Removing Mildew Stains

by Amy Gordon
(last updated August 7, 2017)

You may have noticed musty odors or mildew-y smells coming from areas of your house. When there is a lot of moisture in the air, and the moisture gets trapped in places, you get mold and mildew. Mildew is a fungus that attacks the fibers of fabrics, and this can ruin and weaken your fabrics, including carpets and rugs.

A very common location for mildew in the house is in your bathroom. If you have mildew in your shower stall, bathtub, or on your tiles, try scrubbing the mildew away with diluted chlorine bleach solution. Use rubber gloves to protect your hands, and scrub or wipe the tiles, shower walls, and tub with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to three parts water. An old toothbrush is the perfect tool for cleaning the grout between the tiles. Dry the area carefully with paper towels. A vinegar solution can work well on a fish tank or aquarium, and a vinegar solution may be sufficient to clean the bathroom.

To remove mildew stains from fabrics you should start by brushing or beating the article of clothing or linens outside. You need to be gentle and not scrub the fabrics, since the mildew has already weakened the fibers. Then, if the item is machine washable, run the stained item through the washing machine as you would normally. Do not put the garment or sheets in the dryer—hang them to dry outside, making sure they are completely dry before bringing them in. Sunlight will kill off any mildew.

Check for stains. If the clothes are still stained, try rinsing the stained area in a mixture of lemon juice and salt before putting the clothes into the washing machine again. If the clothes are colorfast, add chlorine bleach to the washing machine load. If the stain remains after this, try using hydrogen peroxide on the mark. Use a clean cloth to dab some hydrogen peroxide on the spot, until the spot is saturated. Run through the washing machine again, this time without bleach.

If you would not normally wash the stained items, take the items to the drycleaners, and point out the stains to the cleaner, to make sure they notice them.

To remove mildew from carpets and furniture upholstery, first brush or vacuum away as much of the mold and mildew as possible. Make sure to throw away the vacuum bag or garbage bag immediately, as you do not want the mold or mildew to stay in your home. Shampoo your carpets with a carpet cleaner. If possible, dry your carpets and upholstery with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to prevent more mildew growth. Or, for rugs or furniture, move the items outside to dry.

To prevent mildew, keep areas well-ventilated and as free from moisture as possible. Wipe down the bathroom or run a fan after showers to keep your bathroom free of mold.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

MORE FROM AMY

Cleaning Mini-Blinds

Mini-blinds are one of the hardest parts of the house to dust. For an easy solution, put a sock on each hand and use one hand ...

Discover More

Discourage Dust from Your Lampshades

Using a dryer sheet can help your lampshades stay dust-free for longer. Since it is static electricity that makes lampshades ...

Discover More

Do You Need Plant Food?

If your plants are not growing as well as you want to, fertilizer might be a good way to help. Start by testing the soil ...

Discover More

The Power of Microfiber! Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will become your favorite tool for every cleaning task. This 36-cloth package is perfect for hundreds of uses in the garage, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and all around the house. Each cloth is tough, streak-free, lint-free, reusable, and washable. Check out Microfiber Cleaning Cloths today!

More Cleaning Tips

Remove Grease Stains

Grease stains happen easily and may go unnoticed for some time. To treat an old grease stain, spray on WD-40 and then treat ...

Discover More

Coffee Stain Removal

Coffee easily stains both clothing and carpets. For clothing stains, pre-treat the stained area of your clothing with laundry ...

Discover More

Removing Grass Stains

Most stain-removing products work well on grass stains, but it's good to have several methods to get these common stains out ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.