Mold in Shower Drains: Causes, Clean, and Prevention

Bathrooms provide an ideal environment for the growth of molds due to their wet, humid, and sometimes dark conditions. These unwanted guests can thrive on walls, baths, showers, wood, rugs, grouts, and sinks. 

If you start to detect a musty odor in your bathroom, then it’s highly likely that mold has taken hold, and you should take steps to remove it.

To remove mold in shower drain, Make a paste by mixing ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of water and apply it on the shower drain for 5-10 minutes. After that, scrub and rinse it with hot water to flush away all the residue. Remember, Proper ventilation is also crucial to prevent mold since it thrives in damp conditions.

This guide provides valuable insights into the causes of mold, tips on how to get rid of it, and preventive measures to keep it from returning.

Why Is There Mold in My Shower Drain?

Mold is an omnipresent microorganism that thrives in humid environments with an organic surface to cling to and promote growth. 

Our bodies provide molds with natural oils and dead skin that serve as a breeding ground. As we take showers, molds are washed off and accumulate around the drain opening.

While shampoos can help to rid our skin of dirt and grime, they do not eliminate bacteria. If you detect a musty odor in your bathroom after a shower, the cause may be mold or other pathogens. 

It’s essential to seek the help of a professional remediation specialist to identify the mold species and eradicate it safely.

Remember, not all molds are harmful, but some can cause potential health hazards, so it’s better to err on the side of caution. 

What Are the Main Types of Mold?

Molds come in different colors, and each variety has unique characteristics. 

Black Mold

Black mold is common in shower drains because they love humid and stagnant water. Although it sounds ominous, most forms of black mold are not harmful. 

Red Mold

Conversely, red mold is less common and thrives around plugholes where shower water struggles to drain or clings to limescale. These molds are difficult to identify and may produce a pungent smell similar to yeast.

White Mold

White mold is feather-like and can drop onto your shower base from the ceiling. It grows on plaster and grout and can cause breathing issues and irritate sinuses. 

Green Mold

Green mold is more visible but is more commonly found outdoors. If left untreated, green mold can escalate and serve as a breeding ground for toxic black mold.

Pink Mold

Pink mold is often confused with Serratia Marcescens, a pathogen that poses severe health risks such as urinary and eye infections, respiratory issues, and meningitis. It’s crucial to eradicate pink mold or seek professional help immediately.

How to Get Rid of Mold from the Shower Drain

Mold infestations in any form should not be taken lightly, and it’s essential to address them immediately. 

If you spot black mold in your shower drain, it’s best to stop cleaning and seek professional assistance. 

However, if the affected area is less than 10 square feet and consists of any other type of mold, then it’s possible to tackle it yourself.

Below are some steps and techniques you can use to clean mold from your shower drain:

Toilet Plunger

A simple toilet plunger might be the best option when faced with a clogged shower drain because of mold. To begin, fill your shower stall or bathtub with enough water to cover the rubber bell of the plunger. 

Place the plunger’s bell over the drain opening and start plunging away. With the right amount of pressure, you should be able to dislodge the clog and allow the standing water to drain. 

However, if the shower is still draining slowly or not at all, try again with a little more elbow grease. 

A toilet plunger can be an effective tool for unclogging a mold from a shower drain and should always be the first step in a DIY plumbing solution.

Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide

Combining baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is an effective way to clean a shower drain. Here’s how:

  • Begin by mixing half a cup of baking soda with a cup of water until a paste is formed. Then, apply the mixture to the drain and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. This will allow the baking soda to penetrate and loosen any mold buildup.
  • After that, pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide down the drain and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful natural cleaner that can kill mold and mildew without causing harm to you or the environment.
  • Once the hydrogen peroxide has had time to work its magic, flush the drain with hot water for several minutes. Hot water will not only help to rinse away any remaining mold but also disinfect the area.

It’s worth noting that hydrogen peroxide is a versatile cleaning agent and can also be used to remove stubborn hair dye stains from shower stalls quickly.

Vinegar with Baking Soda

Looking for a natural and effective way to remove mold in your shower? Try using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white distilled vinegar. Please wait 15 minutes for the mixture to work magic and create a foam.
  • Next, run hot water down the drain for about two minutes and wait five minutes. Afterward, run cold water down the drain for a minute to rinse.

Baking soda and vinegar have potent anti-fungal properties that can help destroy any mold in your drain and clear any clogs in your pipes.

Aside from being an excellent mold remover, vinegar can also be used as a surface cleaner for shower doors. It’s effective in removing stains and doesn’t leave any residue behind.

Borax and Water

When it comes to battling mold and mildew, Borax is a trusty ally. Here’s how to use it:

  • Create a paste by combining half a cup of Borax with equal water.
  • Apply the mixture to the outer edge of the shower drain opening, and let it sit for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Work the solution into the mold-affected area using a scrubbing pad or brush until you see a noticeable difference. If needed, repeat the process.
  • Run hot water down the drain for at least two minutes to remove any remaining residue.

