It’s hard to avoid mold in the shower, but it’s easy to clean when you encounter it.

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Even the most impeccable homekeepers can’t always avoid mold growing in their showers from time to time. Whether it’s the result of a lack of windows in the bathroom, a poor ventilation system, or just that your bathroom is really damp, tackling mold in the shower is a common problem.

While mold can lead to health issues such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory infections, it isn’t likely that the amount you see in your bathroom will cause these problems. However, if it gets into the walls of your shower it can result in costly repairs, so it’s important to remove it as soon as possible.

There are many ways to remove mold from a shower, but some are more successful than others. One of the most common and effective methods of removing mold is to spray bleach on grout and tile and then scrub it with a toothbrush. While this method will work, there is some question as to whether it will damage your grout due to the scrubbing action. A method that is less aggressive towards the grout and is gaining in popularity with proven effectiveness is to soak cotton coils (from your local beauty supply store) in bleach and then press them against the caulking, grout, or shower door track and let them sit overnight. Remove and rinse the area the next day and you can expect to be mold-free for months.

However, bleach is an irritant to many people, and others just don’t like to use such a potent product. For the naturalist, an inexpensive and effective solution to cleaning mold is to spray it with vinegar, let it sit for a few hours, and then scrub it with a brush. Another all-natural solution to cleaning mold is tea tree oil. This essential oil is an incredibly effective fungicide that may very well be your best bet, but it’s also the priciest method of mold removal.

Shower mold is hard to avoid, but cleaning it doesn’t have to be difficult, and getting it done quickly will be better for your home and your health.