How to Get Rid of Mildew

It's ugly. It's nasty. And it spreads! It invades your bathroom, creeping up the walls and staining the grout. It can even cause allergies and respiratory ailments. We're talking mildew.
  • What exactly is mildew anyway? In a word, it's mold. And it thrives in warm, damp airless places – like the bathroom. How can you get rid of this yourself? It's actually pretty easy, and you probably have everything you need right in your kitchen cabinets. Plus making your own solution is cheap, green and less harmful to your lungs.

    White Vinegar: Highly acidic in nature, white vinegar is the ideal solution for stubborn mold. Mix a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water, pour a generous amount on a sponge or cloth and scrub the tiles. If necessary, add more vinegar for really tough stains.

    Baking Soda: Believe it or not, there are probably almost 100 uses for baking soda, and eliminating mold is one of them. Mix a cup of baking soda into a gallon of water, stir completely, apply directly to the moldy area and scrub with a brush. The baking soda agent kills and dries the mold. Rinse the area with plain water.

    Lemon Juice: There are a few ways to do this. You can squeeze a few lemons into a bowlful of water, pour onto the mildew and scrub, or for especially tough stains, use the lemon rind itself! Rinse the area with plain water.

    Tea Tree Oil: Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil per cup of water in a spray bottle. Apply and you're done! No need to rinse.

    The following solutions can irritate the skin, so as a precaution, wear gloves.

    Ammonia: Mix up a solution of 50% water, 50% clear ammonia. The easiest way to apply is put it in a spray bottle. Spray, leave it on for a few hours, wipe and rinse.

    Chlorine Bleach: Mix 3 parts water to one part bleach, apply and scrub. You can use a more concentrated solution, if necessary. Rinse area with plain water.

    To help prevent mildew from coming back:

    • Crack a window or leave your door open when showering.
    • If you have a vent fan, turn it on before you get into the shower and leave it on for at least 15 minutes afterwards to cut down on remaining moisture.
    • If you don't have a vent fan, place a small fan on your bathroom counter and leave the door ajar.
    • Hang towels up to dry and leave the bathroom door open after showering.

    Products with Microban® antimicrobial protection guard against bacteria and resist mold and mildew as well. Conair® Home showerheads feature this beneficial component.