We’ve written a guide for How to Clean Mold, and now it’s time to tackle its ugly cousin: mildew. Mildew is typically white or gray, appears flat like a film, and feels like dry powder. While mold can grow on food and damp surfaces, mildew forms in humid and poorly ventilated areas like bathrooms, windows, attics, and basements.

Unlike black mold, mildew can easily be wiped off surfaces, especially nonporous ones. But simply wiping away mildew doesn’t always fix the problem and does little to keep mildew from returning.

That’s why it’s important to take preventative steps and learn how to get rid of mildew once and for all. Don’t worry, with a little bit of elbow grease and common cleaning supplies, you’ll be able to get rid of the mildew in no time. Although it may seem like the easiest solution, we advise you to avoid using bleach because distilled white vinegar does the job better without harsh chemicals.

How to Get Rid of Mildew in the Bathroom

Whether you’re learning how to clean mildew from grout or how to clean mildew from a shower, white vinegar is your first choice for a natural but effective solution. Vinegar is one of the best ways to clean mildew from grout, tile, bathroom fixtures, and more — and using white vinegar to remove mildew is easy:

  • Fill a spray bottle with undiluted distilled white vinegar
  • Spray the vinegar everywhere you see mildew
  • Let the vinegar sit for an hour
  • Wipe away the mildew with a clean, damp cloth

For stubborn mildew stains, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. Just pour the peroxide onto the stain, let it sit for 10 minutes, and wipe the area with a damp cloth.

How to Clean Mildew From Grout

The grout in your shower was likely sealed when the bathroom was tiled. Frequent humidity, exposure to water, and even soaps and shampoos, can break down the seal over time. It can lead to dirt, grime, and mildew clinging to the grout, making it unsightly and unhealthy. If you want to remove mildew from grout and bring back the brightness, there are safe, natural cleaning solutions that can get the job done right:

  • Combine equal parts vinegar and lemon juice and enough baking soda to create a paste.
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub the grout with your paste.
  • Wait five minutes and rinse the grout with warm water.
  • If you still see mildew, pour undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the grout.
  • Let the hydrogen peroxide work on the mildew for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the grout with warm water.

To remove mildew from grout in hard-to-reach areas, use cotton balls. Soak a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide, place it on the grout, wait a few hours, and then rinse the area with warm water.

Tips to Prevent Mildew

The best way to prevent mildew from taking hold is to get rid of the moisture it needs to thrive. In other words, take preventive maintenance steps each time you shower or bathe.

  • Turn on the exhaust fan while you’re showering and let it run for 30 minutes after you bathe.
  • If you have a window in the bathroom, open it to increase ventilation.
  • Leave your shower curtain open and leave the lights on for 30 minutes after bathing.
  • Squeegee your shower walls and doors and dry any water on the floor.
  • Clean underneath shampoo and body wash bottles and dry the bottles.

To keep mildew from forming on bathroom grout, give it a light scrubbing every few weeks and reseal the grout yearly. About once a month, clean the shower curtain with vinegar and warm water or throw it in the washer if it’s machine-washable.

Now that you know how to get rid of mildew and keep it from coming back, learn more ways to keep your home clean and healthy. Because The Maids is the only residential cleaning service to clean for health, we are committed to making every home a better place to live. Find out how a healthy approach to cleaning can make a difference in your home when you get your free online estimate.

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