How to Remove Mildew From Painted Walls in a Bathroom

Mildew thrives in areas where the humidity is high and air circulation is poor. Bathrooms, especially shower curtains, walls and the grout between tiles, are prime environments where these simple organisms grow. If the wall is painted with flat paint, repaint it with mold-killing primer and satin or enamel paint so that the wall now has a washable surface. If mildew redevelops, use a mixture of bleach and water to clean the wall and take steps to eliminate the factors that spur mildew growth.

Keep bathroom walls free of mildew.
  1. Put on rubber gloves and fill a bucket or the sink with hot water. Add a cup of bleach.

  2. Scrub the walls with a scrubbing sponge and the bleach/water mixture, working from the ceiling down. Use the soft side of the sponge to avoid scratching the paint and giving mildew a new place to hide.

  3. Wipe down the cleaned areas with a soft cloth and dry them completely. Pour out dirty water and make a fresh solution when the water becomes cloudy to avoid spreading mildew to other surfaces.

  4. Wipe down fixtures, counters, tile and grout with the same solution. To keep mildew from returning, you clean every surface in the bathroom.

  5. Control humidity in the bathroom to keep surfaces dry or dry them quickly after use. Install a dehumidifier, turn on air conditioning, use fans in bathrooms for 15 minutes after taking a shower or open windows when weather permits. Even when humidity is high after showering, moving air encourages evaporation and strong light also will keep mildew from redeveloping.


  • Do not mix or use bleach near ammonia-based cleaners. Mixing the liquids creates highly poisonous fumes.
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