Black mold in and around the toilet is a fairly common problem in many households and can show up in the bowl, tank, on the seat, and around the base. Luckily, with the right cleaning solution, getting rid of black mold in the toilet becomes very easy. In this step-by-step guide, we will reveal why it forms in these places, simple steps one can take to remove it effectively, and how to prevent it from happening again.
- Is toilet mold dangerous?
- Safety measures
- How to remove mold in the toilet bowl
- How to remove mold in the toilet tank
- How to remove mold on the toilet seat
- How to remove mold from the toilet base
Is toilet mold dangerous?
A black-colored mold is most commonly found growing in and around toilets that have not been cleaned for some time. As unsightly as it may be, rest assured because, in the majority of cases, it’s non-toxic. It can, however, trigger a variety of allergic reactions in many people, and the longer such people are exposed to it, the worse their symptoms become.
Sometimes an orange or pink-colored slimy bacteria called Serratia marcescens, which is often mistaken for mold, will grow in toilets as well as other parts of the bathroom. This bacteria causes bladder, respiratory, and urinary tract infections, among other conditions, and thus poses a greater health risk than most types of bathroom mold.
Fortunately, the methods used for toilet mold removal, which is explained below, is just as effective on Serratia marcescens.
- Respirator: Spores will more than likely be released during the cleaning process and, although relatively harmless, could trigger allergic reactions in susceptible people. Therefore, wearing a respirator is recommended.
- Gloves: Protect your hands with a pair of ordinary household rubber gloves because bleach will be used as the primary cleaning solution.
- Safety glasses: The last thing you want is to get bleach into your eyes. Protect yourself with a good pair of wrap-around safety glasses.
- Windows: Spores and bleach fumes can be harsh when working in a small confined space. Get some fresh air circulating by opening the bathroom windows during the cleaning process.
- Clothes: Wear protective clothing, such as old clothes, you can wash once you are done cleaning because spores stick to clothing and bleach can stain.
How to remove black mold in the toilet bowl
Irregular cleaning and long periods of stagnant water are the most common reasons for toilet bowl mold. Regular cleaning can easily solve this, and if you have a guest toilet, which is not used often, flush it once a week to replace the water.
In some cases, water containing high amounts of mineral deposits can be the culprit. These minerals can be food for fungi and cause hard to remove stains in the bowl as well as the tank. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about the quality of water supplied to the toilet, but what you can do is add Clorox tablets to the tank which will go a long way in deterring mold growth and use a hard stain remover for hard to remove mineral deposit stains.
What you will need: We’ll be using vinegar to clean, so pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle, have 1 cup of bleach ready and a toilet brush.
1: Flush the toilet to get rid of the current mold and spore infested water inside the bowl. Wait for the bowl to refill.
2: Spray white vinegar onto the affected areas and gently scrub with a toilet brush until all the mold comes off. The mold doesn’t really stick because of the non-porous porcelain surface of the bowl, so it comes off easily with a bit of gentle brushing. Important: Avoid using a hard brush because it’s easy to damage the porcelain with scratch marks.
3: Flush again and wait for the water to refill.
4: Pour half a cup of bleach along the edge of the bowl and the rest of it directly into the water. Close the toilet lid, and let it sit for an hour.
5: After an hour, flush again. Done!
How to remove black mold in the toilet tank
Toilet tanks are often the most neglected places to search for mold, which is why when so many people finally lift the tank lid, they get a nasty surprise. The lack of light combined with relatively long periods of stagnant water are ideal conditions for mold growth, and if the water contains high amounts of mineral deposits, the problem will only get worse.
If the toilet is not often used, then be sure to flush it once a week to prevent the water from being stagnant for too long. Mineral deposit water can be combated by adding Clorox tablets to the tank, which will go a long way in deterring mold growth and use a hard stain remover for stubborn mineral deposit stains.
If you find mold underneath the toilet tank, it’s because you have a worn-out washer. The current washer isn’t properly sealing, and the water is slowly dripping out and running along the bottom of the tank. Replace the washer as soon as possible by doing it yourself or call a plumber.
What you will need: Undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle, 1 cup bleach and a soft brush.
1: Turn off the water inlet valve which sits behind the toilet and then flush to let the tank water drain out.
2: Spray some white vinegar onto the affected areas and scrub with a brush until the fungi comes off.
3: Turn the water back on and wait for the tank to refill.
4: Pour one cup of bleach into the tank and let it sit for an hour.
5: After an hour, flush again. Done!
How to remove black mold on the toilet seat
Toilet seat mold is relatively uncommon and is mostly caused by irregular cleaning, leaving the seat damp or high humidity levels in the bathroom. Clean the seat regularly and ensure that it’s always dry. High levels of bathroom humidity can be prevented with a portable dehumidifier.
When all else fails, get a seat coated with an antimicrobial agent and never worry about mold on the toilet seat again.
What you will need: Undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle, some bleach and a soft brush.
1: Spray white vinegar onto the affected areas and scrub with a brush until all the fungi comes off.
2: Wipe all areas of the seat down – on top, sides and underneath – with bleach on an old cloth. The bleach will disinfect and kill any remaining spores.
3: Wipe the bleach from the seat with warm soapy water and dry it off completely.
How to remove black mold around the toilet base
Mold forming around the toilet base indicates a leak problem that will most probably require the services of a professional plumber. What needs to be established, however, is the source of the leak.
First, if the leak is coming from underneath the tank or from the water inlet valve behind the toilet. If any of these are the sources, then follow the five steps below.
On the other hand, if the leak is coming from the actual base, then you will have to call a plumber who will remove the entire base and replace the toilet flange, wax ring and seal. It may sound like a big job, but for an experienced plumber, it’s relatively quick and easy. Your primary concern should be that the water around the base isn’t clean water from the pipes – instead, it’s contaminated sewage water. I would suggest you turn the water off at the inlet valve, flush the toilet and call a plumber. Do not turn the water back on or use the toilet again until someone has come to replace the wax ring and seal.
If you are fairly confident that neither the base, inlet valve, or tank is leaking, then it might be possible that the water is coming from a nearby washbasin or shower/bath. Perhaps water gets splashed regularly and lands around the toilet base, and no one dries the floor around it afterward. If this is the case, then follow steps 2 to 4 below.
What you will need: Undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle, a small bucket with warm soapy water and a brush.
1: Turn the water off by the inlet valve behind the toilet and flush to drain the water from the bowl.
2: Spray white vinegar all around the base and scrub with a brush until all the fungi is off.
3: Take a small bucket with warm soapy water and scrub the floor surrounding the base.
4: Dry the base and floor area thoroughly.
5: Turn the water on again at the inlet valve. Important: If the cause of the mold around the toilet base is because of a leaky tank washer or inlet valve, it may be best to keep the water off until the leak has been fixed.