I’m sure you’re both surprised and concerned when you discover some mysterious black streaks or blotches tarnishing your bathroom mirror, or a vintage, antique mirror.
Even the terms “mold” or “black mold” conjures up negative associations when it’s right there in your face (literally!).
In reality, the presence of black mold on the mirror surface is common in our households.
It often presents as unsightly black spots that can give the whole room a bad vibe.
And it’s not just a matter of aesthetics.
Having mold on your mirrors can also be harmful to your health.
Luckily, removing and preventing black mold is actually not a tough one to crack. (No pun intended!).
Below, I’ll share the best ways to avoid mold on bathroom mirrors and make your morning routine mold-free!
Mold on Bathroom Mirrors: Possible Causes
Here are some of the most common reasons why you may have a mold infestation in your bathroom.
We all know that bathrooms are moist environments due to the constant presence of water and steam.
Yet, here’s the catch:
When water comes in contact with surfaces, like the mirror, it can create an ideal environment for mold growth on and behind the mirror.
Keep in mind that the risk of mold increases if the bathroom isn’t properly ventilated or if you live somewhere with high humidity.
Poor Cleaning Practices
Not cleaning your bathroom mirrors regularly can create an environment that encourages mold to grow.
Keep in mind:
Mold can grow in streaks of dirt and grime. For instance, you may have noticed black lines on your mirror due to mold growth.
In fact, as a follow-up to the impact of moisture and mirrors; the cleaner a mirror surface is, the faster a mirror dries when steam condenses on it.
That’s because microscopically water molecules have fewer surfaces (think: dust), to stick to. Less water, less mold!
That’s why you need to thoroughly wipe dry all the surfaces to avoid mold from accumulating in the small streaks of dirt left on the mirror.
Lack of Ventilation
Insufficient ventilation can result in moisture remaining in the air and on surfaces for extended periods.
These areas can become breeding grounds for fungal growth, including your bathroom mirrors.
This is why experts recommend having proper ventilation in your bathroom.
A good, properly rated exhaust fan or open windows, can promote air circulation and eliminate excess moisture.
Leaks behind plumbing or walls can create a damp environment, making it easier for mold to grow on mirror surfaces.
You probably don’t need to be reminded to address any water damage or leaks early on.
It may be a bit inconvenient now, but it’ll save you a lot of money and heartache later on.
The Health Risks of Mold
For some, mold exposure can cause allergic reactions like sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes.
It can also trigger asthma attacks and worsen existing respiratory conditions.
What’s even worse:
Inhaling mold spores can cause respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Prolonged exposure to certain types of mold can even result in neurological problems and memory loss. Ok, not good, right?
How to Remove Mold from Bathroom Mirrors
Here’s how to remove mold quickly and effectively from almost any glass surface, bathroom mirrors included:
1. Safety First
Wear protective gear, such as gloves and a face mask.
Also, don’t forget to leave the window and door open to boost airflow. A must, actually!
These preventative measures can help reduce the risk of exposure to mold spores and prevent allergic reactions and respiratory infections.
2. Mix a Cleaning Solution
In a spray bottle, mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
The acidity in the vinegar will break down dirt, grime, and grease easily.
*Read below in my alternative cleaners section for even more potent cleaning products for mirror mold.
3. Spray the Solution
Spray the mixture directly onto the moldy surface. Then, let the solution sit for 15–20 minutes.
Doing this will help break down the fungal growth and prevent it from spreading further.
4. Scrub the Area
Use a soft-bristled brush or a sponge to scrub the area until the mold is completely removed.
Be sure not to apply too much pressure to avoid scratching the surface.
5. Rinse with Water
After scrubbing, rinse the surface with water. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any remaining mold.
6. Dry the Surface
Wiping the area with a dry, clean cloth is probably the one step most people forget. Yet, it’s the most critical.
Drying the mirror surface goes a long way in helping prevent moisture buildup, which is the main cause of mold growth.
7. Repeat as Needed
Repeat the process until the surface is clean and completely mold-free.
This quick video goes through the steps as well:
Alternative Cleaning Products
If the water and vinegar mixture just doesn’t cut it for you, here are a few safe and non-toxic products you can try:
1. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Mix 20 drops of the extract in a cup of water.
Let sit for no less than 20 minutes before wiping with a clean cloth.
2. Baking Soda
Mix baking soda with water until it forms a soft paste.
Apply the paste to the moldy surface and scrub with a brush.
Then, rinse with the water and vinegar mixture to neutralize the baking soda. Finally, wipe the area with a damp, clean cloth.
3. Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner Spray
This disinfectant cleaner spray is made with a biodegradable formula that works best on non-porous surfaces.
I use this everywhere in the house, from bathrooms, the kitchen table, the garage, and outdoor kitchen.
4. Benefect Botanical Decon 30 Disinfectant Cleaner
This EPA-certified cleaning solution is designed to remove mold, mildew, and other fungi.
It’s an effective choice for combating mold on almost any glass surface, including your bathroom mirrors.
5. RMR Brands Complete Mold Killer & Stain Remover Bundle
Now, if you really want to step it up, i.e. not mess around, because you have more than just a thin layer of mold then this product is the way to go.
It’s made specifically for cleaning surfaces prone to mold. It’s a certified fungicide.
This kit comes with a bottle to remove mold stains on things like mirrors.
The other bottle will clean and disinfects, helping to prevent mold growth from coming back on your mirror.
How to Remove Mold from Behind the Mirror
If you suspect mold is growing behind your bathroom mirror, use these simple steps to remove it once and for all:
1. Carefully remove the mirror and place it in a safe location.
2. Apply the cleaning solution to the back of the mirror.
3. Then, let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
4. Using a soft-bristle brush or sponge, gently scrub the affected area and rinse with water.
5. Place the mirror in a well-ventilated area to dry.
6. Next, spray the wall behind the mirror with the cleaning solution and let it soak for at least 10 minutes.
7. Scrub the area until it’s clean and rinse it with water.
8. Finally, wipe the mirror and the wall with a dry, clean cloth, and make sure both are completely dry before replacing the mirror.
You might not mind the appearance of an antique-looking mirror, if that’s the decor style you’re going for.
But we’ll assume in this case that it’s not(!), so here are some final guidelines on stopping mold in its tracks with these easy prevention tips:
Keep the Air Moving
Keep your bathroom well-ventilated by opening windows and doors.
You can also install a ventilation fan, or strong one, to help circulate the air and reduce moisture buildup in the bathroom.
Keep Things Dry
Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air, especially if your house is in a humid part of the country.
Immediately fix any leaks or water damage to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth.
Keep It Clean
Always make sure your mirrors are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
The RMR kit mentioned above is your strongest option, but you can try vinegar and water first.
Use a Mold-resistant Paint
If you’re planning to repaint your bathroom in the future, consider using mold-resistant paint.
This eliminates other nearby surfaces in the room so mold spores are less likely to circulate.
When to Bring in the Experts
Do you have a mold problem that’s got you stuck?
Here are signs it’s time to call in a pro:
- A strong, musty odor and you don’t know where it’s coming from
- Extensive mold growth
- Mold growth that keeps coming back
- Structural damage to the walls or ceilings
Don’t let mold growth make a permanent home on your bathroom mirror. Follow the tips in this how-to guide so you no longer have to face a moldy reflection in the morning.
With a simple cleaning solution and a bit of elbow grease, you can kiss those annoying spores goodbye!