Something growing in my shower
May 10, 2005 8:28 PM   Subscribe

I just moved in with a couple of friends, and there's this stuff growing in the shower... here are two pictures: pic1, pic2. Can anyone tell me what it is, how do I get rid of it, and can I keep it from returning?
posted by exhilaration to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Looks like mold. Put some bleach into a spray bottle and go to town. To prevent its return, install some kind of air circulation in the bathroom.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:32 PM on May 10, 2005

That's just nasty.... mild bleach solution and elbow grease.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:32 PM on May 10, 2005

mildew. scrubbing with a stiff brush and your favorite cleanser. scrubbing with a stiff brush and your favorite cleanser quickly once a week.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:32 PM on May 10, 2005

How have you gone thru life without coming into contact with mildew before? I'm really interested. (Having grown up in New Orleans my view of the prevalence of mold and mildew may be skewed.)

As far as getting rid of it - clorox, clorox, clorox diluted in a spray bottle.
posted by Carbolic at 8:55 PM on May 10, 2005

You may find instructing your roommates on a reasonable cleaning schedule more effective in the long run.
posted by angry modem at 8:56 PM on May 10, 2005

oh man, thats a baaaad case of mold. it also looks like you have a fair amount of rotted wood and/or drywall. You're going to want to rip that out and replace it, maybe with something a little more mold resistant, i.e. plastic.

Mold is caused by water getting where it shouldn't be, or just moisture. Since yours is right by the shower, you could work on not getting water there, and maybe improving the ventalation in the bathroom. Oh yeah, and bleach bleach bleach, like everyone says.

Most mold found in homes is harmless unless you're allergic to it, but there is also the deadly "BLACK MOLD", which is more rare, i believe.

oh also, get some tilex on that shower door dude, that's nasty. :)
posted by puke & cry at 9:15 PM on May 10, 2005

I'd say hazmat team.
posted by wsg at 10:24 PM on May 10, 2005

Don't dilute the bleach. It's cheap. Fill a spray bottle with it, hold your breath, go to town. Exit when you need some air. Come back and do it again. Eye protection might be a good idea, too.
posted by bh at 10:24 PM on May 10, 2005

Dilute the bleach. One part to three parts water. Even that will eat your skin.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:35 PM on May 10, 2005

wgp - What kind of bleach are you using that will eat your skin? And where can I get some?
posted by bh at 10:44 PM on May 10, 2005

I let my shower go and it had some good mildew on it (hey, I shower without my contacts in... leave me alone). Anways, I finally got tired of it and picked up some Lysol Mildew Remover (with BLEACHtm). Wow... I love this stuff. Squirt it on, walk away for 5 - 10 minutes, come back, scrub a bit and your shower is clean. Caustic as all hell though.

Probably mostly the same as the bleach suggestions above, but it has a better scent :).
posted by sbutler at 10:46 PM on May 10, 2005

I don't have a bottle handy, but I think the Lysol Mildew Remover is just bleach with added fragrance.
posted by bh at 10:52 PM on May 10, 2005

after the bleach you need to paint. buy one ounce of tea tree oil and mix it with a quart of latex enamel this mixture impedes the growth of mildews ,worked great on my Morro Bay Ca.bathroom ceiling.
posted by hortense at 10:53 PM on May 10, 2005

I second everyones diluted bleach suggestions, but... WEAR GLOVES!
posted by Marky at 11:35 PM on May 10, 2005

Once it has been sprayed on, be sure to let the bleach sit for a bit (maybe fifteen minutes or so). Maybe I've been imagining things, but it seems that when I spray it on and leave it.. at five minutes, the mildew is reduced in square footage... at ten minutes, it's downright anemic... and at fifteen minutes, it's gone. That's with no wiping or scrubbing at all. And also, it seems to work better on horizontal surfaces where the bleach can truly sit and hang out for a while. It works less well on vertical surfaces where, due to that pesky gravity thing, the bleach doesn't stay where I spray it.

And oh yeah... this is straight, one hundred percent clorox bleach. But for the love of god, if you're gonna use this stuff, open all the windows, turn on all the fans, and maybe even wear one of those disposable face mask thingies. And wear clothes you really don't care about. Even a tiny bit of bleach will create ugly brown splotches on your clothes. (Unless the clothes in question are all white).

Good luck
posted by Clay201 at 2:12 AM on May 11, 2005

Everyone has told you to use bleach to get it off. No one has mentioned how to get the bleach off. Rinse with vinegar to remove the bleach. You can also put vinegar into a spray bottle and apply once per week to keep the mildew from establishing again. Vinegar is, of course, much less harmful than bleach.
posted by kc0dxh at 12:37 PM on May 11, 2005

If you can get your hands on it, "Scrubbing Bubbles" kicks ass - takes care of mildew + any other crap that might accumulate.

To prevent/delay the return of the killer mildew, leave a squeegie in the shower - when you're done, squeegie down the walls/ceiling. If you're lazy you can get a bottle of tilex something-or-the-other that you can spray when you're done in the shower (it's just isopropanol, a little SDS (detergent), and EDTA (a chelator - sucks the metal ions away, prevents some microorganisms from growing/sticking to surfaces) and water).
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:18 PM on May 11, 2005

DO NOT get bleach anywhere near ammonia. In fact keep it away from any other cleaning products, you never know what they might contain. Free chlorine is NASTY stuff and the gases that result from mixing it with many common household chemicals can kill you.
posted by kindall at 4:48 PM on May 11, 2005

Lots of light helps to prevent mildew from activating - install a bright light and leave it on after you shower until the room is dry. By "bright" I mean "bright", not a weak shower light. Makes a huge difference in how fast mildew comes back. Mold is not affected as much.

I fought the law, but the law won.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 5:04 PM on May 11, 2005

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