Some species of mushrooms are incredibly resilient and can grow in the weirdest places. Mushrooms prefer certain conditions but are easily killed and removed. Today, I will explain why mushrooms are growing near the base of a toilet and how to stop it from happening.
Overall, kill the mushrooms by cutting them near the base and applying bleach. A mushroom will soak up the bleach which will kill it. Apply bleach once a week or so to the area where they’re growing. This will kill them before they can get big enough to begin producing caps.
Mushroom seeds known as spores are not visible to the naked eye and are suspended in the air. In a normal bathroom, there is no way to stop the mushroom spores from landing and starting to take root.
Below, I will explain the conditions that mushrooms like to grow in, and more details about how to stop them from taking root and beginning to produce stems and caps around the base of your toilet.
How To Remove Mushrooms Growing at the Base of Your Toilet
Mushrooms can grow in the darndest of places, such as along the cracks of a window sill, on a mop, in the corners and along the edges of a room, and at the base of a toilet. When you do find mushrooms growing it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your bathroom.
Mushrooms are very hardy, and can begin sprouting in any bathroom provided the conditions are right for their growth (source). Therefore, it’s best to take preventative measures if your bathroom seems to be just right for mushrooms. Here’s how to remove and kill mushrooms, and stop them from growing back.
1. Attempt to pull them out at the base or cut them off
Mushrooms can be quite weakly attached where they’re growing. But, if you cut mushrooms off at the base they can grow back.
If you pull them out roots and all, they typically won’t grow back unless new spores land and take root. After a mushroom dies, the roots will decompose and it will eventually die.
Some mushrooms can be toxic so when doing so it’s best to use gloves and a face mask. Attempt to pull out each mushroom gently from the base to remove it and its roots at the same time. If this is not possible the stem will snap off. This is perfectly fine.
You can also snip them off at the base using a pair of scissors. After that, you should apply a harsh liquid, explained in the next step.
2. Apply a harsh liquid such as bleach, vinegar, or baking soda paste
Mushrooms are quite sensitive to their environment. Therefore, if you apply a liquid that is harsh such as bleach, ammonia, vinegar, or a baking soda paste it will kill them. The simplest method is to put a bit of vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the area.
You ideally want to get the vinegar where its roots are. But, this is not always possible because the opening where mushrooms are growing can be very narrow. And very little of the harsh liquid will get in.
The base of the mushroom and hopefully the roots will soak it up, and it will burn them causing them to die. It will also make the area where their roots are inhospitable to mushrooms. Therefore, spores won’t take root and begin to grow mushrooms again.
Preventative measures to stop mushrooms from coming back
Virtually all species of mushrooms prevent dark and humid areas. Therefore, if you don’t already do so, aim to get more airflow into your bathroom. Especially, after a person has used it to take a shower.
This will make your bathroom drier and less hospitable to mushrooms. Apply some bleach or other harsh liquid to the area where mushrooms tend to grow. This will kill any spores before they can get established.
It’s generally impossible to stop mushroom spores from settling in your bathroom. Therefore, there aren’t any preventative steps you can take to stop them from landing in your bathroom.
Why Mushrooms Grow in a Bathroom
It’s more common for mushrooms to grow on the lawn, in the garden, and outdoors. Mushrooms growing in your home are never good unless you’re growing them on purpose. So, here’s why mushrooms grow in your bathroom so you can prevent it.
In general, mushrooms will always grow where conditions are favorable. They can grow virtually anywhere, and it’s simply luck that they grow in a bathroom. Mushrooms prefer dark, damp areas. But, the seeds known as spores are microscopic and airborne and can land anywhere.
If they land where the environment is good for them to grow they will begin to grow. Mold can also be an issue in a toilet. It’s common for black mold to grow under the rim and inside the water tank of a toilet. I’ve explained how to get rid of it in this article about black mold in a toilet bowl and water tank.
Can Mushrooms Growing in Your Bathroom Be Toxic
Certain varieties of mushrooms are known to be toxic if consumed or touched. But, there are so many varieties so it’s hard to know which ones are or aren’t toxic. So, here’s a summary of whether mushrooms that grow in your bathroom can be toxic.
As a general rule, they can be toxic. There are around 11,000 named species of mushrooms. Estimates are that 3% of mushroom species are toxic. The spores that mushrooms can release can also irritate some people, especially if they have a respiratory condition such as asthma.
Therefore, it’s best to remove mushrooms in your home once you notice them. And to use gloves and a face mask when handling them. As you handle them the spores can get stirred up more and you can breathe them in. Also, wash your hand thoroughly after you remove mushrooms from your home.
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.