Wet and steamy conditions are ideal for fungal spores to grow and the shower cubicle is just the place where they grow, which is what mould on the tiles is. Why do they choose your shower tiles then, the answer is the grout that is used as a waterproof sealant to fill the cracks between individual tiles. This mixture of cement and sand and is what is needed as a very effective barrier against water seepage. Over time the waterproofing capability of the grout diminishes with constant exposure to moisture.
The way that this is treated will depend upon how long you mould has been forming, it can be removed from shower tile grout with both natural cleaners and traditional household bleach. In very severe cases it may be necessary to rake out the old grout and re-grout this with a new waterproof grouting mixture.
- There are a number of proprietary spray cleaners that are very effective, but it is possible to clean the tiles using simple household products. The first thing to do is to clean the tiles thoroughly using hot water and a scrubbing brush, use the shower head to rinse off the mildew.
- Now you should mix some baking soda, about half a cup to a bucket of water, baking soda won’t harm your plumbing or tile but it will dry our your hands, so make sure to wear gloves when scrubbing. Make a paste using some baking soda poured on to the shower tray and then dip your scrub brush into the baking soda/water mixture and scrub the tile grout completely, working the paste into the grout.
- Allow this to remain on the affected grout for at least an hour, remember if it has been affected for a long time the mildew could be hard to remove. Rinse a small area to check how effective it has been and if necessary rinse all of it off and reapply more paste solution, it will not harm your grout to leave this solution on overnight.
- If this does not seem to have worked effectively, you can soak some paper towels with white vinegar and place these wet cloths directly on the most stubborn mildew stains. Let the vinegar sit for 15 minutes and scrub the mildew spots. If the spots still prove stubborn, pour vinegar directly onto the mildew stains and scrub. Rinse and repeat until the mildew is removed. If all fails it is possible to try household bleach, this has been known to work well, but remember if you are using bleach in a spray bottle, ensure that the room is fully ventilated, allowing the bleach to work for no less than fifteen minutes.
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