Quick Guide to Removing Mildew


If you have a mildew problem in your home, you have two options.  One way is to simply dispose of the items that the mildew has attached itself to; but this can be a costly way of dealing with mildew. A less drastic approach would be to try to salvage your home effects by killing the mold that has caused the mildew and then cleaning away the residual stain.  To do this you can use one of the numbers of commercial products aimed at doing just this, as well as a few homemade recipes that you can try. You will need to think carefully about the method you use to remove the mildew depending on the material of the item that is affected.

If you prefer to use a specially developed commercial product, the first thing to check is whether the product is suitable for home interiors or exteriors, as well as the types of material it can be applied to.  Some products are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.  It is also worth noting that different products contain differing degrees of toxic chemicals, usually a form of bleach or ammonia.  There are products on the market, which claim to be environmentally friendly and non-toxic, and in my opinion I would try these products first. You should get a good mildew removal results provided you don’t have really deeply engrained mildew problem.  If the eco-friendly product doesn’t completely remove the mildew then you can try a harsher bleach or ammonia based product.

Once you have chosen a mildew removing product, the next thing to make sure of is that you have the correct application tools – usually a sponge and flannel cloth are sufficient – as well as sensible protective clothing such as rubber gloves.  If you are using a bleach or ammonia based product make sure you use it in a well-ventilated space, or aim to minimize your exposure to the fumes.  Follow the instructions on the product carefully.

Most homemade mildew removal recipes involve combining 1/3 cup household detergent, 1 quart household chlorine bleach, 3 quarts warm water and ½ cup sodium bicarbonate.  Please note that sodium bicarbonate should not be used on aluminum surfaces.

When using either commercial products or homemade recipes, test the product on a small area of the material to be treated first to make sure it does not result in discoloration or damage.