There is a huge market for cleaning products that claim to eliminate mildew. However, most name brand mildew cleaners can put a dent in your wallet if you use them frequently. What's more, many store-bought mildew cleaners contain hazardous solvents and petroleum based chemicals, which may contaminate ground water and present a problem to wastewater treatment facilities. The best way to save your belongings from mildew and keep your budget intact is to switch to homemade cleaners. You can whip up a batch of homemade mildew cleaners for pennies. Most of the ingredients are ones that you have around the house on a daily basis.
Simple Homemade Mildew Cleaners
Natural homemade cleaners are much safer to work with and are just as effective as name brand versions.
The following are popular recipes for homemade mildew cleaners:
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray mixture in the shower stall or other non-porous surface and leave to dry for an hour. Rinse area with clean water and allow to air dry.
- Bleach: Mix one-quarter cup of chlorine bleach with one-and-a-half cups of water and one-tablespoon borax in a spray bottle. Spray cleaner on mildew tile or wall and let sit for approximately 30 minutes, keeping the surface wet to keep the bleach solution active. After 30 minutes, wipe mildew from surface with a cloth, and then rinse area with clean water and allow to dry.
- Vinegar: Straight vinegar is said to kill 82 percent of mildew. To make this homemade cleaner, pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, spray the mildew area and let sit. After a few minutes, rinse with clean water and dry with a cloth.
- Tea Tree Oil: Combine two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray mildew areas. Do not rinse; simply allow to dry. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a long way. Also, the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but the scent will subside in less than a day and the product is non-toxic.
- Other: Mix two teaspoons of Borax with one-half cup white vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply mixture on mildew and let sit for about 30 minutes. The Borax will scour the surface while the white vinegar combats the mildew. Rinse with clean water and allow area to dry thoroughly.
To save time and money, mix large quantities of the natural mildew cleaners at one time and store unused portions. Just remember to label the cleaner. Also, keep in mind that just because the homemade cleansers are made from natural products, doesn't mean you shouldn't wear gloves when you handle them. It's a good idea to wear a pair of rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, especially when cleaning with bleach.