Seven Tips to Keep Your Bathroom Smelling Fresh

Seven Tips for Keeping the Bathroom Smelling Fresh

Damp and dark, your bathroom is the prime spot for mold and mildew growth. Although both kinds of fungi can weaken the structure of cabinets or aggravate allergies, they’re not always visually apparent. Our guide helps you identify mold and learn how to get rid of the musty smell in the bathroom for good.

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Musty? Discovering Hidden Mold

Active mold or mildew makes the bathroom smell musty because as mold grows, it releases fumes. This scent is useful because it’s a warning sign that there’s mold growing somewhere you haven’t seen yet. If a musty bathroom doesn’t air out with an open window, it’s time to go on the hunt for mold and mildew patches.

There are often also visual indicators of mold in your bathroom, such as:

  • Dark spots on the walls. Mold often grows in dark patches. You may start noticing it in the grooves between the shower tiles or on floors, walls, or ceilings.

  • The drain smells musty. Musty-smelling drains in the bathroom indicate mold actively growing below the drain. As mold grows, its fumes can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue for those who inhale it.

  • Spongy floor. Mold damage beneath your floors makes the ground feel softer, almost like a sponge. This texture can also appear on walls and the ceiling, though it’s harder to notice unless you put pressure on it.

  • Sudden allergies. Sneezing more often than usual? Mold spores can trigger allergies or worsen existing allergy symptoms. If you or your family appear to be developing allergies, mold may be the cause.


Why Can’t I Find the Source of Mildew Odor in My Bathroom?

Mold is only sometimes visually apparent. It may grow behind drywall, between walls and cabinets, or in the space under the bathroom sink. If you don’t immediately see signs of mold, try hunting in more hard-to-reach places. Feel the walls, floor, and ceiling for soft patches and check for other signs of water damage that may indicate a leak where mold could grow.

How to Clear Mold out of the Bathroom

Once you’ve identified mold, you can choose the best way to remove it. Because large amounts of mold can be very toxic, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that amounts of mold beyond a 3-foot by 3-foot section should be remediated by a professional. If the mold spots in your bathroom are minor and you’re tackling the cleanup yourself, try these tips:

  1. Sanitize hard surfaces. Wipe down hard surfaces with mold-killing cleaners, such as vinegar, borax, or bleach, for strong mold cases. Because harsh cleaners can be toxic for you and your family, we recommend starting with a milder solution. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water to wash the surface. An old toothbrush can help work the cleaner into tight spaces. Remember never to mix ammonia and bleach cleaners since they create a toxic gas when combined.

  2. Replace porous surfaces. Mold can grow deep inside porous materials like ceiling tiles and unpainted drywall. You can't wholly clean the contamination, and it's best to replace the material. However, if you start pulling tiles without preparing the space, you risk stirring the spores and spreading them through the house. Wear a respirator, turn off your HVAC system, double-bag moldy debris, and moisten mold with a spray bottle to prevent crumbling.

  3. Close vents. To keep the spores from spreading through the house, close the vents to your HVAC system. To direct the spores to a safe place, professionals put up sheet walls and use a vacuum to pull them in and discard them out the window.

  4. Consider repainting. After sanitizing the walls, you can seal off the surface with antimicrobial paint to prevent spores from reattaching to the wall and growing new colonies.

  5. Increase ventilation. High humidity and condensation—which both build up during a shower—increase the chance of mold growth. Make sure your bathroom fan works, change any filters regularly, and let the room air out after showers to decrease your risk of mold.

  6. Reduce moisture buildup. Airing out the bathroom may not be enough to eliminate the excess moisture. A dehumidifier lets you monitor humidity levels in the room. For best results, try to keep the humidity at 50 percent.

  7. Check for pipe leaks. If moisture is building beneath the pipes, the dark and damp space creates the perfect environment for mold growth. Repair any leaky pipes to prevent new mold growth.


Expert Plumbing Assistance in Cincinnati

The damp environment in a bathroom is ideal for mildew and mold growth. If your bathroom pipes smell musty or you find mold growing under the sink, a leaky pipe may be the cause. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Cincinnati, we offer expert leak detection and plumbing repair to keep your bathroom smelling fresh. Call us at (513) 813-4992 or request service online for punctual plumbing assistance.