Fortunately, unless you have an allergy, mildew is more of a pain-in-the-neck reminder to clean than a real health concern. However, if you don’t take care of mildew, it can get behind your walls or spread into other areas of your home, which can turn into a major headache.
If you don't make an effect to tackle mildew as it appears - it will very quickly take over! Here are some do-it-yourself tips to use on a regular basis.
Reduce the WAD Factor
The reason you find mildew in the bathroom according to Mindy Starns Clark (author of The House That Cleans Itself) is that it’s warm, airless and damp. Tackle these factors first to cut back on mildew growth.
Crack open a window or leave the door slightly ajar while you shower to release humid air. If you don’t have a window, use a portable fan or dehumidifier to suck moisture out of the air after you shower. And if you’ve got a vent fan, use it!
No, you don’t need to clean every day - or even every week, says Jeff Campbell (author of Speed Cleaning). He says that homeowners should clean their bathroom when it needs it. Bathroom use is different from family to family or season to season, but there are a few little things you can do daily to combat mildew buildup:
Keep surfaces free of dirt, grease and body oils by using a squeegee on the walls or even the floor after a shower.
Spread towels out so they can dry completely.
Keep a microfibre cloth handy in the bathroom to wipe away excess moisture with a dry cloth after bathing or showering.
How you tackle mildew depends on how much you have and how long it’s been there. You don't have to resort to chemical cleaners or products: a closed-loop microfibre cloth - a super-soft textile with great absorption power - and water are all that you need.
The scrubbing action and absorption grab mildew from grout. Be sure to tthrow the cloths in the wash when you’re done. Use a stiff bristle toothbrush to dig into corners and grout lines.
If scrubbing doesn’t work, the experts agree that household bleach is the best alternative. Start by making a solution of 3 parts water to 1 part bleach. If that doesn’t work, try using a more concentrated solution. You might also consider using a steam cleaner with a brush attachment that will tackle growth with high heat steam. Click here for more natural cleaning solutions.