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Question DetailsAsked on 2/21/2017

What can be applied to bathroom walls to rid them of mold and mildew?

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2 Answers


"Applied" - chemical paint stripper.

To "clean" mold and mildew off them, meaning as much or more elbow grease as what you put on - I like to use a 50% water - chlorine bleach mix with borax powder added (being sure room is well ventilated and if doing a large area so it will be more than a couple of minutes I use a chemical respirator and goggles also. Leave that sit for 15-20 minutes if going to repaint - try a small obscure spot (like below toilet tank) if hoping to not repaint because long expsoure will commonly damage the paint finish, then scrub off with coarse rag with TSP and Dawn in hot water. That will kill the mold and remove the bulk of it. There are also commercial mold cleaners from DuPont and Krud Kutter and others. (Some people prefer to use chlorine bleach scouring powder like Ajax or Comet rather than bleach and TSP steps - the key is it has to stay damp for 15 minutes or so to really kill the mold so has to be put on wet (without running on the walls) and in really drying conditions be spritzed with water to keep it wet that long. [Be careful of flooring and baseboards and other surfaces so they don't get spotted or bleached by the bleach]

As for preventing regrowth - complete surface washing with soap and water every week to month to keep the surface clean of the dust and mold spores, but if you have to use scouring powder to keep it from coming back the sruface is shot and needs repainting. But the key is eliminating the moisture which it needs to grow - meaning a good high-airflow bathroom fan which is kept running for 1/2 hour at least after showers or hot baths, 5-10 minutes after hair washing or such. You need to experiment with your fan - some need the bathroom door closed to prevent short-circuiting straight from the door to the fan, in most cases leving the door (and shower doors) wide open while the fan is running works best.

If it is established growth - then after the killing it and scrubbing (using proper protective measures especially against inhalation) you will need to use a scouring pad with TSP or abrasive scouring powder and/or fine sandpaper to remove the rest of the surficial mold (though there will still be roots and staining in the paint and maybe drywall), repeat the bleach treatment to try to kill the residual roots, and final soap wash then clean water wash to remove residual dirt and dust. This should leave a finely roughened surface wall with only killed residual mold staining - but should not have visible growths of mold - just basically staining. Then use a mildewcide-containing primer appropriate to the paint already on there - Kilz is the classic standby - available in oil and water based depending on your existing paint type, though if using their water based primer I strongly recommend 2 coats - it is just too thin for complete one-coat coverage.

Then repaint with a good finish kitchen and bath paint - should be semi-gloss or gloss on walls, a satin or semi-gloss on ceilings (gloss shows streaking too well on bathroom ceilings). I use Krud Kutter mildewcide additive to all paints used in kitchen and bath and other damp environments - costs about $3 for enough for a gallon of paint in 5 gallon treatment packages - about $6-7 for packages good for 1 gallon of paint. Be sure it is WELL mixed into the paint - or take with you to the paint store when buying the paint and have them add it before they mix the can of paint.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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