Bathroom mold is a common occurrence, as mold thrives on humid warm environments. They grow on toothbrushes, plastics, tiles, ceiling panels. They require no sunlight and little nutrients, and can grow on practically any surface, from tile grout to latex rubber.
Bathroom mold is unsightly and may be dangerous to health.
Some individuals with allergies can be badly affected by breathing in the spores of these fungi, which include the genus Stachybotrys and Aspergillus. Individuals with suppressed immunity such as diabetes, AIDS, or taking immunosuppressants may also develop rare fungal infections by breathing in the spores of the fungi.
Mold on hard surfaces is easier to clean off as it cannot penetrate deep into the surface, but soft materials provide excellent protection for these pesky micro-organisms.
In this instructable we will use bleach to remove mold that has penetrated deep into soft materials eg. latex rubber and silicone caulk, which are common materials in the bathroom.
Bleach is a solution of sodium hypochlorite, and is a powerful disinfectant that breaks down into normal salt(NaCl). It is one of the most useful cleaning agents and does not linger in the environment. Most micro-organisms are easily killed by a solution of 0.5% bleach, but for our purposes we will use undiluted 5% bleach for a faster process.
Before we start: Only use bleach on objects that are waterproof. Do not use bleach on metals as this will cause rapid corrosion. Metals rarely harbor mold anyway.
Step 1: Materials Required
You will need the following:
1) 5% bleach solution (normal household bleach)
5% bleach is plenty strong enough for our purposes, you can get one litre of this stuff for a dollar. It can be found at the laundry detergent section in stores.
2) Paper towels
Any absorbant material will do, but do remember that bleach, being bleach, will bleach and whiten the colors of any cloth etc. Only use a piece of material that is disposable.
Step 2: Preparation
For this instructable i will be using an old electric toothbrush that has a serious infestation of black mold on its latex grips. The electric toothbrush uses wireless charging and the body of the toothbrush is made to be waterproof.
WARNING: Do not attempt this procedure with any electronic device that is not waterproof. Bleach contains both sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide as a stabilizer and will most certainly short out the components.
Before we begin to bleach the mold, clean the item thoroughly with soap and a brush. This will remove the superficial layers of mold and dirt to allow the bleach to penetrate better into the material.
Step 3: Procedure
WARNING: Although 5% bleach will not cause irritation to normal skin, some individuals have more sensitive skin and might develop a rash on contact with bleach. If you are known to develop reactions towards cleaning agents, wear gloves for this procedure. Be careful when pouring and handling bleach, DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES before washing your hands thoroughly with copious amounts of water(since it is hard to tell if there are any accidental splashes on your hands)
1) Tear of a piece of paper towel, soak it in 5% bleach solution, and lay it on the surfaces with mold growth.
2) Pat the paper down to ensure it has good contact with the surface underneath.
Check back on the object every hour, adding more bleach to the paper towels if it is beginning to dry.
Step 4: Stop the Bleaching
Remove the paper towels every hour to monitor the progress of mold annihilation. Once you are happy with the results, rinse the object with copious amounts of water.
Do not leave the paper towels on for too long because bleach also decolorizes the material. However, the pigments in the blue latex are much more resistant than mold, so there should be little color change even after all the mold is killed.
I hope this instructable has helped to transform your bathroom!