Sunday, November 11, 2012

Goodbye Shower Mold

Do you remember my shower with the nasty grout?  I wish that cleaning the grout was the end of it, but unfortunately that was just the beginning.

When I showed you those embarrassing photos of the grout I made sure to avoid getting any photos of the caulk between the tiles and the bottom of the shower, but it's time to come clean (literally and figuratively) and show you the truth...

I, the DIY Guinea Pig, have had moldy caulk.
PHEW!!! Feels good to get that out, but I still need to show you...


Pretty gross right?

I tried every combination of vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, and hydrogen peroxide that I could come up with and nothing worked.  At one point I think I actually went through the 5 stages of grief;

1) Denial - "My shower isn't that bad! It's not like an episode of Hoarders."

2) Anger - "YOU *#!* SHOWER!!! WHY DON'T YOU JUST GET #&*! CLEAN?!?!?!  ARE YOU TO  GOOD TO GET CLEAN?!?!?!?"

3) Bargaining - "Ok shower, here is the deal; if you get clean, then I promise I'll make my kids go potty before I let them take a shower in here."

4) Depression - "WAAAAAAAAAAA!"  I'm the worse cleaner in the world!!! WAAAAAAAA!"

5) Acceptance - "Well I guess it's just stained and there is nothing I can do about it. Good thing we are only living here for a couple years, so I won't have to look at this permanently"

Then one day I saw a Pin about getting the mold out of a shower.  It sounded really simple so I gave it a shot.

The poster said she soaked cotton beauty coils (think of the cotton around your head when you got that awesome perm in the 80's) in bleach then put it on her caulk.  She left it over night and by morning the mold was gone.

Beauty coils isn't exactly something I have on hand, and I wasn't about to load up the kids to go buy some so I decided to try towels instead.

So here are my supplies. Scissors to cut my old towel into strips. A glove to protect my hand from the bleach. Tape to tape the towel on the wall. Saran wrap to put over the wet towels so they don't dry out before the bleach can work it's magic. A container to soak the towels in. Bleach

I didn't measure my towel strips at all. I just made them all wide enough to cover the caulk.  Then I put them in the container and poured in just enough bleach to get them wet.  I did this all in the shower to avoid any unwanted bleach stains. 

Using my fingers I pushed the wet towel strips onto the caulk, getting it as tight as I could.  I attempted to put the saran wrap on one but it wasn't working very well and it didn't seem like it would help so I gave up on that. 

 One of my moldy spots was on the wall so after I crammed the towel into the corner, I put tape on it.  It held up very well. 

Here is my shower bottom with all the towels in place. The smell of bleach was quickly getting strong, so I opened a window and shut the door and went about my day.
 4 hours later, my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see what was going on.  I pulled up one towel strip to check on the progress.

The Verdict: Check out the pictures below!!!!! It was ALL gone!! It was like the mold did a disappearing act.  I was expecting some sort of crud that I was going to have to wipe up, but nope. NOTHING was there.

Even the part on the wall looked great



I no longer have to be embarrassed and grossed out by my shower. It's SOOO clean right now.  But now I have to find a good way to keep it like that so.... to be continued!

 UPDATE 12-5-12: The day after I posted this, a friend of mine told me to use a Tide Bleach Pen. That is one of those 'so obvious that why didn't I think of that' moments.  I haven't tried it but she said to just use a bleach pen on all the stained spots and leave it there for a few hours before rinsing it off.

UPDATE 3-8-2013: A few moldy spots showed up on my grout again so I tried a Bleach Pen and it worked great.  I squeezed the gel onto the mold and left it there for a few hours.  I rinsed it off and viola!  The stain was gone. It was SO easy and worked just as well as the towel method. 


  1. Incredible!! I'm trying that tmr.

  2. Tried it myself. Worked beautifully! THANKS! It does feel nice to have a clean shower. Sherry L.

  3. you can also apply bleach using a qtip. At first, nothing seems to be happening, but leave overnight and you're in for a surprise. All gone!! Dr. Bronner's also works well on mold. Happy house cleaning!!

    1. I haven't tried Dr. Bronner's on mold. Thanks for the tip. I'll try that next time.

  4. I'm not surprised at all that it worked, but it is still amazing. :D Mold is a kind of fungi, which is why it reacted to a strong formula, like bleach. Letting the solution seep through works better than scrubbing it all out, eh? Nice!

  5. Love the 5 stages of grief part. Haha!

    Well it’s always good to know an alternative when you don’t have bleach pens lying around. But I must say, not having to clean it up later is a big plus! Definitely have to try this on our shower caulks!


  6. Nicely written! I can’t get enough of the funny negotiation you had with your shower! Haha! Anyway, it’s true that the best way to get rid of mold is to soak them with bleach overnight, and by then they would be killed down to their roots. Haha! Unlike with mere scrubbing, where you'll only get to remove what’s exposed.

    Veronica Newton

  7. Great post! I have had some pesky mold and mildew growing on the tile walls of my shower for the longest time. Hopefully your advice can solve my problem. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  8. I use the gel toilet cleaner with bleach. works great.

  9. It worked like a charm after four hours, but it gave an asthma attack. I really, really should have worn a chemical mask.

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  11. Pesky mold always comes back. It gets into the cracks an gaps in the molding. Mine always goes from black to gray but never disappears. I think it's time to replace the molding and attack what is behind.