When using Borax, open windows for proper ventilation in your bathroom.

Baking Soda and Water

Here’s an effective way to eliminate mold in your shower using baking soda and water:

  • Create a thick paste by mixing half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of water.
  • Apply the paste to the edges of the drain opening and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Scrub the area with a brush to loosen any mold residue, paying extra attention to the mold-stained spots. Rinse and repeat if necessary.
  • Allow hot water to run down the drain for about two minutes.
  • If the mold persists, repeat the process until it’s eliminated.

Drain Snake

If you’re dealing with a stubborn clog of hair coated with soap scum, a drain snake (or toilet auger) can do the trick. 

Prices for this tool range from around $10 for a three-count package of plastic drain snakes to about $30 for a metal snake.

Using a drain snake is relatively simple: Remove the drain cover and insert the snake into the drain pipe. 

Continue pushing until you feel resistance, which indicates the presence of a clog. At this point, it’s important to keep rotating the snake until the clog is either caught for removal or broken up.

Once you no longer feel any resistance, slowly pull the snake out of the drain and dispose of the clog. 

Finally, run the shower entirely for a few minutes to ensure everything is clear. Afterward, clean the drain cover with hot water and an all-purpose cleaner before replacing it.

Professional Help

If all the other methods fail to clean the drain or you notice black-colored mold, it’s advisable to seek professional help.

 Black mold can be a severe health hazard, requiring special equipment and techniques to remove it safely. If you experience any mold-related symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Note: Remember that chemical drain cleaners, like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and bleach, can create toxic gases when mixed. Always read and follow the instructions on the label carefully and wear protective gear when handling these chemicals. Better yet, opt for natural cleaning methods to avoid any potential hazards.

How To Prevent Mold from Growing In Shower Drain?

There are some basic and cost-effective measures you can take to reduce or avoid mold growth altogether.


To ensure proper ventilation, open the window while taking a shower. If you have an extractor fan, ensure it runs for five minutes after the shower to remove any excess moisture.

Once done in the bathroom, open the door to allow air circulation. 

These simple practices can help prevent mold growth and reduce the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance, saving you time and money in the long run.


If you don’t have a system of ventilation in your bathroom, an alternative solution is to use a small dehumidifier. 

When you shower, steam creates condensation that accumulates on cold surfaces like ceramics. Consider running a portable and compact dehumidifier like the Hysure for a few hours daily to prevent mold growth. 

This will help keep the humidity levels in check, prevent moisture buildup, and ultimately inhibit mold growth.

Cleaning Schedule

Mold is a persistent enemy of the bathroom, always lurking and trying to take hold. To keep it at bay, try allocating two days a week to give your bathroom a deep clean. 

Equip yourself with spray disinfectant, soap, and bleach to make cleaning more efficient. Adopting a systematic approach to rinsing the shower will save you time and effort in the long run.

Remove Slip Mats

Although slip mats can reduce the risk of slipping in the shower, they can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria over time. 

If you use a slip mat, hang it outside in direct sunlight to dry daily, which can help prevent mold growth. 

Additionally, it’s essential to rinse the shower base regularly to keep it clean and free of bacteria.

Clean out the Plug

Removing the hair tangled in the shower drain is not a pleasant task, but it’s necessary to prevent mold growth and ensure the drain doesn’t get blocked. 

When hair, soap scum, and body oils accumulate in the drain, they create a fertile breeding ground for mold. If left unattended, the buildup will produce unpleasant smells and dangerous spores that can grow on the organic matter. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly remove the hair and any other materials that may be clogging the drain to maintain good bathroom hygiene.

Regular Spraying with Vinegar

An effortless way to prevent mold growth in your shower is to use vinegar as a cleaning agent. Spray vinegar on the shower glass, tiles, base, and taps, and let it soak for a few hours. 

Vinegar has the property of loosening the limescale, which is a common anchor point for mold to grow. After a few hours, rinse the surface with water to remove the vinegar and any loose limescale, leaving your shower mold-free and shiny.

FAQs Related To Mold In Shower Drain

What causes black mold in the shower drain?

A buildup of organic material such as soap scum, hair, and body oils often causes black mold in the shower drain. When these materials are left in the drain, they create a moist and warm environment perfect for mold growth.

Is drain mold toxic?

Mold in the drain can release mycotoxins, harming humans and pets if inhaled or ingested. While not all mold in drains is toxic, taking precautions is essential when dealing with mold. It’s best to wear gloves and a mask when cleaning mold in drains, and if the mold is severe or you have any health concerns, it’s recommended to seek professional help.

What kills mold in drains?

Several products can kill mold in drains, including hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and vinegar. These substances have antimicrobial properties that help eliminate mold and prevent it from growing back.

Hey there, I'm Abdul Moeed Shahid, the DIY aficionado and experienced writer. With a wealth of knowledge gained from years of honing my craft, I bring my expertise to the world of DIY and home improvement projects.

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