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Andy Lo

I have had some black/grey decolorization under the bottom caulking in the shower. Recalling ends up the same thing. I tried most remedy like tea tree oil, baking soda, bleach solution, none of them did anything. Two summer ago I tried using full strength of the chlorinated stuff (which is normally used to clean toilet), soaked in rolls of paper towel, left on caulking for a few hours, rinsed with water. The decolorization was gone but they came back again last summer. Has anybody had the same experience?

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@Andy Lo, I once had a similar issue with the caulk around a tub/shower (where the wall tile meets the edge of the tub). After cleaning out every last bit of caulking, I used a steamer (with the narrowest nozzle attachment) to the clean out the last smidgens of caulk and to kill the mold. Go slow so you get the mold really hot. Then I applied hydrogen peroxide to the area and let that dry. Then I used rubbing alcohol to clean it (this is more for adhesion of the caulk than for mold). Then — this is of huge importance — I let the thing dry for many days. If you have even a bit of moisture under there when you apply the new caulk, all your work is for nothing. Right before caulking I used a hair dryer set on high to super-dry the area to be caulked, and remove any hidden dust bits. Then I taped it off and caulked, and let it sit for a couple days to cure. Never had mold in that seam again!

Steam is a safe, eco-friendly way to kill mold and mildew.

BTW, someone posted, early in this thread, that when you apply bleach to mold the chlorine evaporates and leaves water behind. What actually happens is the chlorine is consumed by the organic matter. That’s why you need to add chlorine to a swimming pool regularly: it gets used up.

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Good list to save and tape to the inside of a cleaning closet.

Remember: Bleach is only helpful (and chemical/caustic) on NON-POROUS items such as porcelain or ceramic tile and glass or engineered stone. Chlorine evaporates rapidly (particularly in daylight/sunlight) so doesn't really help. Bleach is full of water which is absorbed in porous materials including GROUT. Mold is a plant and loves water. Any form of alcohol (including booze like vodka or gin) will work and remove mold stains, but it does not kill mold spores. Very hot steam is a low moisture extraction method and has no residue but one does have to be careful to make sure the area is bone dry (in a short amount of time) before fixing the area where the mold was whether it's carpet, drywall, wood, etc.

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