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Keeping the Bathroom Fresh and Allergy Free

Bath with shower curtain
The bathroom can be a perfect breeding ground for mould, if you are not careful. Mould and mildew growth is obvious when it grows in bathrooms along tile grout in shower stalls, but it can also grow on shower curtains, bath mats, in sink cabinets and even on towels.

Here are some tips to help you keep your bathroom fresh and allergy free.

Mould and mould spores are in the environment year-round, indoors and out. Although more prevalent in warm, humid climates, moulds exist worldwide. Mould spores are the reproductive part of mould or fungus that cause allergic reactions.

Moulds feed off decomposing plant and animal matter and grow by producing filament-like clusters. Mould and fungi reproduce by giving off huge numbers of spores into the air, similar to plants releasing pollen.

When airborne mould spores settle on organic matter, new mould clusters are grown. When mould spores are inhaled, they may trigger an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of mould allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Chronic cough
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery and red eyes
  • Skin rashes and hives
  • Sinus headaches
  • Reduced lung capacity and difficulty breathing

Mould allergy symptoms may grow more severe with each successive allergen exposure, so it’s important to reduce your exposure to airborne allergens. This type of allergy can also lead to asthma, especially in children, causing permanent lung damage.

The bathroom can be a perfect breeding ground for mould, if you are not careful. Mould and mildew growth is obvious when it grows in bathrooms along tile grout in shower stalls, but it also grows on shower curtains, bath mats, in sink cabinets and even on towels.

Here are some tips to help you keep your bathroom fresh and allergy free…

  • Use paint with a mould inhibitor, or add a mould inhibitor to standard paint for use in bathrooms.
  • Keep the bathroom door open whenever the bathroom is not being used. This will prevent build up of moisture-laden air and will allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Shower curtains and cubicles are hotspots for mould and mildew so wipe them down after each use with a ¼ cup of bleach in a gallon of water. If your shower curtain starts to show signs of mould, replace it straight away.
  • Keep your bathroom free of piles of wet towels.
  • Avoid wall to wall carpeting in the bathroom. Cover your floors with linoleum or tiles and use area rugs instead. Wash rugs regularly in temperatures at least 130 degrees.
  • Exhaust fans help remove moisture from the bathroom as well as odours. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, open the window slightly.
  • Repair all water leaks promptly.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep the relative humidity below 40 percent to deter mould growth.
  • Never leave damp clothing or towels in the bathroom.
  • Keep your drains smelling fresh and keep the pipes in good working order by placing ½ cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with 1 cup of vinegar. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes and flush with hot water from the tap. Repeat monthly.
  • Disinfect the toilet regularly and keep the toilet seat down when the toilet is not in use.
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