Mold, fungus, and mildew are vegetative growths which are caused by spores in the air. They thrive in warm, damp, dark poorly ventilated environments such as a shower area in a bathroom. In order to eliminate mildew you cannot just clean it away. Instead, you must kill it like a weed on your front lawn. A disinfectant cleaner with mold and mildew claims will kill these fungi when used according to label directions. The amount of time on a surface increases the effectiveness of these products.
The least expensive solution to this problem (and more aggressive to surface) is common bleach, as a sanitizer which will kill mold and mildew on contact. Mix one part of chlorine bleach diluted with 3 parts of water, allow to stand on surface for 10 to15 minutes, agitate with a soft scrub brush, rinsed down with water, and allow to air dry. TEST AN INCONSPICUOUS AREA WITH BLEACH BEFORE ATTEMPTING AN ENTIRE AREA. IF DISCOLORATION OCCURS, FURTHER DILUTE BLEACH WITH WATER.
Your next option would be store-bought X-14®, Tilex® etc. with the same instructions as bleach. Then, an EPA registered spray disinfectant with mold mildew claims like Lysol®.
The latest, revolutionary "green" user-friendly, environmentally preferred product to perform this type of cleaning task is "H2Orange2®". It is a total, neutral PH product when added to water and has the lowest toxicity of any product in the marketplace. It contains only 3 ingredients: natural citrus oil (from orange peel) which penetrates and breaks down soils; Surfactants (detergency) which dissolve and suspend soils to prevent streaking; and hydrogen peroxide which OXIDIZES MOLD AND MILDEW, acts as an optical brightener, and safely bleaches out stains. NOTE: Always test an inconspicuous area for colorfastness, etc. before treating the exposed area. Also note that certain stains are permanent.
For more cleaning and stain removal tips and hints, please visit our cleaning community forum where experts are ready to help answer your questions.
This article has been contributed in part by Michigan State University Extension