Free of Mildew

My wife Carmen and I have been cleaning houses for more than 10 years. We would like to start giving some secrets and tips to cleaning better. One of the biggest challenges is when your bathroom has mildew, a type of fungus that can be found growing on a multitude of surfaces where moisture and temperature levels are high. Mildew can be black or white in color.

What Causes Mildew?

Most mildew is caused by overgrowth of its close cousin, mold. Poor air circulation, low or non-existent lighting, warm, humid temperatures, grease or body oils left on shower walls and doors, damp or wet conditions can all contribute to mold growth.

You Can Get Control of Mildew

Turn on the bathroom fan, as it will help pull moisture from the air. If you do not have fan, use a dehumidifier, air conditioner, or open a bathroom window to help circulate air. In the winter, turn on the heat. Electric and gas heat will help to dry the bathroom faster and remove excess moisture from the air. Use bathroom lighting before, during and after a shower or hot bath. Mildew does not grow in well-lit areas. Leave the lights on for 15 minutes after showering. Leave your shower door open for a while after you take a shower. Repaint your bathroom using a mildew-proof paint, specially designed for high-moisture areas. Apply new adhesive caulk: There are cured caulks which are mold and mildew-resistant.

How to Clean Mildew

Scrub the bathroom shower walls and doors with a stiff brush and a solution of bleach and water (one cup chlorine bleach to five cups hot water). Bleach not only cleans, but it kills bacteria, like mold and mildew. You can use regular household bleach, or cleaners containing bleach. Chemical mildew removers can also be effective, but they are highly toxic. Remember improper use of chlorine bleach can damage eyes, skin and lungs. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and leave bathroom widows open, with fans running during cleaning to provide adequate air exchange.

What to Use Instead

Seventh Generation chlorine-free bleach, Naturally Clean Mildew and Moldstat Plus are good commercial options for removing mildew. Plus, there's always the vinegar cure: Fill an old spray bottle with white vinegar and use at full strength to fight mold and mildew.

We hope this trick helps you to clean your home better and more easily.

Written by Alejandro and Carmen Abaunza of Nice and Clean Maids Service Inc.
Phone: (773) 307-9269

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