Mildew is one of the harder problems to deal with because many times it creeps up on you unexpectedly. Greasy kitchen walls, the basement, and closets are just some of the places that tend to go unnoticed but are some of the places where the environment is ideal for mildew to grow. The two main ingredients, humidity, and higher temperatures, that need to be present for mildew to form are often more present in the summer than the winter but can also be created during the cooler months. When it is found, it is essential to deal with the problem as soon as possible.
Here are the main places where you can find mildew:
There are two basic approaches to removing mildew: the chemical methods, and the natural and organic methods. The chemical methods are found in the form of sprays and liquids that you apply directly to the affected areas. There are a number of products you can buy, many found on the same label as mold removers. This is because both mold and mildew are both types of fungi, but mildew is far less dangerous to humans. That said, when using chemical sprays to clean mildew you need to be sure to wear a face mask for two reasons. The first is to avoid inhaling the spray, which may contain chemicals that can irritate your throat and respiratory system. The second reason is to avoid inhaling any of the mildew spores, which can also negatively impact your respiratory system.
You will likely need to use a scrub brush and a moderate amount of elbow grease to completely clean the infestation. Dense infestations of mildew on walls, tiles, or shower areas may require multiple treatments. In especially severe cases a professional cleaning company may be required to completely rid your home of mildew.
The alternative is to use natural or organic methods to clean the mildew. These methods are preferred by some people because since mildew is a living organism, it only makes sense to deal with the problem naturally. Before reading on it is important to know that different people have had different results using some of these methods, so you may need to experiment to find the best solution for your particular problem.
One of the bigger concerns of using chemicals is that the chemical that kills the mildew can also have a toxic effect on you, requiring you to wear rubber gloves to prevent it from being absorbed into your skin. In contrast, the first two natural methods are liquids you may either cook with or drink.
Vinegar is naturally antimicrobial, meaning its kills molds naturally. There is no need to dilute the bottle of plain white vinegar, just spray it directly on to the surface needed to be treated, let it stand for a period of time, then wipe the mildew from the surface. There are two potential limitations to using vinegar. The first is that you may have to wait a while before wiping the surface clean, so if you have a time compressed schedule that would not be the best choice. A second potential drawback is that you may have to repeat the procedure several times to completely rid the surface of mildew.
You may like the second choice much more – vodka. It is not for drinking but, like vinegar, to spray directly on to the affected areas. It is not recommended to use your best bottle of vodka for this purpose; any undiluted brand will work equally as well. (In fact, for some reason, the cheaper quality vodkas work better.) Like the vinegar, you will need to let it sit for a while before wiping it off the surface, and repeated treatments may be necessary.
At the beginning of the article there were two major factors for mildew growth – high temperatures and moisture. The most natural way to rid your home of mildew is attack the affected areas with sunlight and fresh air. Unfortunately, darkened areas such as bathrooms and closets my not be able to get the needed sunlight for this method to be effective, but clothing and carpets may be able to be treated without costing you one cent.
The final natural method we will mention is using hydrogen peroxide. This is especially useful on bathroom floor tiles where intricate patterns are difficult to clean. Simply pouring full strength hydrogen peroxide on the tiles and letting it set for at least 10 minutes will do the job without the scrubbing necessary when using chemical cleaners or other organic solutions. Keep in mind peroxide will lose its potency quickly if exposed to sunlight, so be sure to use it on areas where sunlight is scarce.
Between mildew and mold infestations, mildew is the lesser of the two problems. But because getting rid of mildew has many simple and easy solutions, you do not see it being presented as a health risk. But always remember it is a living organism and will spread throughout the house if not properly treated.