Black mold in and around the toilet is a fairly common problem in many households and can show up in places such as the bowl, tank, on the seat and around the base. Luckily, with the right cleaning solution it becomes very easy to remove. In this step-by-step guide we will reveal why it forms in these places, simple steps one can take to effectively remove it and how to prevent it from happening again.
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.
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 often used, 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 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: Undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle, 1 cup bleach and a toilet brush.
Flush the toilet to get rid of the current mold and spore infested water inside the bowl. Wait for the bowl to refill.
Spray white vinegar onto the affected areas and gently scrub with a toilet brush until all the mold comes off. The fungi 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.
Flush again and wait for the water to refill.
Pour half a cup of bleach around the edges of the bowl above the water line and the rest directly into the water. Close the toilet lid and let it sit for an hour.
After an hour, flush again. Done!
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 is ideal for fungi growth and if the water contains high amounts of mineral deposits then the problem will only get worse.
If the toilet is not used often then be sure to flush it once a week to prevent it from becoming 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 hard to remove mineral deposit stains.
If you find mold underneath the toilet tank its because you have a worn out washer. The current washer isn’t effectively 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.
Turn off the water inlet valve which sits behind the toilet and then flush to let the tank water drain out.
Spray some white vinegar onto the affected areas and scrub with a brush until the fungi comes off.
Turn the water back on and wait for the tank to refill.
Pour one cup of bleach into the tank and let it sit for an hour.
After an hour, flush again. Done!
Toilet seat mold is fairly 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 the use of 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.
Spray white vinegar onto the affected areas and scrub with a brush until all the fungi comes off.
Wipe all areas of the seat down – on top, sides and underneath – with bleach on an old cloth. The bleach will disinfect and kill off any remaining spores.
Wipe the bleach from the seat with warm soapy water and dry it off completely.
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 check to see 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 5 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 end up lifting the entire toilet to replace the wax ring and seal. It may sound like a big job but for for an experienced plumber it’s fairly 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 wash basin or shower / bath. Perhaps water gets splashed regularly and lands around the toilet base and no one dries the floor around it afterwards. 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.
Turn the water off by the inlet valve behind the toilet and flush to drain the water from the bowl.
Spray white vinegar all around the base and scrub with a brush until all the fungi is off.
Take a small bucket with warm soapy water and scrub the floor surrounding the base.
Dry the base and floor area thoroughly.
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 might be best to keep the water off until the leak has been fixed.