10 Tricks to Prevent Mold in Your Bathroom

clean bathroom

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Whether you're an owner or a renter, battling bathroom mold is a must if you want to keep the room clean, safe, and healthy. Every bathroom naturally accumulates moisture, but reducing its levels can help prevent mold from appearing, or slow down mold growth if it's already there.

Keeping your bathroom mold-free is relatively easy if you are consistent in your cleaning. Follow these easy tips and tricks to minimize moisture and learn how to prevent mold in the bathroom.

  • 01 of 10

    Get a Good Exhaust Fan

    exhaust fan in a bathroom

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    An exhaust fan is essential in a bathroom. The vents of an exhaust fan work by sucking the moisture out of the air and sending it outside. It's the first line of defense against moisture and mold.

    There are many types of exhaust fans for a bathroom so it helps to know what size you need. The CFM (cubic feet per minute) count on your fan will tell you if it's good enough for the space. If it's too small, buy a more powerful one.

    To calculate the ideal strength for your fan, multiply the square footage of the room by 1.1 for an 8-foot ceiling or 1.5 for a 9-foot ceiling.

  • 02 of 10

    Run the Fan Properly

    running the exhaust fan after showers

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    It's not enough to run the vent during your shower or bath—you should leave it on for at least 30 minutes after you're done.

    This prevents leftover moisture from damaging the walls and ceiling and from growing mold. A good way to manage this is to put the fan on a timer—that way, you don't have to go back to the bathroom later to turn it off.

    Tip

    Taking very hot showers will raise the humidity level in your bathroom. Instead, take cooler showers to reduce the dampness.

  • 03 of 10

    Love Your Squeegee

    using a squeegee

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Sure, it's a bit of an annoying task, especially when you're rushed in the morning, but bathroom squeegees exist for a reason. In fact, taking a few seconds to run the squeegee on your tub, shower walls, and shower door right after washing substantially reduces the moisture in the room. Additionally, if you see water dripping from inside your bathroom window, squeegee and dry it with a towel to discourage condensation. (Chronic condensation may mean you need more window insulation.)

  • 04 of 10

    Fix All the Leaks

    fixing leaks

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Bathroom mold doesn't just come from the water in your shower or bath. Leaks can also cause moisture to accumulate and mold to grow.

    Whenever you see a leak or drip, don't leave it to fix later. Fix it right away if you can, or call a plumber to do it for you if you need to. Waiting will only make things worse, especially if mold takes hold and starts growing. It's a lot harder to get rid of mold than it is to prevent it.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Wash Rugs, Towels, and Curtains Regularly

    used towels

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    The bath mat, bathroom rug, towels, shower curtain, and liner are ideal mold growth spots, especially if you leave them unwashed for long periods of time.

    One easy way to help fight mold in your bathroom is to wash your towels, bathroom rugs, and shower curtains regularly—at least once a week—and together. Clean towels, rugs, and curtains mean a cleaner, healthier bathroom. If you don't have a washable shower curtain liner, change it frequently.

    Tip

    Don't forget to check out and wipe down the hamper you toss towels and other bathroom items into. It's the perfect spot for mold and mildew growth which results in odors, as well.

  • 06 of 10

    Dry Out Your Shower Items

    drying off the shower

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    Removing loofahs, sponges, and product bottles from the shower when not in use will keep mold away. When these items are kept in the shower after use, water accumulates under them as they dry and make them the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

  • 07 of 10

    Run the Air Conditioner or Dehumidifier

    Window air conditioner next to houseplant

    The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

    Running an air conditioner or dehumidifier during humid months will diminish mold growth. Humidity levels in your home should run between 30 to 50 percent throughout the day to inhibit mold. Humidity levels fluctuate during the day, but you can use an inexpensive hygrometer (also called a humidistat) to check your indoor humidity levels.

  • 08 of 10

    Open Doors and Windows

    Window opened to promote cross-breeze to cool room

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

    Another way to reduce dampness and circulate air is to keep the shower door (or curtain), bathroom door, and window open after your shower. Air needs to keep moving freely to discourage the development of condensation and mold growth.

    In addition to air circulation, keeping the doors and windows open lets in more natural light which is the mortal enemy of mold and mildew.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Clean With Mold-Killing Products

    Bleach and water solution sprayed on white bathroom wall next to nylon-bristled brush

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    Consider mold-killing bathroom cleaners to defend your home against mold and mildew growth. If you prefer, make your own cleaner with something you already have in your pantry: vinegar. Vinegar is a perfect all-purpose cleaner and ideal for killing any mold or mildew you may not even be able to see.

    Tip

    If you have wallpaper in your bathroom, check for any loose edges or corners when you clean. You may find hidden mold behind the wallpaper. Scrub the edges with mold-removal cleaners and consider removing the wallpaper and repainting with mold- and mildew-inhibiting paint.

  • 10 of 10

    Reseal Your Grout

    Person holding grout sealer

    The Spruce / Liz Moskowitz

    If there's a lot of tile in your bathroom, consider resealing your grout every year or so to prevent moisture seepage into hairline cracks. Cracks create an entryway for moisture to seep into, resulting in the perfect environment for hidden mold growth so it pays to maintain the grout.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. You Can Control Mold. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. Basic Facts About Mold and Dampness. CDC.