A clean, properly functioning exhaust fan is the best way to keep your bathroom dry and mold-free. Unfortunately, not all homes have this feature, and if you live in a rental, or remodeling your bathroom to add an exhaust fan isn’t in your budget, you’ll have to find other ways to prevent your bathroom from staying perpetually damp and inviting for mold.
Most advice on how to keep bathroom moisture in check without an exhaust fan begins and ends with instructions to open a window in order to let the humid air out. And while that may work for some people, there are others with windowless bathrooms, windows that don’t open, or windows that do open, but don’t provide enough ventilation to make a difference.
Here are some of the most effective ways to reduce dampness in a bathroom without an exhaust fan or (useful) windows.
How to reduce dampness in a bathroom without an exhaust fan
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Mold and mildew grow in damp, humid locations, so your goal is to keep the surfaces and air in your bathroom as dry as possible. Here’s how to do that without an exhaust fan or useful window:
Wipe (or squeegee) the walls
After taking a shower or bath, if left alone, the water droplets on the walls will evaporate and make the bathroom more humid. Instead, get in the habit of wiping down the walls of the shower/tub stall and the rest of the bathroom with a dry towel—or better yet, a squeegee—to get rid of that moisture.
Run a dehumidifier
Invest in a small dehumidifier for your bathroom, and run it during and after bathing and showering—or even more often if your bathroom is constantly damp or humid.
Clean up puddles
In addition to the walls, take the time to sop up any puddles on the floor, on the counter, or around the sink.
Bring in a portable fan
Place a pedestal/floor fan or table fan in a spot where it won’t get wet, and position it so it’s blowing the humid air out through the bathroom door. Of course, this means you’d have to leave your bathroom door open at least a crack while you’re showering, but if that’s a possibility, this can make a difference.