Toilet tank mold can be a real problem. While a negligible amount of mold spores are likely floating around the air in every home, the mold that can grow inside your toilet tank or bowl is particularly bad. The wet and dark environment is the perfect place for more aggressive and dangerous forms of mold to cultivate.
There are a couple of different types of black mold. Some varieties only exist on porous surfaces, so they will not be found on the smooth surfaces of a porcelain toilet.
One variety of black mold is very common in households. It is the mold you see in the edges of your tub or in your toilet. Bleach will temporarily rid your toilet of this black mold. The trouble is, it keeps coming back. That is because the spores that help to create this type of mold live everywhere and can reproduce easily in a dark, damp, closed toilet system.
Typically, this mold is not dangerous if kept under control. However, it is not good if you or a family member experiences mold allergies, as there are additional mold spores that are created by this substance.
Orange or pinkish slimy mold can develop around the toilet bowl at the spot where the top of the water sits in the bowl. Like black mold, orange mold is naturally occurring in the world beyond your toilet. The bacteria that is in the water collects on the water surface and deposits appear on the porcelain.
This mold is not harmful unless you're particularly susceptible due to a specific medical condition, like an allergy.
Cleaning Mold from the Toilet Bowl
1. Specialized Chemical Products
Store-bought chemicals can aid in killing toilet tank mold, but many of these advertised products that specifically target mold are both expensive and harmful.
If you do opt to purchase and use any of those options, follow all safety instructions included with your product. This include,s but is not limited to, donning rubber safety gloves for chemical handling and wearing a mask or ventilator to avoid harmful fumes.
Do not mix any chemical cleaners in your tank.
2. Old-fashioned Bleach
An alternative to the expensive products that are sold in the stores is to use bleach. Whereas chemical cleaners will eventually stop working since mold strains can build up a resistance, bleach will almost always kill toilet mold.
Get a spray bottle and fill it 1/10 of the way with bleach. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. A 1:10 ratio of bleach to water is extremely efficient in ridding your toilet of mold. This way you are not creating a super mold that will build up a tolerance. In the future, you can use a bit more bleach in your mixture if you find the mold has reappeared, and you can still be successful in eliminating it.
Add your bleach mix to the bowl, stir it around, and let it rest inside the bowl with the lid closed for approximately one hour.
Alternatively, you can just flush the toilet to bring in a fresh water supply and immediately get to scrubbing the inside edges and areas affected by the mold with a toilet brush and your bleach mix.
Next, add a cup of undiluted bleach to the tank and flush it. To maintain the toilet and prevent future mold, add a cup of bleach to the tank once every few weeks.
3. Vinegar and Baking Soda
The procedure for cleaning toilet mold with vinegar is similar to the bleach method, but since vinegar is not as harsh as bleach, it does not need to be mixed with any water.
Begin by adding 1 cup of a vinegar to the toilet bowl and 1 cup into the tank. Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl and make sure to apply some to the underside of the rim. When the mixture begins to fizz, close the lid and let these sit for an hour.
Then, just like with the bleach, use a toilet brush to scrub the inside. Wait 15 minutes after scrubbing, and then flush the toilet. Similarly, a cup of vinegar can be added to the tank every week or so as a preventative measure.