Cleaning Mildew from Bathroom, Kitchen and Upholstered Surfaces

There are specialized mildew removal products available to tackle all areas of the home and practically all surfaces, but here are some handy tips and some homemade preparations to make the task of removing mildew form tricky areas such as the bathroom or upholstery easier.

For bathroom and kitchen surfaces most mild cases of mildew can be treated with a simple solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water, but stronger pre-prepared products are also available.  Simply apply the product of the solution and scrub using a stiff sponge  – I would recommend using an old toothbrush for the hard to reach parts of a shower unit or for scrubbing tile grout.  For shower curtains that have been attacked by mildew, soak the curtains for several hours in the bleach/ water mixture before scrubbing and then rinsing.

cleaning grout mildewUnfortunately with shower curtains, the mildew could have created a deep stain and in this case you will have little option but to replace the shower curtain.

In both the bathroom and the kitchen make sure that you keep cooking utensils, crockery and toothbrushes well away from the area being treated and that, once you have removed the mildew, you thoroughly rinse the area. Also, when using bleach and chemical products in the in the bathroom and kitchen it is imperative that you keep those rooms properly ventilated and wear protective rubber gloves and take care not to stain your clothing.  As with all mildew cleaning, getting the affected area aired and dried out once the mold has been removed is paramount.

For upholstered items such as sofas, armchairs and mattresses start by placing the affected item outside if possible. Then use a dry, stiff brush or broom to brush off the loose mold spores from the upholstered surface, followed by passing over a vacuum cleaner to try and get any deeper loose spores.  You can then sponge a diluted mild fabric detergent over the upholstery to lift up the stain, blotting dry as you go along with a tea towel.  You can also try the bleach/ water solution – but do test it on a small part of the upholstered item first to check that it doesn’t affect the color.  Try to avoid getting the item too deeply soaked with water to protect the inner filling.  Finally allow the item to dry in a warm but well-ventilated area before using again.