Removing Mildew In Your Bathroom

How to remove and prevent the mildew and mold that are growing in your bathroom.

Just about anyone who has a bathroom, has mildew growing in it. Mildew thrives in the bathroom, which is usually a warm, dark, damp place that has plenty of natural food sources. Mildew eats dead skin, soap scum, body oil and all of the products you use to clean your body on a regular basis. Mildew also thrives off the steam left behind after you take a shower, along with all of the water that stays on the walls and bathroom floor. All of these things combined with the lack of light and proper ventilation can help bathroom mildew take over your bathroom.

The best way to get rid of the mildew that is growing in the bathroom is to eliminate the items it needs. If possible, the next time you leave your house for a couple of days clean the bathroom thoroughly and spray down all of the heavily mildewed areas with straight vinegar. Leave the shower curtain or door open as well as the bathroom door to help ensure the room will get adequate ventilation. Leaving the lights on and the bathroom exhaust fan on until you leave is also another good idea that will help with getting rid of the mildew. Before leaving your house make sure your thermostat is set so that the house does not get above sixty degrees. Keeping the house at this temperature will make it unsuitable for the mildew but is still safe for your pipes. When you get home clean your bathroom again using a scrub brush and vinegar on the areas that were covered in mildew then dry the bathroom with a towel and fans, this should eliminate any remaining mildew leaving behind a clean bathroom.

To get rid of a mild to moderate case of mildew in your bathroom without leaving your home try using a simple home made mildew remover. Begin by mixing one half cup of vinegar with one half cup of borax soap and two cups of warm or room temperature water. Wipe down the mildewed area with the cleaning mixture and a towel; the mildew should come right off. If you have a few tough areas of heavy mildewing on grout cut a lemon in half, then dip it in the mixture and scrub the tougher areas with the lemon. This should help clear the mildew right up.

If the mildew is persistent in growing back and seems to be living underneath the tile or caulk you may need to remove the infected items and replace them. After you have removed the infected items, clean the entire bathroom with a non-ammonia soap and a scrub brush then rinse with water. Disinfect the entire area with a bleach solution made up of one part bleach to nine parts water. Make sure that you use rubber gloves and a mask while using the bleach because the fumes are toxic. Rinse the area again with water and squeegee all excess water down to the drain. After the area is completely dry, you can continue by replacing the heavily infected items with new mildew free parts.

Cleaning your bathroom regularly and removing water build up and soap scum on a daily basis is the best way to keep your bathroom mildew free. Try to clean your bathroom at least twice a month or more if necessary. Run you exhaust fan during and after each shower to eliminate moisture and steam that will promote mildew growth. Rinsing the shower walls with water after each use and drying them with a squeegee or towel will eliminate the build up of body oils and soap scum that mildew uses as a food source.

There are three different types of mildew; the allergenic which is the most common form of mildew, the mycotoxic which is toxic to humans causing all sorts of health problems and even death, and the pathogenic which can cause a lot of problem for people who already have a weakened immune system. If you are concerned about having toxic mildew in your home then have it tested. Contact a local Residential Inspector to do a mildew inspection and testing of your home. Most types of bathroom mildew are not a cause for concern, but it is suggested that if you have mildew in other areas of your house it should be tested. If the mildew in your home does come back positive for being toxic do not try to remove it yourself, a professional industrial hygienist should be hired to remove the toxic mildew from your home.

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