Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by Lynda Stevens
You step in the bathroom and it hits you – that dank and moldy smell that seems to permeate in rooms where there is a lot of moisture. The thing about moldy issues is that you need to face them head-on. You need to address them pronto or the problem will just get worse and worse. The sooner you deal with it, the better, not just for your bathroom but for the entire house and for your health as well.
What Causes a Moldy Smell in the Bathroom?
The main reason why your bathroom smells moldy is because molds exist. There really is no other reason for it. If it smells moldy, chances are, there are growing mold spores around. This is most likely due to poor ventilation and excess moisture production.
Bathrooms are known to have heavily moist environments because we use water in this room a lot. But that shouldn’t be a problem if you have a working drainage system and that the excess water is ventilated properly, so they don’t become stagnant. If the excess water does not dry up successfully, that can lead to a moldy smell.
Damaged pipes can be the culprit. Pipes that are hidden behind walls, when they burst, can leak and can then cause a mold issue because the water has nowhere else to go. And because they are hidden behind the walls, they do not get ventilated.
If you have old plumbing system at home, you could become susceptible to molds problems as the old plumbing system is more predisposed to damages. Beware of exposed pipes as well. In the winter, they can become susceptible to freezing. Frozen pipes can burst, and this can lead to leaks.
Also check out your bathroom essentials. Your absorbent towel might have molds growing on it already because it doesn’t get the ventilation it needs, and it doesn’t dry up completely. Make sure you check your shower curtain as well. Molds can grow here, too.
Signs That Mold is Making You Sick
Molds are not just unsightly. They can emit spores that can be toxic to your health as well. And since you can’t actually see these spores, you could be inhaling them, for all you know. Here are some of the signs you need to watch out for:
- Muscle pain with a cause you can’t explain.
It is easy to pinpoint the cause of muscle pain when you just worked out the entire day or you were sitting in front of your computer the whole day. But if there is no reason you should be experiencing muscle, you might want to attribute it to the existence of molds in your home. Molds poisoning does not just cause muscle pain but may also trigger cramps, cause persistent soreness and make a person experience pin-prick sensations in their nerves.
- Cognitive issues
One tell-tale signs of molds poisoning is brain fog. If you have trouble focusing and your mind seems to be floating, molds can be a huge problem. It can also be accompanied by cognitive issues such as memory problems.
- Respiratory problems
When mold spores enter the body, our immune system will flag this as a harmful foreign substance, thereby triggering an allergic reaction that can lead to difficulty breathing, wheezing, sneezing and many other respiratory illness-like symptoms.
Natural Treatments for Moldy Smell
Deal with the moldy smell once and for all. The first thing you should do is call a professional to assess the extent of the mold infestation. It might have spread through the bathroom already. An infestation should be handled by professionals as this is dangerous to your health. They can get a sample of the molds to determine if it is poisonous.
There are also some natural things you can do to get rid of the moldy smell. Here are some of them:
- Use a dehumidifier.
Excess humidity can lead to the persistence of molds. Installing a dehumidifier that controls how much humidity is in your bathroom can help in killing and even preventing the re-growth of molds. As an alternative, you can also try using an air purifier. There are air purifiers today that also have UV sterilizing benefits as well as a dehumidifying effect.
- Use distilled white vinegar.
If it can still be contained, you can try using distilled white vinegar. Mix equal parts of this vinegar and water and then put it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the moldy areas. Leave it there overnight and then wash it off the next morning. The molds should be gone, taking the smell along with it.
- Try using tea tree oil.
The antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of tea tree oil make this a sterling solution for minor molds issues. It can be expensive though, so only use this when you have small molds problems in the bathroom. Dilute a teaspoon of this oil with 2 cups of warm water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and then spray it on the moldy areas. You can also use this as a treatment for molds-infested bathroom furniture or cabinets.
A stronger, albeit unnatural, treatment you can use is chlorine bleach. It does an excellent job in getting rid of molds but make sure you use it carefully. Bleach is very strong and can be nauseating when the smell is contained in a small bathroom.
How to Prevent Molds from Forming in the Bathroom
There are natural ways for you to prevent a moldy smell from developing in the bathroom. You need to make sure you ventilate your bathroom well. If there are windows, open them up and let natural light and air in. You can also try using an air purifier. This works wonders in eliminating harmful mold spores in the bathroom as well as in purifying the air you are breathing.
If you have a bathroom with poor ventilation, you might also want to consider installing vents. Make sure you also take out used bath towels and dry them up outside as they can get moldy or musty-smelling overtime when left in the bathroom. For more information on what products to buy to eliminate molds, visit this page.