Removing mildew Photo: Thinkstock
Mildew occurs whenever moisture combines with mould, which is always present in the air. Mildew flourishes in damp, warm, dark places. Moisture can come from almost anywhere—dripping pipes, a leaky roof or simply high humidity. When conditions are right, mildew begins to grow within 24–48 hours and will continue unabated until you address the problem.
To prevent mildew, dry out water-damaged areas as soon as you notice them. By keeping your house clean, dry and well-ventilated you will prevent most mildew problems. Cleaning with soap and water will often take care of mildew stains, but actually killing mildew requires the power of bleach. Don’t use straight bleach, though, as it’s too powerful and can create toxic fumes.
To remove mildew from the bathroom, mix 1 part bleach with 11 parts water.Wear rubber gloves and use a sponge, cloth or soft-bristled brush to apply the solution. Rinse with a damp sponge and then wipe down the area with a squeegee. Turning on a vent fan before showering cuts down on moisture retention in the bathroom.
To remove musty odours in below-ground rooms and basements, which are prime mildew breeding areas, spray with a bleach solution. For a more serious problem, you can sprinkle chlorinated lime (also known as calcium hypochlorite and available from pool shops) over the floor. Let it soak up the odour for a day and then sweep or vacuum it up. If you use a vacuum, dispose of the bag afterwards. If you sweep with a broom, collect the residue in a dustpan and dispose of it in a rubbish bin. But take care— chlorine is corrosive and dangerous if inhaled, so always ensure adequate ventilation, and wear protective clothing.
To remove mildew stains from fabric or upholstery, take the item outside. Begin by knocking off the surface mildew with a stiff brush and then air out the piece in the sun. If spots remain, wash the item according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use hot water and laundry bleach if the fabric can tolerate it.
To remove mildew from leather, use a solution of alcohol and water. Combine 1 cup of methylated spirits with 1 cup of water. Dip
a clean cloth in the solution, wring it out and wipe the affected area. Follow with a cloth dampened only with water and then dry the leather item in an airy place.
|Ann Wallace on 05 May 2012 ,08:16 |
I have had great success using 1tsp of oil of Cloves to 1 ltr water. Spray on walls, leave 20mins, wipe over, then respray and leave on.
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