Green Cleaning

When you want a spotless abode while staying true to Mother Nature, look no further.

We’ve gone over How to Clean Mold, but now it’s time to tackle its ugly cousin: mildew. The fuzzy, funky-smelling substance that accumulates and multiplies thrives in enclosed, humid and poorly ventilated areas like bathrooms, windows, attics and basements. Gross.

Many homeowners don’t realize their homes contain the potentially harmful bacterium because it can be difficult to see. That’s why it’s important to take preventative steps and tackle the unwanted freeloaders head-on. Don’t worry, with a little bit of elbow grease and your favorite cleaning supplies, you’ll be able to get rid of the ick in no time. Although it may seem like the easiest solution, we advise that you avoid using bleach, as it simply discolors mildew and does not actually get rid of it.

To prevent fumes and allergic reactions, use any number of these safe, natural cleaners:

Sliced Orange + Vinegar: The acidity and enzymes found in this fruit can effectively kill mildew. Cut an orange in half and rub it directly on the mildew. After several minutes, spray the area with vinegar and wipe clean.

Baking Soda + Vinegar + Lemon Juice:  The toughest and most common area that mildew accumulates is on shower grout; the warm, moist area makes for an ideal breeding ground. The best solution is to make a paste out of the following ingredients: Combine equal parts vinegar and lemon juice, then add a little baking soda and stir until a paste is formed. Use a toothbrush to scrub the grout and wash clean with water after five minutes.

Toothpaste: Unknown to most, this is a hidden gem in the world of carpet mildew removal. Opt for the kind that includes baking soda to help create a mild foaming agent. Spray the carpet with warm water and apply the toothpaste to a scrubbing brush. Scrub the affected area and wait for several minutes, spray again with water and wipe clean.

To prevent persistent mildew from returning, make sure your home is properly ventilated and lower the humidity in mildew-prone areas. Because windows are serious mildew targets, use portable air conditioners and window AC units to lower the humidity. If your bathroom windows frequently fall victim to mildew infestation, install a window fan there and set it to “exhaust,” which will counteract the steam produced by hot showers.

Follow these clean techniques to stop those unsightly spores in their tracks or prevent them from even taking up residence. Or simply call The Maids. We’ll give you a hand with the dirty work.

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