How to Clean Mold From Your Bathroom Ceilings Like a Pro

No, the black plague isn't descending from your bathroom ceiling — that's just mold. With the right procedure, you can kick that ceiling mold to the curb.

Updated February 5, 2024
Man getting rid of mold in his house

You know the (reasonably) outrageous reaction that teenager has in Arachnophobia when the spider jumps on her in the shower? Yeah, we have the same exact reaction when we notice mold on the bathroom ceilings.  Mold is one of those insidious things that you don't always notice right away but have a devil of a time getting rid of when you do. Keep yourself from having to replace the drywall or sheetrock by nipping bathroom ceiling mold in the bud. 

How to Clean Mold From Your Bathroom Ceiling

If the mold on your bathroom ceiling covers 10 square feet or less, it's okay for you to tackle it on your own. Think of it like the trashcan rule when it comes to fire extinguishers. If the fire is bigger than a trashcan, don't even try to use the extinguisher on it. So, if the mold on your ceiling exceeds 10 square feet, it's time to call in the pros. 

Before you're ready to tackle ceiling mold on your own, there are some things you need to know first. 

Safety Items You Need 

Removing mold is serious business, and you need to grab some safety supplies. You don't want to be more exposed to those mold spores than you have to. So, grab a face mask, gloves, and goggles to be on the safe side. 

Individual protection against toxic mold

Ventilate Before Cleaning the Mold 

It's also important not to spread mold spores as they can cause long-term health problems. So, make sure you check off a few things before starting your demolding process. 

  • Close off vents, so spores can't spread to other parts of your house
  • Open a window
  • Put a dust barrier over the bathroom door

5 Steps to Clean Mold From Your Bathroom Ceiling

Cleaning the mold from your bathroom ceiling only requires some mild detergent and bleach. If you do everything right, then you shouldn't have a lingering mold problem. 

Removing mold from the living accommodation with cleaning substance
  1. Wash the area with a cleaning solution of mild detergent and warm water.
  2. Let the affected area dry.
  3. Mix ¼ cup of bleach with one quart of water in a spray bottle and spritz the molded area.
  4. Wait for 20 minutes and apply a second time.
  5. Let the area dry for 20 minutes. 

Related: 4 Ways to Detect Mold Inside Your Walls & How to Test for It

Post-Mold Clean-Up Tips 

It's important to realize that even if your ceiling looks clean after you clean the mold, that doesn't mean that lingering mold spores won't survive. You will need to treat the ceiling after you've cleaned it and take preventative steps to fix any problems that might've caused the bathroom mold in the first place. 

Treat the Ceiling

After you clean the ceiling, treat it to kill any remaining spores and reduce the likelihood that the mold's going to strike again. Mix a solution of borate-based detergent (such as Borax) and apply it. Don't wipe this solution off! Leave it to work its magic so you can be fully mold-free.

Need to Know

Not only will Borax kill your mold, but it'll also remove any stains left behind from it. Borates aren't just great at controlling bacteria and fungi, but they also have strong stain-removing properties. 

Set Up Preventative Measures 

Removing the mold from your ceiling and treating the area doesn't guarantee that you'll never have a mold problem again. Mold spores grow on almost any kind of moist surface. Once you clean the mold from your bathroom ceiling, it's important to remove the moisture problem to make sure it doesn't come back. To do this, you may need to make some changes. 

  • Fix water leaks. If pipes run through your ceiling, be sure to check for and repair any plumbing leaks. Pipes may need to be wrapped to prevent condensation.
  • Increase the ventilation. Open doors and windows to increase airflow. Install an exhaust fan if you don't have a window in your bathroom, and keep the bathroom fan clean.
  • Clean your bathroom regularly. The more often you clean your bathroom, the better chance you have of killing mold spores before they have an opportunity to spread.

5 Warning Signs That You Might Have a Mold Problem

If your bathroom has a musty smell and little black or white specks dot your ceiling or walls, there's a chance that mold may also be growing behind them. Some molds release toxins, and hidden mold can lead to health problems, even in healthy people. Make sure you're familiar with these mold exposure symptoms so you can notice them from the jump. 

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Lung irritation
  • Eye irritation

If you suspect mold might be causing your symptoms, talk with your doctor and call in a professional to investigate. 

Kick Mold to the Curb for Good 

If there's one place that has the potential to be a hotbed for mold, it's your bathroom. All that moisture locked into a tiny space makes it a mold colony's paradise. Kick that bathroom mold to the curb for good by cleaning it as soon as you discover it and setting up solid preventative measures once you've finished.

How to Clean Mold From Your Bathroom Ceilings Like a Pro