Natural products that get rid of mildew

Mildew on the windows! Yeek!
When we lived in a rented home right across from the marsh,  moisture turned into a nightmare. Mildew constantly covered the walls and window blinds too fast for me to keep up. So, how did I fight it without using bleach?

IMG_4443

I wiped it down with soap and water, but a week and a half later it came creeping back. My mom said bleach. The in-laws suggested bleach. But we were attempting to get away from bleach. I hadn’t bought it in years.

So, I tried 50% water and 50% white vinegar. I threw a tablespoon of baking soda in for good measure. It bubbled and spilled over, but I figured it had to be doing something, right?IMG_2537

It returned 3 months later….hmm…well, it worked for a little while.

 What else could I use— besides bleach? 

Advertisements

6 responses to “Natural products that get rid of mildew

  1. Ha – which is worse? Bleach or mildew? Mom gave me a thermos that has one of those tops that you pour through – she left the lid on and stored it – guess what stinks? When you figure out how to get the mildew out without bleach, let me know 🙂 You might try scrubbing with pure baking soda and water/vinegar. Use the baking soda like a powdered cleanser that you shake on…wipe off with damp cloth.

  2. I believe that oil of cloves is the way to go – and it smells nicer (to me) than vinegar. I’ve used it on old wood furniture that started to grow mould/mildew (never sure which is which).

  3. Try this: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/kill-mold-naturally
    I’ve used straight vinegar, which works well, but the tea tree oil sounds intriguing.

  4. This brings to mind a discussion I had recently with my daughter – she hates using bleach with a passion. I sometime think a small amount of a chemical, properly applied in a careful manner which solves a problem MAY be better than a lot of a “natural” product applied over and over…

    It’s easy to think that just because a product is “natural” it doesn’t mean it is totally good. Arsenic is natural…

    I had a neighbor who applied vinegar to kill the weeds in a large strip along the driveway that had rocks. It looked horrible, it never really fully killed the hardy weeds, but she was still out there spraying vinegar every year for about five years. When she was selling her house, she took up the rocks and put down sod.

    The new neighbors had to replace the sod the next year because it died, then the new sod died. They took it up and were going to seed – I had figured out the problem. The use of the vinegar had “soured” the ground – nothing was going to grow there, so when I saw them outside cultivating, I went over and talked to them – told them to get lime to put down – the soil was so acid that nothing would grow there.

    They didn’t – they planted, the grass didn’t grow. Then they decided to put down a bunch of mulch and plants. Almost all of the flowers and bushes died – a few scragglers are still struggling. This is SEVEN years after the vinegar lady has moved. SEVEN years later, the soil is still bad – from her “natural” solution. I’m sure if that soil were tested, a lot of the bacteria, worms and essentials for that soil are missing…

    Personally, I would have just pulled the weeds…and I just hose off the mildew on the north side of my house and shady part of my deck now and then with water. It comes back – but the solution isn’t chemicals, it’s figuring out what is wrong that the mildew forms. In my case it’s shade, which I like, so the lesser evil for me is the mildew…

    For mildew in bathrooms, the problem is often not running a fan or a fan that isn’t working properly – often fans are vented into attics which is a big issue – it can cause spots of mildew to form on upstairs ceilings and walls and moisture never really gets relieved in the bathroom.

    My son forgets to use the fan in our basement bathroom, which he has taken over…I have to admit, I’ve tried other things (Borax works better than anything else like vinegar, baking soda, etc.) to clean the shower curtain, etc., but bleach is the only thing that really does seem to work – I use a mask, turn on the fan and about a tablespoon of bleach in a squirt bottle with some water. I leave it on for about an hour, then use a scrub brush.

    I also put up a board with hooks OUTSIDE the bathroom for him to hang towels and a crappy old towel i gave him use instead of a bath mat (easy to wash and no rubber on it…) and keeping all the wet stuff out of the bathroom seems to help, too, with the humidity. I even pinned a note in the bathroom to open the shower curtain on each side of the bath, shake out the lining, rather than leave it sealed to the tub, and leave the bathroom door open.

    Now, does anyone have a solution for getting teenagers to take SHORT showers only once a day??

    • Frugal Hausfrau, Thank you so much for sharing your information! I read all these blogs where people use this or that, but it seems many times I have to break down & use bleach–but like you said just a little. What a shocker about the vinegar lady with the weeds. Wow. Teenager solution….have him pay the water bill. 🙂

Tell me what you think. I don't get to answer comments like I did before baby but I read every single comment. And they really make my day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s