Wes Quick, director at ventilation firm Expella, shares his top tips for preventing mould and odours from taking over your bathroom.

Dampness in bathrooms is primarily caused by poor ventilation, creating a breeding ground for mould and funky odours, and making it unpleasant to use and downright embarrassing when you have guests over.

Mould is also unhealthy; the fungus, if left untreated, can produce harmful toxins and irritants. According to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), a family of four produces an average of seven or more kilograms of water vapour per day from showering and bathing. In the absence of sufficient ventilation, this saturated air creates the perfect conditions for mould growth.

However, there are several ways you can keep your bathrooms mould-free and smelling fresh all the time.

Keeping mould and odours at bay

  • Clean bathroom surfaces and fixtures (bath, toilet and vanity) at least once a week.
  • Make it a daily routine to use a squeegee in your shower and give the surface a quick onceover after showering. This will cut down your cleaning time and inhibit mould growth.
  • Remove hair from the shower drain or any gunk from the shower base before you step out after washing.
  • Keep the bathroom door open when the room is not in use to improve airflow.
  • Open windows after showering or bathing to let out the steam and moisture.
  • Install a ventilation system to remove moisture and odours from the bathroom and draw fresh air into the space. Run it before, during and after bathing or using the bathroom.

Additionally, avoid leaving damp towels in the bathroom – they can add to the odour. Introduce a few plants to your bathroom space to help absorb some of the moisture in the air. Moisture-loving plants, such as maidenhair ferns and peace lilies, do particularly well in bathrooms.

Should the shower curtain be left open or kept closed after use?

Leaving it closed (with the curtain extended) will allow it to dry out more thoroughly, reducing moisture in the bathroom.

Where does bathroom mould start?

Mould in the bathroom typically starts in corners such as wall and floor junctions. If wall surfaces are cold enough, mould can also form on the grout between the tiles.

How to check if the bathroom has been ventilated enough

Check the mirror – when there is little or no steam on the surface, your bathroom has been sufficiently ventilated.

How does a bathroom ventilation system help?

A bathroom ventilation system is the fastest and most effective way to remove moisture and odours from the bathroom and draw fresh air into the space, creating a healthier, fresher environment. While it won’t stop mould from developing, it will prevent it from becoming overgrown and potentially toxic.