How to Remove Mildew From a Soffitt & Eave of Roof Without Harming Plants

Bleach, with its disinfecting properties, is commonly used to remove mildew from washable surfaces.

Care must be taken to protect plants near the house when washing the eaves.Care must be taken to protect plants near the house when washing the eaves.
It's important to wear protective clothing, including goggles and gloves, when using bleach to remove mildew from a soffit or eave of a roof. A floor mop or car wash brush on a pole will make the removal of mildew from overhead surfaces easier. Using bleach or other strong mildew-killing chemicals outdoors requires precautionary measures when working near plants.

Moisten the ground in the area where the work will be performed. The moist soil will help to dilute any of the mixture used to remove the mildew that falls to the ground.

Spread plastic over the plants. Use sheets of plastic, like those used by painters. Fasten the plastic down around the edges, using rocks or bricks. The plastic sheets will create a reservoir to collect any falling fluid.

Carefully remove the plastic when you're finished washing away the mildew. Transport the plastic to a location where it can be drained, such as a driveway. Run the hose in the area where the plastic is drained to further dilute the bleach or other compounds used.

Return to the planting area and hose it down to dilute any bleach that may have leaked or seeped behind the plastic.

Things You Will Need

  • Plastic sheets


  • Overhead cleaning can result in splatter from the bleach mixture. Even though the bleach is diluted in water, it can streak clothes. Wearing old clothes is advisable.
  • A mixture of about 4 cups of bleach to 1 gallon of water can be used to kill mildew.


  • Plastic used to protect plants can create a heat situation that could damage the plants. Choose an overcast day to perform the outdoor bleaching project, or work in sections to remove and relocate the plastic.

About the Author

Barbara Raskauskas's favorite pursuits are home improvement, landscape design, organic gardening and blogging. Her Internet writing appears on SASS Magazine, AT&T and various other websites. Raskauskas is active in the small business she and her husband have owned since 2000 and is a former MS Office instructor.