Dealing with mildew in your home is fun…said no one ever. You have seen mildew building up at some point in your life. It’s black, slimy, and gross. You don’t have to know exactly what mildew is to know you don’t want it in your home! But…
Let’s take a moment to do just that, figure out what mildew is, so we can properly deal with it (and prevent it) when it starts to appear around your home.
What Mildew Is
What is that little black slimy invader known as “mildew?” Well, mildew is a type of mold, which means it falls in a category of fungus. Yuck, right?
As we’ve described, it’s a thin blackish grey growth that appears on different surfaces around your home like curtains, upholstery, and walls. Don’t worry. Having mildew in your home doesn’t mean you are gross or a bad person, it is actually pretty common.
Mildew loves dark, warm, moist surfaces, making your bathroom a great place to set up shop for the mold. Generally, any humid place with low ventilation and lighting is a prime real estate for mildew. So it can also be found in kitchens.
Since mildew is basically “alive,” you tell the difference in “general aging” of fabrics and “mildew damage” by a musty smell, change in coloration, as well as any areas of the fabric that might have been eaten away. This can occur to clothing, books, and upholstery.
How to Get Rid of Mildew
Bleach. Mildew hates bleach. Choose a bleach spray and let it loose on the affected area. That’ll kill it dead.
Do note that you should always wear protective gloves and clothing when dealing with specific cleaning products. When dealing with bleach it’s recommended that you make the area as well ventilated as possible.
Anyways, bleach sprays can work wonders on different surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen. Furthermore, there are actually cleaners designed specifically for mildew removal. This will give you a nice alternative to bleach but most homes already have bleach just lying around.
A cleaning product designed for mold is also going to get rid of the unpleasant musty smell that accompanies mold. When using mold sprays check the label to see if the spray is safe for the surface you are spraying.
If the mildew is on upholstery or fabric… If the mildew is growing on fabrics simply brush off as much as possible and wash it at the highest temperature the fabric can handle.
Mildew Prevention – Moving Forward
Preventing mildew is a pretty tough task. As stated earlier, it is a very common mold and can grow in basically any moist area, especially with low lighting and warm temperatures (including regular home temperatures). You don’t have to be “unclean” to have mildew grow. It can happen to anyone.
Basically the gist is this- in order to prevent mildew, you have to keep an area from being mildew friendly. First and foremost, prevent as much excess moisture as possible. There’s really not much else you can do. The only other real preventative measure is to keep your domicile at freezing temperatures. Mildew doesn’t like to freeze.
Your toughest zones are going to be your bathrooms and kitchen.
In your bathroom, do your best to keep your bathroom well ventilated. Keep doors open when empty. Run exhaust fans when you shower. You can even go as far as getting a humidifier for your bathrooms if you please.
In your kitchen, avoid trapping excess moisture by using exhaust fans when you are cooking. You want all water vapor to escape somewhere (instead of settle on surfaces) if possible. Also, be sure to clean up cooking spills, fluids, grease around your cooking area and then dry the area thoroughly. Grease left lying around is a bastion for mildew spores to feed on and grow.
And that’s it! All you need to know about mildew. Remember, prevent moisture and you prevent mildew!