How to Remove Mold from Under Silicone Caulk?
Silicone caulk is a versatile sealant made from silicone, a synthetic rubber-like material. It’s mostly used in bathrooms to seal gaps around sinks, tubs, showers, and countertops.
And although the material itself is not organic, meaning that the mold won’t eat it up, the area it’s typically used in can be a struggle to keep dry, leading to mold.
Mold under silicone caulk is quite a common occurrence. It may seem worrisome at first but it’s usually not an issue to remove.
Today we’ll explore why mold appears on and around silicone caulk, how to remove it, and some prevention measures.
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Why Mold Grows Under Silicone Caulk?
It’s simple. A bathroom is usually a room where moisture harbors the most, leading to mold in parts of the room that are consistently wet.
If the area around the silicone caulk is consistently wet due to poor ventilation and condensation or is just not properly sealed, moisture can accumulate and lead to mold growth.
This is usually in and around showers and windows.
How to Remove Silicone Caulk Mold?
For this little task, we’ll need a few items:
- White Vinegar: Likely the most effective mold cleaner and disinfectant.
- Baking Soda: It can help scrub away mold and act as a mild abrasive.
- Scrub Brush: For scrubbing the caulk.
- Rubber Gloves: To protect your hands.
- Safety Glasses: Optional but recommended to protect your eyes.
You may have noticed we haven’t mentioned bleach. In almost all of our posts, we strongly recommend staying away from bleach for cleaning mold.
Not only is bleach itself toxic, but it doesn’t even do the job that well. What bleach does is only clean the surface, not anything underneath or behind it.
When dealing with mold, note that most times it will have its roots behind or underneath the surface. This is why you need vinegar which, on the other hand, penetrates through the porous surface of the caulk and will reach and kill mold fully.
With enough effort, you can effectively clean it all up. You just may need to repeat the cleaning steps multiple times.
Here’s what to do:
- Ventilate: Before you start, ensure proper ventilation in the room to avoid inhaling fumes from cleaning agents.
- Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Apply the Cleaning Solution: Spray the white vinegar solution directly to the mold-affected silicone caulk. Ensure the caulk is thoroughly wet.
- Let it Sit: Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the moldy caulk for at least 10-15 minutes. This gives it time to penetrate and kill the mold’s roots.
- Scrub with a Brush: Use an old toothbrush or a scrub brush to gently scrub the moldy areas. For stubborn mold, you can make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water and use that as a scrub.
- Rinse and Wipe: Rinse the area with water to remove the cleaning solution and loosened mold and then wipe the caulk dry with a clean, dry cloth.
And that’s it! Again, if it doesn’t fully work the first time, repeat the cleaning steps and you should be good.
How to Prevent Mold from Coming Back after Removal?
For most people, just better ventilation will go a long way. But other times, you may be struggling with a different moisture issue.
You may be residing in quite a humid climate (southern states like Florida), and in that case, consider adding a bathroom fan or even a dehumidifier. When you’re showering, keep the doors closed so that different room temperatures don’t lead to condensation and water vapor.
If possible, install double-pane windows to reduce the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors. You may even want to insulate walls and windows to keep them warmer.
Wipe down shower walls, faucets, and other surfaces after each use to remove excess moisture. Pay attention to areas where water tends to collect; it’s likely to be the same place where you’ve got mold now.
If you’ve got any leaks, make sure to fix them ASAP. Not only are they making the room unnecessarily damp, but your water bill is also likely to be increased.
Some people have leaks but aren’t sure where exactly they are coming from. If that’s you, consult a plumber, because the problem may originate from behind the wall.
That’s all it is. Removing silicone caulk mold isn’t hard; it just requires a little effort. But with proper cleanup and further prevention measures, you’re likely to not struggle with mold again.
If you need professional mold removal services for severe mold infestations, use RepairSprout to find a mold removal company near you!
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