Homemade Mold Prevention Spray and Other Tips To Clean Mold in the Shower

Learn how to make an effective homemade mold prevention spray and get DIY tips for cleaning mold and mildew in the shower, using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. 

Homemade mold prevention spray and other tips for cleaning mold in the shower.

The gleaming tile. The shiny new fixtures. The spotless shower. When you spend good money redecorating a bathroom, you can get a little obsessive about keeping it clean.

I know because I’ve been there.

We did a partial remodel in our bathroom by putting in new tile in the shower and new porcelain over the old bathtub. I’m bound and determined to make sure that mold and mildew don’t take residence in there!

person cleaning shower tile with a sponge

The Problem with Mold in the Shower

Not only is mold ugly and embarrassing, it can be a health hazard, causing asthma attacks, nasal congestion and headaches. Mold exposure can lead to long-term health issues too. 

Black mold is especially common in showers because it grows in damp, warm places. Black mold is a type of fungus and it produces mold spores that are released into the air. Molds can also produce microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs), which create that musty smell that we’ve all experienced – ewwww!

If you are allergic to black mold, you may experience immediate symptoms after exposure including sneezing, coughing, respiratory problems or worsening asthma symptoms. Even if you are not allergic to mold, you may experience some irritation from it. Bottom line, it’s best to deal with mold right away to prevent any health risk.

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How to Prevent Mold in the Shower

So how do you keep mold and mildew from growing in your shower?

The best way to start is prevention. Mold prevention in the bathroom can be tricky, but use the tips below to try to keep your shower from becoming a breeding ground for mold in the first place. 

Here are a few of my favorite natural mold prevention tips:

  • Make sure the shower area is well-ventilated – turn on the exhaust fan and open the windows and doors.
  • After each shower, use a squeegee to take excess water off of the shower tiles, shower door and walls.
  • Wipe down problem areas like corners and ledges with a microfiber cloth. Mold needs a wet environment to grow so keep things as dry as possible.
  • Shake out your shower curtain after each shower. Wash or replace shower curtain liner frequently (make sure it’s PVC free).
  • Use a dehumidifier if the bathroom has high humidity levels.
  • Make your own homemade shower cleaner spray using vinegar, castile soap and essential oils to prevent mold (see DIY shower mold prevention spray recipe below)
shower spraying water in shower with white tile

How to Clean Mold in the Shower

If mold does show up in the shower, attack it immediately using the natural mold cleaning tips I outline below, in order to prevent mold growth. 

  • Spray the affected area with straight white vinegar to kill mold spores.
  • Make this DIY mold cleaner: Mix up a paste of baking soda or borax (a naturally occurring mineral) with warm water and a few drops of antibacterial essential oils. Scrub the affected areas with an old toothbrush or scrub brush. (Use caution if you use borax – it can be harmful if ingested.)
  • To bleach mildew and mold stains, mix 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup water in a spray bottle. For best results, spray the stains with solution, scrub it in a bit and then leave to dry.
  • Dispose of any sponges or brushes used to clean mold, to avoid contaminating other parts of the house. 

Note: Once mold has taken hold in your shower, it may not be possible to scrub it away. Replacing mold stained caulk or tile grout may be your only option in some cases.

If you think you have a serious mold problem, I highly recommend this website: Mold Help For You. Natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils may not work when you have large areas of mold, or for someone who has a mold allergy in the home. The EPA recommends getting professional mold removal if the effected area is larger than 10 square feet or roughly a 3-foot by 3-foot square.

If you are not interested in the DIY mold cleaning solutions, these mold and mildew removers come highly recommended (and are a lot less toxic than using chlorine bleach): Remedy by CitriSafe Mold Treatment ConcentrateMold Solution Spray and Mold Solution Concentrate

RELATED: The Best Eco-Friendly Household Cleaners for All Types of Surfaces

Mold Cleaner FAQs

How does vinegar help with mold?

Undiluted white vinegar (the kind you probably already have in your home for both cooking and cleaning), has antifungal and antibacterial properties and is known to kill 82 percent of mold species.

What essential oils are helpful to prevent and clean mold?

Many essential oils have antifungal properties, which can help to kill off mold fungus spores. According to studies, the most effective essential oil against toxic mold is clove oil. Others include cinnamon oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and thyme oil. 

homemade mold prevention spray in glass bottle.

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Homemade Everyday Spray
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Mold Prevention Spray 

Use this mold prevention spray regularly to help prevent mold from taking hold in your shower. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings: 2.5 cups
Cost: $1 or less


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 big squirt approx 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) or eco-friendly dish soap
  • 20 drops of antifungal essential oil like tea tree oil cinnamon, clove or eucalyptus.


  • Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle.
  • Spray liberally over entire shower area.
  • Leave for 3 to 5 minutes, then wipe area dry.

Do you have any tips for dealing with mold and mildew in the shower?

green & healthy wishes Micaela signature
How to clean mold in the shower - infographic


  1. since switching to homemade cleaning products, i think my house hasn’t been cleaner! because I don’t mind cleaning. we love dr. bronner

  2. Great recipes, thank you for your advices !

    Caroline Motte
    Find Green Eco-Friendly Products Here

  3. My newest Do It Yourself Honey project is to replace our way too small for the bathroom ceiling fan with a larger one to keep the ick at bay.

