toothpaste. Grout will take 2-3 days to dry before you want to get it wet with showering again.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 7:07PM
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thanks so much for your help cindaloutx!!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 12:07AM
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ah thank you all so much for your help.. I will try these out, you're life savers!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 12:37AM
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I have recently found that after cleaning my shower well(I have Iron in my water, and fight with orange grout) I spray with Arm and Hammer shower spray. I spray it after showering. It has helped immensely to keep the scum, hard water build up, and mold from building up on the tile. It seems though that I go through alot of it, but it is worth it to me.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 1:01PM
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Go to Home Depot and get a product called Mold Control--it's in a spray bottle. After cleaning the mold as several people mentioned above--spray this in the mold prone areas. Follow directions on the bottle. The nice thing is that it contains no bleach, so there is no smell and it does a great job of keeping the mold at bay. I have used it several times in my mold-prone bathroom. The best is to keep the mold from forming in the first place but this stuff is great if you already have it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 9:56PM
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Also good to know:
1/ any fan, any moving air, will prevent mold from growing (not perfectly). An air filter, for example. What is great for fostering mold growth is NON-moving air.
2/ a steamer is a pure heat, no-soap solution. Search steamer. Portable Steam Cleaner. They have nozzles to get into corners. Yes a nozzle can be dangerous (but you are a responsible adult), and this may be why they aren't highly marketed in the US but seem to sell well in other countries, where adults are allowed to make their own decisions about dangers and risks...
3/ bleach is not the answer but can be used in small amounts for a supplementary role, like when you wash the shower curtain, or to supplement the steamer in the corners.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 12:27PM
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ick, what a pin for you to deal with!
fwiw i get fantastic results with copius amounts of plain white vinegar and plenty of sunshine.
every load of laundry gets a cup of white vinegar, every saddle, bridle and boot gets it whenever i suspect mold. non toxic and a natural disinfectant, it's super useful around the house.
and for the mineral deposits (ours is a bright aqua from copper) i use those magic sponges after every shower.
will try the arm and hammer spray though, scraping the entire shower with a sponge takes some time!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 5:43PM
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