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Reason Tile Mildews and How to Prevent It

No one likes mildew on their tile. How to spot it, remove it, and how to prevent it.

By Tammy EminethPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

Mildew is fungus typically gray or white in color and it thrives and grows in moisture, heat, and dirt or built up residue. A perfect environment for mildew is lurking in your bathroom especially in the shower and bathtub areas. Mildew loves the combination of moisture and left behind residue and body oils that hang out in the bathroom. With this perfect combo mildew can grow quickly and before you know it cover a large area of the bathroom leaving an unsightly and worrisome mess.

Mildew is not a healthy bathroom companion. If your skin comes in contact with mildew it can get into your pours and cause irritation of the respiratory system.  Contact with mildew can lead to symptoms that are flu like including: itchy eyes, fatigue, a general sick or “icky” feeling, runny nose, rash and allergic reaction.

To get rid of mildew there are a number commercial cleaners with harsh solvents that can clean the mildew temporarily. Unfortunately using store bought mildew cleaners will require frequent use to keep mildew at bay and this can end up being costly on the cleaning budget.

You can also make and use homemade green solutions that are safer for your family to live and come in contact with. Here are some homemade mildew cleaning solution recipes that are much cheaper than store bought and safer too:

More: How to Clean Soap Residue Left Behind by Mopping

Hydrogen Peroxide: (Note: This should only be used on non-porous surfaces.) Grab a fresh spray bottle and fill it one third of the way with hydrogen peroxide. Fill the remaining two thirds of the bottle with plain water and gently mix together. Let the solution sit and eat away at the mildew for an hour then rinse clean with fresh water and air dry.

Bleach and Borax: Grab your empty spray bottle and measure out 1 ½ cups of water, 1 tablespoon of borax, and ¼ cup of bleach. Gently mix the ingredients in the spray bottle and spray the affected area and let sit for at least half an hour. You will want to make sure the solution does not dry out to keep the bleach active. After it has been given 30 minutes to work, wipe it clean with a rag and rinse the area thoroughly with water and allow to air dry.

More: 3 Tactics for Preventative Home Maintenance

Vinegar: Full-strength undiluted vinegar can kill 82 percent of mildew. Just spray the vinegar straight on the mildew and let it go to work for about 15 to 30 minutes then rinse with water and dry with a cloth.

Tea Tree Oil: The nice thing about this one is it’s a no rinse method. Put two teaspoons of tea tree oil and two cups of water into a spray bottle and gently mix. Spray just the mildew areas as the smell can be strong and tea tree oil is more expensive than other homemade cleaners. Simply allow the oil to do its thing, no rinsing needed.

Borax and Vinegar: Mix two teaspoons of Borax with ½ cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on mildew. Let it sit for around 30 minutes. Rinse with water and allow to completely dry.

In some cases even the most vigorous at home cleaning will not prevent mildew from returning. You may need to employ the help of a professional cleaner to eliminate the mildew in your bathroom and prevent it from returning. A professional cleaner can use super strength eco-friendly cleaning solutions and high-powered equipment to clean and kill the mildew. They can also apply a sealant to prevent it from returning.

More: 10 Spring Cleaning Tricks and Hacks

To help keep mildew from forming in-between deep cleanings, you should wipe your shower down with a solvent of vinegar and mild dish soap and rinse with warm water. This should be done once weakly but getting into a habit of wiping down the shower after each use is the most ideal.

Related Articles: How to Care for Tile Between Deep Cleanings

7 Ways to Winterize a Home

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About the Creator

Tammy Emineth

Writer, blogger, content marketing, wife and mom! Helping folks increase traffic and leads to their websites since 2004.

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