Mildew is a black fungus that can grow on most surfaces. It will spread rapidly and prolifically in dark unventilated places. It is unsightly and emits an undesirable odor. The spores can cause allergic reactions and breathing problems. In this article I will provide you with tips on removing mold and mildew from a variety of surfaces.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring Cup
- Chlorine Bleach
- Clothes Detergent
- Dawn Dish Detergent
- Rubbing alcohol
- 2+ gallon bucket
- Lemon Juice
- Rubber Gloves
- Scrub Brush
Type of Surface: Ceramic Tile, Vinyl, and grout.
Cleaning Solution: Combine 1 quart of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water.
Method: Wear Rubber Gloves. Open window and provide good ventilation. Using your scrub brush (or a sponge) coat the area with the bleach solution. Allow it to soak in for ten minutes. Re-dip your brush in the solution and scrub until clean. You may also find using an old tooth brush will help focus your efforts.
Type of Surface: Clothing, fabrics, cloth curtains, etc.
Cleaning Solution: Initial cleaning use Dawn dish detergent and warm water. For any remaining stains: mix lemon juice and salt. Alternatively, mix 2 tablespoons of bleach and 1 quart of water. (Don't use bleach on colored fabrics)
Method: Mix Dawn and warm water in your sink or a bucket. Using a clean scrub brush, gently work to remove the stains. Be careful not to damage the fabric. Adjust your scrubbing pressure to match the fabric. Rinse the items well.
Allow them to dry in the sun. Sunshine is a great helper in these efforts.
If stains remain, dampen the spots with the lemon juice solution. Again dry in the sun.
If you use the bleach solution, allow bleach to soak in the fabric for 5 to 15 minutes. Then rinse well and allow to dry in the sun.
Type of Surface: Leather.
Cleaning Solution: Mix 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 cup of water.
Method: Apply the solution to the stain with a clean cloth. Allow the surface to air dry. If there are remaining stains, wash with dawn detergent and allow to air-dry.
Type of Surface: Raw wood - unpainted.
Cleaning Solution: Mix 1 quart of chlorine bleach with 3 quarts of water.
Method: Scrub the area with your cleaning solution. After it is clean, consider coating with a mildew resistant paint.
Type of Surface: Vinyl Siding, Metal Siding, Plastic Laminate, Plaster.
Cleaning Solution: 1 cup of chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water. Alternately you can make a vinegar and borax solution. Just add as much borax as will dissolve in the vinegar - not a real technical formula!
Method: Before you begin, cover any plants, bushes, shrubs, grass with plastic or other protection. Bleach is harmful to plants. Bleach also can stain plastic laminate, so the borax solution may be a better option here.
Wear gloves. Use your scrub brush and the mildew should come off with a little effort.
Tips & Warnings
- 1 US cups = 0.25 US quarts
- Don't use bleach on noncolorfast fabrics, silk, wool; always check the label.
- Never mix ammonia and bleach.
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