Chances are you don’t stare into your toilet bowl very often to inspect it. In fact, most people don’t even give it a second thought after doing their business. But, did you know that your toilet is an ideal habitat for mold growth? Sure, what you put into the toilet every day is decidedly grosser than some mold, but left unchecked, mold can cause health problems for you and your family. Not to mention, ugly mold in the toilet bowl will make guests shudder. Here’s why mold grows in your toilet and how you can get rid of it in a few easy steps:

Why Does Mold Grow In My Toilet?

It is pretty common knowledge that mold thrives and grows in environments were there is plenty of moisture and darkness. While you probably think of an attic or basement as a great place for mold (it is, be sure to inspect yours) a toilet also fits the bill. There is a near constant supply of water in the toilet, both in the bowl and in the tank, as well as darkness in a bathroom with the lights usually turned off.

Although mold could likely grow with no other assistance, the hidden residues left on your toilet are like a buffet for microscopic mold spores. Bacteria left behind by going to the bathroom and mineral deposits from hard water provide an ideal way for mold to latch on and thrive right there in your toilet. Some studies have even shown that mold can grow more easily in the toilet of a diabetic since there is more sugar residue in their urine.

Does Mold In My Toilet Really Matter?

Other than the obvious fact that rings or patches of dark, ugly mold in your toilet are unappealing to look at, there are more serious consequences to letting mold run free in your toilet. For example, any mold growth in a home allows the colony to release microscopic spores into the air. These are breathed in by you and your family and can cause health problems. Respiratory problems, sneezing, itchy eyes, and a sore throat are just a few of the potential side effects of having mold in your home. If left unchecked, these problems can develop and get worse.

How Do I Clean Mold In My Toilet?

Although mold has an easy time growing in the toilet, you can easily get rid of it as well. The smooth surface of a toilet makes it easy to simply scrub the visible mold off. Still, if you miss even a few spores, the colony can quickly regrow. In addition to scrubbing, use a cup of oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach because it can kill the bacteria needed in septic tanks) in the tank and in the bowl. Allow the bleach to sit for an hour then scrub away the mold and flush it away.

How To Prevent Mold In The Toilet?

Ideally, you should clean your toilet every couple of weeks to ensure that mold doesn’t have the chance to build up. In addition to cleaning away the mold, ensure that your bathroom has good airflow. Use a vacuum fan, crack a window, and consider using a dehumidifier to reduce the overall moisture level in your home’s air. This will make it harder for mold to grow in your toilet in the first place.