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I have a tile shower in the basement that is not very well ventilated. My mother-in-law suggested a spray bottle of 1/2 bleach, 1/2 water, and spraying it around the surfaces of the shower after using it to help prevent mold.

Is mother-in-law always right? Is this a good idea?

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Thanks for the help clarifying the question Tester101. – dangowans Aug 6 '12 at 13:14
I use one of those automatic shower cleaner sprayers. I fill it with everyday use mist from the dollar store. – Evil Elf Jan 31 '14 at 15:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

should be okay. don't ever get any of that bleach onto clothes or towels. you should get the ventilation sorted, as mold spores will multiply in that area outside the shower. also chlorinated hot water releases chloride gas readily, which is not great to breathe in. i suggest short showers.

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I'll see what I can do about the ventilation. Thanks for the advice. – dangowans Aug 6 '12 at 15:18
Bleach in a "poorly ventilated" indoor area is a horrible idea and harmful to the skin and lungs, especially when less toxic alternatives exist – Jessica Brown Feb 1 '14 at 19:37

Vinegar works just as well, without all the worries - use 30 percent vinegar to 70 percent water.

Also, make a habit of wiping down the shower with your towel after you dry off. It'll collect all that water, which will then be vented out of the house when you wash & dry it.

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I like the towel idea. Should of thought of that. Thanks. – dangowans Aug 14 '12 at 11:33

If ventilation is limited then try using a dehumidifier in the basement area - you'd be amazed about how much water they can collect.

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I'll keep the dehumidifier in mind. Thanks for the suggestion. – dangowans Aug 14 '12 at 11:34

I made the mistake of just taking a bottle of bleach to my shower after noticing an especially bad amount of mold (college days). I think dilution is definitely a necessity for breathing purposes. I second the concern of not getting any on your clothes and also washing yourself thoroughly after using the bleach. While I didn't get any on my clothes, I did have some on my hands when I went to scratch my back and it ruined one of my favorite black t-shirts.

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Thanks for the tip. The bleach is diluted, but I'll be sure to use caution, especially around clothing. – dangowans Aug 6 '12 at 18:52

We use this product for years. It works like a dream- not only does it slow down mould growth, it disinfects and removed mould while you are looking at it. It is a combination of bleach and other sorts so it will damage clothing too. Also it has an overpowering odour so you need to spray it and get away. You do not need to use this every time just every other time.

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You should maybe also consider and old towel to wipe down the tiles and shower area after usage and take the towel to ventilated area to dry.

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Laundry Bleach is a dangerous oxidizer that can burn your skin and lungs and it is actually a very poor solution for mold. In most cases, the active ingredient (the sodium hypochlorite) quickly evaporates into the air (that you breathe) rather than penetrating your surface. Bleach usually won't fix the mold because it doesn't stick around long enough or penetrate deep enough to kill the mold. The water in the bleach feeds the mold. I recommend:

  1. Reduce the residual moisture in your shower/bath area by wiping the walls down with a soft squeegee or towel after each use - this greatly reduces soap film accumulation and reduces the need to clean the area.
  2. Make sure your ceiling vent fan is not full of lint, dust or a bird nests at the discharge point. If you don't have a vent fan, install one that vents to the exterior (not the attic).
  3. Run your vent fan 20-30 minutes past the end of your shower to extract moisture - Install a Leviton or Lutron electronic wall timer in the position that your fan switch occupies.
  4. Use more user-friendly cleaners such as white vinegar (this also helps cut the soap film). Borax and TSP are good anti-microbials to clean with. In basement corners, a periodic spray with a product such as Concrobium Mold Control every few months (or similar) will help.
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