  4. Yes, tea tree oil works great on mold! You can use it in the shower spray that I mention in the post.

  5. I wanted to post another tip for killing mold, tea tree oil! Kill even toxic mold. Don’t remember the amount so would need to google it but we are currently living with my in-laws while my hubby finishes school so we don’t have to rent and I help take care of my disabled MIL and we are helping them fix the house up a bit and they had a mold issue. This is a common problem in Oklahoma and this house was built poorly. We got rid of the mold with tea tree oil and lots of cleaning.

    1. Could not agree more. Tea tree oil rocks for cleaning. Even Trader Joe’s puts it in their natural cleaning products. Good stuff, that, and smells nice too!


  6. onedeepblue says:

    my mother always makes her cleaning spray with citric acid. You can get it in the canning section or I think she got hers from a natural foods co op. Just use it instead of the vinegar and then you can spray it on the shower walls after each bath and it keeps the soap scum from building up. Works great in the kitchen too.

  7. Great tip about the citric acid. I’ve used it for bath products (fizzy bath balls) but never in a cleaning product!

  8. Great post! I haven’t yet tried an all a homemade cleaning product on mold. I have just been nervous that it wouldn’t do the trick but I need to get over that and just try out some recipes. Yours will be first on my list! Do you have a good recipe for drain cleaner? I have tried the vinigar and baking soda thing numerous times but it has never worked.

  9. Tile Cleaning says:

    The information provided is immensely useful. Tile cleaning require good knowledge and thorough professionalism. Certain treatments like spraying mold with straight vinegar to kill spores are immensely useful. Thanks for providing an article which possess, magnificent information in such a coherent manner.

  10. Alok Singh says:

    I need to deep clean my tile floors and was hoping anyone had any suggestions on something that isn’t too harsh but will clean it very well.

  11. Joey "Mold And Mildew Removal" Carlson says:

    Nice post, This is very helpful, A Nice way of preventing and removing molds in your bathroom.

  12. mold inspections five boros says:

    Vinegar is a lovely home remedy and it works like magic when sprayed on the necessary area.Thanks for the helpful tips here…really helps the cleaning process.

  13. Carpet Cleaners Brisbane says:

    My mother uses vinegar while cleaning It give a great results thanks now i use your tips of easy cleaning. Thanks for your blog…

  14. Aside from the usual vinegar, there are other homemade products that can be used to remove molds and mildew in tiles like tea tree oil, baking soda, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice. Each of these can be applied alone or in a combination with any other product in the bunch, through a sprayer or a sponge for wiping the molds away.

  15. Very informative! Thank you so much for sharing it. I really, really appreciated it.

  16. I mix a tbsp of dawn, a little baking soda, some vinegar and water to a spray bottle and that’s what I clean my bathroom with. If I have extra bad area I use extra dawn. I do love magic erasers tho. How do I part with them? I am careful to keep them locked away from my baby girl.

  17. Cheri Harp says:

    I found that my floor was getting a build up although i did not wax buy once or twice a year. i used rubbing alcohol with a straight edge razor and it came right up. Floor looks great. So used on windows and grim around stove on floor, it was so nice. Cheap cheap. i just use it on a dry cloth and wipe..

  18. Okay. Used your shower cleaning recipe (with tea tree oil) just now. The EASIEST bath-tub cleaning EVER! There was just a bit of film left, so I chased it with a regular Dr Bronner soap cleaning, which left my tub absolutely sparkling. I didn’t know cleaning could be so much fun.

    1. So glad it worked for you! Cleaning is fun? LOL!!

  19. I tried baking soda on the chrome bumpers, mirrors and running boards on my pick em up truck. It does the same thing to chrome fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen. as a matter of fact I recently did a face lift in my bathroom. The shower fixtures were so old I couldn’t find one to replace it. I had no choice but to keep the old one. I rubbed some baking soda on the old one and it looks as good as the day it was new. Love vinegar AND baking soda.

  20. Great tips! I’ll be using the peroxide and water recipe for mold tonite. I’ll add some tea tree because these mold stains are indeed stubborn. Nothing seems to clean them. Got my fingers crossed. Will let you know how it worked out.

  21. So many people underestimate the power of vinegar. All I can figure is that people think it’s too easy to believe. That’s unfortunate because it works so well and in so many ways.

  22. I’m trying to stay away from toxic chemicals & love your natural cleaning recipes & tips! Thanks

  23. Once you spray liberally, do you just leave it or do you rinse it, or wipe it off? We are moving into a new house and I want to do this in all the bathrooms before we use them.

    1. I recommend leaving the spray for a few minutes and then wiping the area dry. Mold grows in wet places, so keeping things dry is the best solution!

  24. Anna McCaslin says:

    After your mold cleaning spray has been applied, how long do I let it set before scrubbing or wiping? How many applications are needed to resolve problem areas? Once cleaned, how often do I use for maintenance and keep mild from returning?

    1. The mold prevention spray should be left on for 3 to 5 minutes – then wipe the area dry. This can be used as often as you need – every day or after every shower. If you already have a mold problem, scrub with borax as mentioned in the post. Hope that helps!

  25. I use alcohol in a spray bottle as an after shower treatment. We replaced molded caulking a few years ago and haven’t had it come back.

  26. I recently had a local tile cleaner deep clean my shower and bathroom floors and they commented that I could switch over to natural cleaners since all the storebought ones I use leave residue buildup. So, I’m excited to try this cleaner out and see how it compares. Could I use lavender essential oil in the recipe?

    1. Yes, you can definitely add some lavender essential oil.

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