Did you know that simply cooking your breakfast, lunch or dinner in your kitchen can cause mould in your home?
Cooking in your kitchen can eventually lead to mould problems in your kitchen and surrounding rooms if the right circumstances are met.
In this article we’ll take a look at why cooking causes mould in your home, and how to misimise the risk of your cooking activities causing mould in and around your home.
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Table of Contents
Why Cooking Causes Mould
Cooking causes mould because the process of cooking involves heating up water which then forms into a water vapour (steam). When the water vapour rises into the air, it eventually hits a cool surface and turns back into water (moisture). Moisture is an ideal condition for mould to grow and thrive.
That is the top and bottom of it, but let’s dig deeper.
When you are cooking, you are heating up food to make it edible and to kill off any bacteria that naturally lurks in your food.
Take heating up a pan of garden peas as an example.
In that pan, you will have water. The water reaches a boiling point (in order to heat the peas), until the molecules vibrate and eventually evaporate and escape as water vapour (or steam).
When that steam cools back down (because it has now left the heat source of the pan), it then turn back into water, and it usually does this when it hits colder surfaces – like walls, windows and ceilings.
This moisture will remain there until it dries through warmth or ventilation, but if either of those are missing, the moisture stays present for longer giving mould that floats naturally through the air, a great home to grow and thrive.
Eventually, after a period of time, you notice black mould growing in your home.
Repeated instances of this over a period of time will undoubtedly result in mould growth, especially on glass, ceilings and in the corners of walls, and is a leading reason to why cooking causes mould.
Whilst this does occur in summer months, we are more likely to have doors and windows open, but it’s more likely to happen in winter and colder months where in the UK, we tend to have all external doors and windows shut to keep out the elements.
Steamy Winter Cooking
Have you ever noticed, in winter especially, that windows and glass in doors gets all steamed up when cooking?
This happens mainly because you don’t have adequate ventilation, and is more common in the winter months in the UK because of outside weather conditions.
However, the steam on the glass and windows is condensation which will eventually turn to running droplets of water going down the glass.
This water seepes into window ledges, paintwork and generally causes moisture towards the bottom of doors and windows, and repeated buildup will lead to the formation of mould.
Simple Tips To Avoid Mould In The Kitchen
Here are some simple tips to reduce the chances of creating conditions where mould can grow and thrive in your kitchen:
- Always use above hob extractor units in your kitchen , no matter what you are cooking or how long you will be cooking.
- Always make use of lids for pans and saucepans wherever possible..
- Open kitchen windows and doors, even in winter, even if its just a couple of centimetres.
If you follow these three tips, then you will reduce the chance of cooking causing mould formation in your kitchen and in adjoining rooms.
Let’s go through each tip, and we will explain why each of these methods help.
Extractor units are usually found directly above the hob.
They are there for an important reason.
They extract excess steam and water vapour from near your cooking surfaces, and vent them to the outside of your home.
If an extractor fan is not turned on during cooking, and left on for a few minutes after cooking, the steam (water vapour) that is produced from most cooking processes rises and hits walls, windows and ceilings, where it then turns back into water.
Water and moisture is a condition where mould can potentially form and then grow.
When you use a lid on a pan, what is the first thing you usually do when removing that lid?
You hover the lid either over the pan, or over the sink, because the underside of the lid is full of water.
When you don’t use a lid, and don’t use an extractor fan, where do you think that water goes?
Yes, directly onto walls, windows or ceilings, again creating the perfect circumstances for mould to start growing.
When cooking, always use lids on your pans if you can, to prevent moisture finding its way onto your wall, windows and ceilings.
Open Doors & Windows
Even if you use an extractor fan and lids on your saucepans, do also ensure you have adequate ventilation.
Keep a kitchen window open if possible, even if it’s just a few centimetres.
Keep patio doors open a touch, even in winter, and try and create and promote a healthy airflow through your home.
After Cooking Checklist
If you do have steamed up windows and glass after cooking, then the easiest thing to do is to wipe down and dry them with a cloth or towel – don’t just leave the steam and condensation to go away on its own.
Prolonged surface exposure to water and moisture will eventually lead to mould growth.
Simply rub them down taking careful care around the bottom of the window, ensuring that area is completely dry and free from steam build up and condensation.
Mould & Your Health
Moulds can produce allergens and other toxins that can cause health problems.
According to the NHS advice on mould, mould can affect small babies, older people, and people who have compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.
It’s in your best interest to stop mould growing in the first place, and if you do notice black mould, to get on top of it and get rid of it in a timely manner.
We hope you found our article detailing why cooking causes mould in your home, and you now have sufficient knowledge to go and reduce the chances of mould occurring by following the simple tips we have given you.
In closing then, here is a summary of our article on why cooking causes mould in UK homes.
Cooking causes mould in homes because part of the cooking process heats water. When water is heated, it turns into what we call steam. The steam rises from the pan into the air. When it hits a cold surface, like a wall or window, the steam then turns into moisture that sits on the wall or glass.
If adequate ventilation is not present, and methods like using extractor fans and using lids on pans are not used, the water and moisture sits on these surfaces, providing ideal conditions where mould can form, grow and thrive.
Related Links & Sources
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Here are some other sources of information from other websites and blogs.
Questions & Comments
As always, if you have any questions or comments about mould or anything else to do with how cooking causes mould, use the comments section below and we’ll endeavour to reply as soon as possible.
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.