Cleaning Mildew

by Emily McBride
(last updated July 26, 2010)

Most homes today have occasional problems with mildew. Wherever it is hard to keep an area dry or keep air circulating, you may see this mold start to grow. Mildew is a type of mold that can either be black or white, and it usually spreads in thin layers. You can find mildew in gardens, in basements, in bathrooms, and on windowsills, but most commonly, you will struggle with mildew in bathrooms. Not only is mildew obnoxious, but it can be harmful. It is important to continually get rid of your mildew so that it can eat away at the surface it is on. The toxins in mildew can also cause allergies or respiratory problems.

The best way to keep your home mildew-free is to try to prevent and stay on top of it. Here are some suggestions on how to prevent mildew:

  • Clean your house regularly—even though it can be a pain, don't ignore the chore of cleaning the bathtub or wiping down the windowsill for too long. Keep your home clutter and dirt free.
  • Another way to help prevent mildew is to keep air circulating within the room. Install an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
  • Use materials that are made to suck moisture out of the air (such as silica gel and molecular sieves). You probably won't find these materials at normal household stores, so try going to an industrial cleaner supplier.

While it is best to try to prevent mildew, sometimes it grows anyway. And because mildew is a growing organism, once it is growing, you cannot just clean it—you have to kill it.

  • The least expensive way to kill mildew is by using chlorine bleach. Make up a solution of three parts water with one part bleach. Let it sit on the mildew for at least ten minutes, and then scrub it. After you have completely scrubbed the mildew away, wash the area with water. One disadvantage to using bleach is that it is a harsh chemical that will make your bathroom or your bedroom smell like bleach for days.
  • You can also buy household cleaning products designed specifically for mildew. You usually use these products the same way that you would use bleach.
  • You can also use vinegar the same way as bleach. The benefit of using vinegar is that it is not as harsh of a chemical.

These tips should help you get rid of most mildew. Unfortunately, however, if the caulk in your bathtub is moldy, you will have to replace it because you won't be able to get rid of it by scrubbing.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

MORE FROM EMILY

Different Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

We hear about heart disease everywhere—on the news, from the doctor, and from our friends. Heart disease is the ...

Discover More

Keeping a Toilet Clean and Fresh

It is obvious, and disgusting, when a toilet is not clean. With some regular cleaning, you can keep your toilet looking ...

Discover More

Easily Cleaning Your Barbecue

Just because your barbecue goes outside, doesn't mean you don't need to clean it. Keeping your grill clean will help you ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!

More Cleaning Tips

Remove Rust Stains

Small rust stains can be treated on clothing by boiling the clothing with cream of tartar. Garments that cannot tolerate ...

Discover More

Chocolate Stain Removal

Chocolate is a messy treat that sticks to carpets and clothing alike. To remove chocolate, make sure to scrape off as ...

Discover More

Removing Stains Left By Moving Blankets

When it comes to moving, one of the biggest problems is protecting your furniture from getting damaged. That's where ...

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 8 + 3?

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.