HOW TO REMOVE MOLD FROM TILE, GROUT AND CONCRETE
Unsealed grout, tile and concrete are very porous and therefore susceptible to mold growth. It’s very common to see mold growing in the grout between the tiles in a bathroom or kitchen or on the concrete in your driveway. Every time these porous surfaces get wet, it can take several hours to dry, allowing mold growth to happen quickly.
HOW TO REMOVE MOLD FROM GROUT
There are multiple mold solutions that you can mix at home or buy online that will kill the mold and remove the discoloration. Before you begin your cleaning, check to make sure your specific type of tile can be used with the cleaning agent you’ve chosen. Some tiles will be damaged by bleach or abrasive cleaners like baking soda.
Make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated room, with doors and windows open and a ventilation fan running. Protect your skin by wearing non-porous gloves. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. If you’re using a toxic cleaner, like bleach, you’ll also want to wear a ventilation mask, as the fumes from bleach can cause nausea and flu-like symptoms.
DIY MOLD REMOVAL CLEANERS FOR TILE AND GROUT INCLUDE:
1. Chlorine bleach
You can use chlorine bleach undiluted or you can make a bleach and water mixture to spray on the grout. Never mix bleach with any other cleaners or agents as this can create toxic, life-threatening fumes. You also won’t want to use bleach if you have colored grout, as it can cause discoloration.
Work in small sections, applying the bleach, and scrubbing it in with a grout brush or toothbrush. Allow the bleach to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and repeat if needed.
2. White Vinegar
Vinegar is non-toxic and won’t cause discoloration of colored grout. Spray undiluted vinegar on the grout and let it sit for 30 minutes. Scrub the grout with a grout brush or toothbrush. Spray more vinegar on the area, let it sit for another 30 minutes, and rinse with warm water. Repeat this process if necessary.
3. Baking Soda
Make a baking soda paste by adding a few tablespoons of water to a cup of baking soda, until you’ve reached a spreadable consistency. Using a grout brush or toothbrush, apply the paste to the grout and scrub it in. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, or up to a few hours, before remoistening and scrubbing away the mold. Rinse with warm water and repeat if necessary.
4. Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide
Make a paste using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Using a grout brush or toothbrush, spread the paste over the grout, working it into the grout. Let it sit for 30 minutes or longer, re-moisten with warm water if needed, and scrub away the mold. Rinse the paste away with warm water and repeat if needed.
HOW TO REMOVE MOLD FROM CONCRETE
Mold and mildew growth can happen quickly on sections of shaded concrete that don’t receive a lot of sun or heat, especially in warm, humid climates. The best way to clean affected concrete is with a store-bought mold killing detergent or a homemade solution of bleach and water.
Before working with these cleaners, be sure to protect yourself with the necessary gloves and protective eyewear.
Apply the cleaner to the affected area of your concrete by scrubbing it aggressively into the pores. If you are using bleach, let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes, and reapply if it dries and the discoloration is still present. If you’re using store-bought detergent, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the discoloration has faded, rinse the area with a power washer.
HOW TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH IN THE FUTURE
For concrete, the best way to prevent future mold growth is to seal the concrete. After the concrete has dried for several days, apply an acrylic sealer specifically designed for exterior use. Choose a low-solids solvent-based sealer to allow for better breathability.
For tile and grout, you’ll want to remove as much of the moisture as possible and keep the area sanitized:
- Use a squeegee to quickly remove standing water in the floor of your shower.
- Keep a separate towel and quickly wipe down the shower walls after each shower, or to wipe down grout and tiles around the sink in your kitchen and bathroom after they’ve gotten wet.
- Run a properly ventilated bathroom fan during and for one hour after each shower or bath.
- After thoroughly cleaning your grout, using the above instructions, apply a proper grout sealer. This will make the grout much less porous and less likely to hold moisture.
- Keep a spray bottle with either white vinegar and water or tea tree oil and water in your bathroom. After each shower, and after you’ve wiped down the tiles, spray the area to sanitize and prevent mold growth.