Mold comes in various appearances, including orange. Wet orange mold is something many people often mistake for rust. The mold often consists of several types of fungi that grow together. Their presence is not only unpleasant for the eyes but also potentially damaging.
Here are important facts about orange mold and how to deal with it.
A. What Orange Mold Looks Like
When you are showering in a particularly old bathroom, you may see an orange stain on its corners. The stain may be orange slime mold, drawn to the bathroom because of its warm and moist condition. When left alone, the slime mold may develop into hard lumps. These lumps look slimy when wet but turn fuzzy when left to dry.
Mold often appears as orange streaks in the toilet or sink bowls. It grows if the sink or toilet is never cleaned properly. People tend to ignore the first signs of mold because they think it is just a stain or rust. When left, these “stains” can develop into a hard, slimy layer that will not come off.
Orange mold on wood is also common. This type of mold often appears as a fuzzy orange lump. When the mold grows into a big lump, people often mistake it with the animal’s fecal matter. These lumps have a dark filamented look when broken. Orange mold grows on not only solid wood, but also organic matters like leaves, cheese, bread, and paper.
B. Why Orange Mold Can Appear
Orange mold loves moisture, warmth, high oxygen level, and high acidity in water. It also grows in areas where fungi feeds are abundant, such as organic matters. There are several reasons why orange mold can appear in your house, such as:
1. Poor ventilation
Air circulation is important to keep mold growth at bay, especially in moist places like bathroom and shower. Mold loves growing on tight or stuffy places with poor ventilation.
2. Moisture damage
Wet bathroom and shower are not the only places mold love to grow. Plumbing damage or leaks from the ceiling, under the sink, and inside the walls can encourage mold growth.
3. Improper food storage way
Many people don’t use the proper way to store foods. For example, they put wet fruit or warm fruit immediately into the fridge. They may also keep bread in the dark, warm place. These are ideal places for mold to grow.
Large-scale disaster, like flood or hurricane damage, can cause uncontrollable mold growth. It can even grow under the floor or behind the ceiling.
C. Health and Safety Risks of Orange Mold
Be careful when the orange mold starts to grow uncontrollably in your house! Although orange mold is more benign than black mold or green mold, it still poses various risks. They are:
1. Respiratory problems
Orange mold produces spores that fly and can enter your respiratory systems. You may cough or sneeze as a result. If you have asthma or lung problems, these spores will wreak havoc.
2. Skin problems
People with sensitive skin, including babies and kids, can develop skin problems when staying in a mold-infested building. Rash, redness, and itchiness may be the symptoms of mold presence.
3. Allergic reactions
People who have allergies may develop symptoms when encountering flying spores. Symptoms may vary, such as sneezing, runny nose, and fever.
4. Damaged property value
Orange mold in shower, kitchen, bathroom, or ceiling will reduce your property value. Large infestation not only requires cleaning but also replacing the damaged parts.
5. Risk of falling
Slimy orange mold, especially on the tile floor, can increase slipping and falling risks.
Aside from these risks, there are also obvious problems, such as spoiled foods and damaged household goods. Heavy mold infestation can also cause a bad, musty smell.
D. How to Remove Orange Mold from Moist Places
Orange mold in bathroom, shower, and kitchen have slimy texture due to their moist habitats. There are several steps to remove it, which are:
1. Using bathroom cleaner product
If the mold problem is mild, try using a regular bathroom cleaning product that contains bleach. Scrub the moldy area and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it.
2. Using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide
If bathroom cleaner does not remove the mold, try vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. The mixture neutralizes the acidity that mold loves. Mix vinegar and water in 50:50 solution. Add a cap of hydrogen peroxide. Scrub the moldy area and leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing.
3. Removing affected parts
Bathroom, shower, or kitchen usually only have a mold problem on the surfaces. This is because these rooms often have hard layer materials, such as ceramic tiles and marbles. However, if a particular piece is infested severely (such as several tiles or old sink), it is better to remove it completely.
Don’t forget to discard everything you use to clean the mold, such as the brush, gloves, and mask. This is to prevent spores from flying back and grow on the same spot.
E. How to Remove Orange Mold from Dry Spots
What if the mold grows on dry spots? If you spot orange mold on wood, wall, or upholstery, here are the steps to remove it:
1. Remove infested part
A mold-infested object brings more troubles than its worth, so you should discard the one that already has a prominent mold. It especially applies to wood and other organic materials, since spores might find their ways into small pores.
2. Apply vinegar solution
Create a vinegar solution with 50:50 water-vinegar proportion. Use a clean towel to wipe the moldy surface. Let it sits for 30 minutes before wiping the vinegar-covered surface with mild cleaning solution (and new towel). Avoid cleaning product that contains bleach.
3. Dry the cleaned objects
Expose any object you clean to sunlight until dry. Open all windows and let natural light coming. You can also dry furniture by placing it outside.
For orange mold on foods, such as in the fridge, make sure to remove all the moldy foods and other products that touch them. Clean the entire fridge or pantry with a proper cleaning product.
The orange mold may not be as dangerous as black mold, but it still carries risks. It reduces property value, increases safety risk in a wet place like a bathroom, and causes a bad smell. Its spores can also induce allergic reactions and other symptoms. Cleaning the mold properly is the only way to remove it.
Can a moldy orange make you sick?
Yes, a moldy orange can make you sick. Mold can produce harmful substances called mycotoxins, which can cause illness if they are ingested or come into contact with skin. Eating a small amount of moldy food may not cause any harm, but it’s best to avoid eating moldy food whenever possible.
Why is there orange mold in my shower?
Orange mold in your shower may be caused by a combination of excess moisture and organic matter, such as soap scum, shampoo, or body oil. Mold grows in moist or damp environments, so it’s important to keep your shower as dry as possible, especially after use. Ventilation, such as using an exhaust fan, can help to reduce moisture levels.
How do you get rid of orange shower mold?
To get rid of orange shower mold, you can use a mold-killing cleaner. Mix a solution of water and bleach, or white vinegar and water, in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Scrub the area with a scrub brush or sponge, then rinse thoroughly with water.
Is orange mold harmful?
Yes, orange mold can be harmful. Mold can produce harmful substances called mycotoxins, which can cause illness if they are ingested or come into contact with skin. Exposure to mold can cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, coughing, headaches, and skin irritation, especially in people with weakened immune systems or respiratory conditions.