How to Clean Mildew From Painted and Washable Surfaces

Removing mold and mildew from anything always requires a little elbow grease. The most important part of the process is using the proper cleaning solutions for each surface. Cleaning mildew off of bathroom tiles is a different task altogether than removing it from wooden kitchen cabinets or vinyl wallpaper. Knowing what to use on each surface will save your surfaces. It will also save on wasted time and effort.

  1. Clean mildew from washable painted walls with warm water and bleach. Mix one gallon of water to about three quarters of a cup of bleach. Use rubber gloves to protect your hands. Open all the doors and windows that you can to provide adequate ventilation.

  2. Put the solution on with a soft bristled brush. Let it sit for twenty minutes. Go over the area with clean water and a sponge or soft rag. Put a portable fan on the area for thirty minutes to dry it thoroughly. This should take care of the problems. If the stain remains, you will have to replace the sheet rock.

  3. Remove mildew from wooden surfaces like kitchen or bathroom cabinets by vacuuming up the fuzzy spores with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Mix up a gallon of warm water with about a tablespoon or two of dish washing liquid.

  4. Clean small areas at a time using a gentle hand and a circular motion. Clean the area and rinse with water right away. If there is a large area, do one small part of it at a time. Be careful that you don't soak the wood too much, or it could cause the wood to warp. Use a fan to dry the wood quickly. If there is any filmy appearance, wipe the wood down with mineral spirits. Wax it with paste wax.

  5. Mix up one cup of household ammonia, one half cup of white vinegar and one fourth cup of baking soda in one gallon of warm water. Using rubber gloves, lightly scrub outdoor unfinished wood with this mixture. Use a soft brush. Rinse the furniture really well and dry it off. The mildew should come off completely with one application.

  6. Use two tablespoons of ammonia in one gallon of warm water to remove mildew from painted or natural wicker surfaces. Clean gently with an old toothbrush. Rinse well. Use one eighth cup of bleach in one gallon of water in your bathtub. Soak the bath mat in this for a few hours. When you've rinsed that well, use a soft brush to take the mildew off of the grout around the tub and tiles. Rinse everything very well.

  7. Spray a mixture of bleach and water on glass that has mildew on it. This mixture should be equal parts of water and bleach. Scrub with a brush and rinse well. Remember to use gloves. Open all the doors and windows that you can when dealing with bleach.


  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or scouring powders. These give off toxic fumes when mixed.

About the Author

Sheila Wilkinson worked as an editor and writer for "The St. Mary Journal" and has published extensively on various websites. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies in the areas of psychology, sociology and English. Sheila owns an Internet bookstore.