How can I remove and prevent biofilms?
There are three easy steps to dealing with biofilms:
- Improve ventilation
This will allow damp areas in kitchens and bathrooms to dry quickly. Open a window after showering or cooking, install an extractor fan or keep trickle vents open in double glazing. Using a dehumidifier can also help.
- Routinely clean all surfaces which can be affected
Taps: Black slime associated with tap fittings can be easily removed by cleaning inside the tap with a small brush (or old toothbrush) dipped in a mild bleach solution. You should run water to flush the tap before use.
Kitchen surfaces: These can be wiped down with a household cleaner or a mild bleach that will kill the bacteria and fungal spores.
Tile grouts, silicon sealers, shower curtains and rubber materials: In addition to a household cleaner, mould and mildew cleaner is also particularly effective. If growths are not removed on a regular basis they can cause permanent staining.
Limescale: Remove using a standard household cleaning product or a solution of bicarbonate of soda.
Washing machines: Running the washing machine at 60˚C or above regularly will kill the microbes. Leave the powder drawer and door open after use to allow it to dry out between loads.
Fridges: Clean, and change filter cartridges according to the manufacture’s guidelines.
Water filters and softeners: These can encourage biofilm growth. Make sure they are serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure fittings can be easily cleaned
For example, when purchasing taps try and avoid ones with plastic inserts as these are commonly associated with biofilms. If your taps do have plastic inserts or detachable fittings they should be regularly removed, cleaned and disinfected.