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Why Are My Bathroom Walls Turning Yellow?

If you have been on your bathroom’s floor you may have seen that the wall is turning yellow. Well, it is not just your imagination.

Yellow bathroom walls are, well, yellow. And that’s not good. They may not be as screamingly ugly as a yellow kitchen, but they can make a room feel dingy. 

So, why does your bathroom have a yellow tinge? The bathroom walls become discolored and turn yellow due to condensation, hard water, soap foam stains, mildew, cigarette smoke and gas heat.

It’s not a good sign when the color of your bathroom walls begins to change and become a little yellow. 

You therefore need to be keen to stop the yellowing of the walls of the bathroom from spreading further.

Since moisture is a major culprit, let’s find out why it develops in the bathroom in the first place.

Why do my bathroom walls sweat?

All homeowners want a home that’s comfortable, but there are lots and lots of factors to consider before making a final decision about any particular room. 

What’s the number one complaint from homeowners about bathrooms? It’s not the noisy plumbing, the high water bill, or the nasty smell of mildew. 

The number one complaint is the damp, mildewy walls.

While you may have come to expect a good amount of moisture in a bathroom with a shower or bathtub, you probably didn’t expect to see the bathroom walls sweating.

It’s a particularly stubborn problem, because it occurs on a seemingly random basis. 

You can’t just walk into the bathroom and expect to find sweating walls—although this seems to be the explanation on many websites, this is not true. 

Most times, the issue can be traced back to 

  • a leaky air conditioner

What causes yellow stains on bathroom walls?

In the bathroom, the first room in the house that guests see, it is also the room that is most prone to creating that bad first impression. 

This is why it is important to have your bathroom at its best, and if it is not, you will need to get it looking good. 

One of the most difficult tasks is having to remove those yellow stains that seem to appear on the walls.

Therefore, it’s important to know why they are there in the first place.

1. Condensation

Condensation is one of the most common causes of stains on bathroom walls. 

Typically, it appears as a yellowish-brown substance.

Condensation on bathroom walls is one of the telltale signs of excess moisture in the bathroom. 

This is especially true in a shower stall, where steam from the shower can cause condensation on the ceiling and on walls. 

Condensation stains develop when warm, moist air in your bathroom contacts the cooler surface of your ceramic tile.

This is also common in homes where bathroom walls are painted with oil-based paints. 

However, the condensation itself can be difficult to live with, and the stains can be unsightly.

2. Hard water

There are many things that give your bathroom a lived in look, from your toothbrush to your hair care products, but stains from hard water are not one of them. 

You may not know it, but hard water leaves stains on your bathroom walls that are caused by the minerals it contains.

Hard water–water that contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron–can have a corrosive effect on pipes, fixtures and other hardware. . 

No one wants to clean their bathroom more than they have to. 

Unfortunately, if you haven’t noticed, hard water tends to leave behind a yellowish, sticky residue on tubs and sinks.

It can also cause unsightly stains on your bathroom walls.

3. Soap foam stains

Not all stains are bad when it comes to bathroom soap foam stains.

Many homeowners are aware of the fact that a nasty yellow soap scum ring forms on bathroom walls above the shower and bathtub. 

Soap foam stains, as the name implies, are generally caused by foam from your soap or shower gel. 

The foam, which is usually white or transparent, can leave behind discolored stains on your bathroom walls, which is a big turn-off.

If the white foam is not cleaned immediately, it will turn into a nasty hardened yellow frost as more dirt settles on it. 

Water spots and soap foam accumulate over time on the tile, tub, glass doors and walls.

The sooner you clean up after the foam dries, the less chance you will have to deal with these unsightly stains.

4. Mildew 

Mildew is a fungus that can be found almost everywhere and it’s spores last for years. 

It’s important to note that mildew can only grow when there is an ample supply of moisture, a suitable surface for it to grow on, and a temperature that allows it to grow. 

Mildew prefers dark and damp places, like our bathrooms. 

In bathrooms, mildew grows on walls, shower curtains, sink and tub drains and on the grout between tiles.

Mildew can be black, white, brown, yellow or green, depending on the type of mould. 

White and green mildew are the most common types.

5. Cigarette smoke 

For many people, the smell of cigarette smoke is a powerful trigger for remembering those late night parties from their college years. 

The last thing most people want when they come home is to be reminded of those days. 

While a smoker can take steps to cover up the smell of tobacco smoke, the yellow stains it leaves behind are another matter. 

Bathrooms are small, and walls and ceilings are often white, which makes those stains that much more noticeable. 

These stains are caused by tobacco tar, which is present in all cigarette smoke, and is released when the cigarette is smoked. 

Tar is a yellowish-brown residue that can stick on relatively wet walls of your bathroom.

6. Gas heat

Yellowed walls are a common problem in many homes. 

No matter how often they’re painted, it’s possible to look up and see yellowing on the ceiling or around the top of the bathtub. 

When you turn on an electric room heater, gas heat, or other heating appliance in the bathroom, it can give off a residue that can penetrate the paint on your walls and discolor them.

The stain is typically yellow or brown, and appears on painted or unpainted walls. The smell can also linger in your bathroom.

While most people know that natural gas heat causes yellow stains on bathroom walls, many are unaware that the same effect can occur in homes that use natural gas for cooking.

Those stains are caused by the soot and other by-products of natural gas heating, which are created when the gas comes into contact with the water vapor in the air. 

When bathroom tiles and grout are exposed to this mixture of vapors and gases, they can become discolored. 

In fact, the combination of water vapor and gas even at low levels can lead to staining.

How to remove yellow stains from bathroom walls

When you’re looking to improve your bathroom, you want to fix up every little thing to make it look as good as possible. 

Of course, repainting is one of the best ways to make a room look better, but you might be surprised to find that the bathroom is the room with the most paint-worthy surfaces. 

The bathroom walls are a great place to start, because they are often overlooked, and you might find that it’s not as hard to freshen up the paint as you think.

No matter how hard you try, there is no way to avoid yellow stains on your bathroom walls.

When they appear, be sure to use the following tips to restore the glory your bathroom once had.

  1. Remove the yellow stains with a solution of water and bleach
  1. Remove the soap scum with baking soda and vinegar
  1. Scour the wall using brush
  1. Wash the walls with generous amounts of clean water
  1. Install a dehumidifier or bathroom fan
  1. Install a water softener to replace the existing water system in your home
Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.