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Room by Room Tips: Bathroom

 Room by Room Tips: Bathroom

Help keep bathroom air cleaner with these eight, great tips

Your bathtub, shower and bathroom sink may pass the squeaky-clean test. But does your bathroom air? Moist air can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. And bathrooms often harbor a buildup of airborne chemical cleansers. Use these tips to help make your bathroom air cleaner:

Do a mold check. Damp areas, or spots that used to be wet, are the most common places for mold growth. Check under the sink for leaky plumbing, which can encourage mold. Other likely spots: between shower curtain folds and in corners without ideal airflow. How will you know if it's mold? Discoloration (white, orange, green, brown or black) and a musty smell are good indicators.

Fix plumbing leaks. A dripping pipe can invite mold growth. Get leaks fixed within 24 hours to help prevent mold from taking hold.

Clean up existing mold. If the affected area is small (10 square feet or less), you can clean it up yourself. Put on long rubber gloves, a high-quality respirator mask and goggles without ventilation holes. Scrub the mold off hard surfaces with soap and water, and allow the area to dry overnight. Toss moldy porous materials like sheetrock, carpeting and plywood.

Hire a pro, if necessary. Is the affected area is larger than 10 feet square, contact a professional mold abatement service.

Run your vent. Warm, moist bathrooms can set the stage for mold growth. To keep air as dry as possible, run the vent during showers and baths. Between bathings, try to keep the humidity below 50%.

Vent to the outdoors. You may have a bathroom exhaust vent, but is it actually carrying the warm, wet air outdoors? Check to make sure. Venting indoors can foster mold and wood rot.

Squirt, don't spray. Aerosol spray cleansers tend to hang in the air. When possible, replace them with liquid or solid cleansers.

Air out the bathroom while cleaning. Flip on the vent fan when using strong chemical cleansers. Or if it's a warm day, open the window.

Filtrete Air Quality guide
Breathe Easier: Family booklet