Mildew Stains

How To Treat Tough Mildew Stains

If you have mildew stains you may be interested to know that this is a vegetative growth, similar to fungus and mold that are caused by spores that are freely floating through the air.  Mildew thrives in damp, dark, warm environments with poor ventilation such as your shower.

It is not enough to clean away mildew stains, you virtually need to approach them like you are killing your weeds that are taking over your front lawn.  The biggest challenges are usually towels, outdoor gear, clothes, curtain liners, bathroom walls and musty, stained wood furniture.

Tools You Will Find Helpful


Mildew stains on fabrics are some of the most disturbing ones to deal with because that material may need to actually touch your skin again which is a disgusting thought when you first spot these nasty spores.  To remove these spots from clothes, towels, chair cushions or even tents, start by taking the item outside.

If the piece is still wet, leave it in the sun.  sunshine is a natural mold inhibitor and once the item is completely dry, use a stiff brush and whisk the loose spores away.  Never do this inside your home or you will be invaded by another infestation.

Any spots that are on items that are labeled machine washable should be soaked for a good half hour in all-fabric bleach, at full strength.  Rinse the bleach out and then wash the item in the washing machine as usual.

If you have items with mildew stains that cannot fit in the washing machine, rub a couple of drops on only the stain.  Allow this to sit for only a few minutes and then wash it away with a clean cloth soaked with mild suds.  Rinse well and repeat as needed.  Allow the item to completely air dry before putting it away, especially if you are dealing with a tent.


If you have an abundance of mildew stains on your bathroom walls, you may want to call in a professional.  However, if you only have the occasional spot here and there, you can actually tackle these yourself.  Mix up one gallon of fairly hot water with one cup of chlorine bleach.

It is always recommended to wear rubber gloves when working with bleach and be careful not to splash it on any surroundings materials such as your shower curtain or rugs.  Dip a hard scrub brush in the solution and scour away at the spot.  Allow the mixture to sit on the stain with a few minutes and then rinse away with a wet cloth.

If your mildew stains are on your shower curtain liner, you can actually throw this in the washing machine on gentle, in hot water.  Use chlorine bleach and laundry soap and you may want to toss a couple old towels in too, this will help balance the load.  Depending on the fabric, you may be able to try it on very low heat for just a couple minutes before you transfer it to the bathroom.  Hang it back on the shower hooks, spread it out and allow it to dry.


Quite often, if you store wood furniture in a humid area it will end up smelling stale and grow some mildew stains.  First vacuum the stains away using a soft brush tool that will remove loose spores.  Always be sure to throw the vacuum bag away or clean the cup really good after.

Mix a bit of warm water and dish-washing liquid together.  Using a clean cloth, dip it in the solution, wring well and wipe the stains.  Be careful not to soak the wood!  Let dry and then polish.