Algae & Mildew Removal


Mildew is almost unavoidable on shower walls and curtains. Similarly, algae seems to be a persistent visitor in fish tanks, outdoor ponds and pools. These problems can be resolved with some of the myriad of mildew and algae treatments.


  • Purchase lemon juice and salt, peroxygen bleach (sodium perborate or a powdered bleach with sodium perborate or potassium mompersulfate) and chlorine bleach (liquid chlorine bleach) to treat mildew on apparel. Abrasive bathroom cleaners, a new scrubbing brush with stiff plastic or nylon bristles, white vinegar and paper towels are needed to remove mildew from textiles.

    To treat algae in pools, purchase an algicide, an algae-killing product. Make sure that it is an algicide rather than an algistat, which merely inhibits algae growth. Copper and ammonium are the key ingredients in the different algicides available, and if a product contains less than 30 percent of either of these, its effectiveness to fully treat the algae in a timely manner is questionable.

    In addition, there are copper- and ammonium-based pool algicides. The ones with copper are most effective in treating mustard and green algae types. While they are effective in treating many algae types, the disadvantages include the fact that copper-based algicides may stain pool surfaces and they also cannot be used if the pool has a biguanide-based sanitizing system. The ammonium-based algicides may be more expensive compared with the copper-based ones, but they will not stain pool surfaces.

Treating Shower Mildew

  • First, remove all of the hard water buildup by soaking paper towels with white vinegar and placing them on the grout. It may take anywhere from a couple of hours to eight hours to remove all of the hard water residue. That's why it is crucial to check every hour or so to ensure that the paper towels are soaked with the white vinegar at all times.

    Once all of the hard water has been removed, rinse the tiles off. Now, follow the first step but using the bleach this time. Place the paper towels soaked with bleach on the mildew and check hourly to make sure that the paper towels are still moist. Depending upon the amount of mildew, it may take between two to eight hours for the bleach to chlorinate all of the mildew. Make sure to wear old clothes or protective clothing to prevent any bleach from staining clothes.

    Once all of the mildew has been eliminated, clean the area with a mild bathroom abrasive.

Treating Pool Algae

  • Clean the pool to eliminate as much of the algae as possible before treating it with the most appropriate algicide based on the pool's filtering system. In addition, if the pool has had a history of staining from metals, an ammonium-based algicide is recommended.

    After the algicide treatment, shock the pool hard and balance pH levels as the treatment may have caused both the chlorine and alkali to become ineffective. It's also important to keep checking the filtration system and backwashing as needed throughout the entire algae removal process.

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