5 Unexpected Places Where Mold Can Grow
Updated: Apr 27
Mold is everywhere. It can grow in any place it finds a warm, wet environment. And it’s not just outdoors in piles of rotting leaves or in your fridge giving those old leftovers a fuzzy, green coat. It could be in the air you breathe or the water you drink. And if you breathe it or swallow it, mold might make you sick.
If you think that your home is mold-free, here are a few unusual places to check that might not have crossed your mind.
Five Unexpected Places Where Mold Can Grow
1: Mold in Your Water Bottle
You know that reusable water bottle that you take everywhere with you? It could have mold inside. Depending on the type of bottle you use and how often you clean it, mold could be infesting your daily drinking water. Besides being warm and wet, water bottles also get a lot of backwash, which can feed microorganisms like mold, fungi, and bacteria.
If you haven’t seen that TikTok video about moldy water bottles, well frankly, it’s gross! But it’s also a good reminder to wash your water bottle every day. Give it a thorough scrub with a bottle brush and hot, soapy water. If you want to sterilize it, fill it with boiling water after you wash it. And if your water bottle is plastic and can’t stand up to boiling water, it’s time for an upgrade.
2: Mold in Your Bath Products
Bathrooms are notoriously moldy, and one of the places that mold likes to hide is underneath the lids of the products you keep in the shower. That tube of mud mask that you hardly ever use could have some not-so-beneficial microbes lurking inside. Mold can even grow inside plastic bath toys.
Don’t let your shower products sit around with stagnant water inside. Try to keep them out of the spray and up on a shelf or rack instead of on the edge of the tub. And if you can’t remember the last time you used one of your bath products, it’s probably best to throw it away.
3: Mold in Your Toothbrush Holder
According to the National Science Foundation, toothbrush holders are the third most germ-infested item in your house. Not only are they full of bacteria, they can harbor mold as well. When toothbrushes drip inside them, they leave behind water mixed with bits of food and toothpaste, creating a perfect mixture for mold growth.
To clean a toothbrush holder, take it apart and wash it well with hot soapy water. If you want to sterilize it, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol or use the “sterilize” setting on your dishwasher. And don’t forget about electric toothbrush holders—they can get nasty, too.
4: Mold in Your Shoes
Believe it or not, mold in shoes is actually pretty common. When shoes get wet, it’s not always easy to get them fully dry again. Whether it’s sweat from a long day on your feet or an intense workout, jogging through puddles, or dashing through the rain or snow, if your shoes get wet, don’t throw them in the closet.
You can dry wet shoes with a hair dryer, and toss some silica gel packets into their toes to soak up excess moisture and keep them dry. Never leave balled-up dirty socks in your shoes! If you can, store them on a metal rack, because mold can also grow on wood or fabric shoe sorters.
5: Mold in Your Houseplants
Be careful not to overwater your houseplants—soggy soil is like premium real estate for mold. And if your plants are growing mold, it probably means that there’s mold in other parts of your house, too. Besides making your favorite houseplants sick, mold can be dangerous for your health, too.
On the flip side, some plants can actually help fight household mold. Spider plants, English ivy, and Boston ferns can all help improve your indoor air quality by removing mold spores from the air. They’re especially helpful in spaces like bathrooms that get a lot of humidity.
Get Rid of Hidden Mold in Your Coeur d’ Alene Home
If you ever find mold in a strange place, like your water bottle or your running shoes, there could be mold growing in other secret places as well. It often grows behind walls, in attic insulation, or in dusty HVAC ducts where you can’t see it.
Unfortunately, symptoms like itchy eyes, cough and congestion, or skin rashes are often the first signs of a mold infestation. Don’t let mold make you sick! If you find mold in unexpected places, schedule a free mold inspection with My Pure Environment—we’ll track down any hidden mold and advise you on the best way to get rid of it. Call us at 509-213-1915 today to set up an onsite inspection.
Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 12/05/2022.