Mildew removal is always an important part of cleaning. Mildew is actually a thin layer of growth of mold or fungus found on grout, tiles, fabrics or other surfaces.
Mildew can cause respiratory problems in individuals with asthma and can also be problematic for those with certain allergies. Generally, however, mildew is just unsightly, not a danger or a hazard.
Mildew can easily be removed from various surfaces by following a few simple tips.
Mildew generally only develops in damp areas so keeping all surfaces as dry as possible is an easy way to prevent mildew and mold from getting started. Some simple home made methods to remove mildew include:
* Lemon juice and salt can be used to remove mold from fabrics. Simple apply lemon juice to the mildewed area, sprinkle with salt and leave in the sun to dry. Wash with like colored fabrics and dry completely. Mildew and the moldy smell should be gone when items are clean. This process may lead to discoloration of some fabrics so test a small area first.
* For mildew on furniture and mattresses start by using a stiff bristle brush to remove as much mold as possible from the surface of the item. If you cannot move the furniture outside to do this - use a plastic drop cloth to collect the mold to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the room. Use a vacuum cleaner to pull up as much mildew and mold as possible. When this is completed wipe with a mixture of one cup of denatured alcohol with one cup of warm water. Do not saturate the area, simply wipe. Allow the area to dry completely before covering. A hair dryer can be used to ensure the area is absolutely dry.
* If a rug or carpet has been completely saturated with water and has started to show signs or mildew or smell moldy it is important to act quickly. Rental a commercial water extractor or carpet cleaner and pull as much water as possible out of the carpet. Use a good quality anti-fungal carpet shampoo that his indicated as effective in killing mildew. Shampoo completely and pull as much water as possible out of the carpet. Using large fans and heaters completely dry the carpet or, if possible, place it in the sunlight to dry. Be sure to turn over and dry the backing as well.
* Leather can be cleaned with either a combination of one part denatured alcohol with one part warm water. Wipe down the leather and dry with a soft cloth. Mildew can be removed from the inside of leather shoes using the same mixture. A sprinkle of baking soda put inside the shoes after they are completely dry will prevent future growth.
* Books or papers that have mildew growth can be placed in front of a fan or in the direct sunlight. Talcum powder or cornstarch can be sprinkled between the pages to absorb excess moisture. Leave on for several hours and then brush off with a clean paintbrush or artist's brush.
Mildew removal can also be complete using the various commercial products available in most cleaning sections of department and grocery stores.