ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Prevention Tips for Mildew Growth

Updated on May 14, 2013
Mildew grows where moisture gathers.
Mildew grows where moisture gathers. | Source

What's the difference between mold and mildew? Well, they're kind of the same thing. Mold is everywhere, it's a plant that wants to take hold where there is food to thrive on, and will be left alone to grow and fester.

Mold can grow on most any kind of material as long as a few very important things are present. It needs to be out of the direct sunlight, poor to no air circulation, and it needs a tiny amount of dirt or dust. If you kept this same exact environment and added a little water or moisture, you would get mildew instead of mold.

Mold and mildew is ugly, smells bad, causes allergic reaction in some people, and if left untreated can be dangerous to those around you.

In this hub, we will cover the following topics:

  • What is the difference between mildew and mold
  • Kill mildew smell
  • Allergies to mold
  • How to prevent mildew

Showers and tubs are perfect breeding grounds for mildew as the ventilation is usually very poor.
Showers and tubs are perfect breeding grounds for mildew as the ventilation is usually very poor. | Source

What is the difference Between Mildew and Mold

Generally speaking, mildew and mold are basically the same thing - there are many types of mold and mildew, which are fungi.

Mold can grow on a variety of different surfaces including rotting surfaces like on oranges that have gone bad. Mold will grow on most surfaces with moisture on it. It can also be identified by it's colors; blue, green, black and red.

Mildew can most often be found in showers, tubs, window sills, and where ever condensation will pool. Mildew can be identified by it's color; gray or white and will have a powdery or fuzzy texture.

If water or wetness is missing, but moisture in the air is present, mold will thrive.
If water or wetness is missing, but moisture in the air is present, mold will thrive. | Source

Kill Mildew Smell

Obviously, if you get rid of the mold or mildew, that stuffy or musty smell will go along with it. Knowing that mold and mildew can grow on almost anything, it's important to go right for the source to eradicate the problem.

If it's an item, get rid of the item, or clean it with a quality cleanser that will kill the spores of the mold or mildew. Whether it's clothes, a piece of furniture, shoes or carpeting remove it from the room and start to dry out the room. Open windows and blow fans. By circulating air in the room, and blowing fans into areas and corners where air doesn't normally flow, you will make it hard for mold or mildew to grab hold.

If you would like to use a less toxic cleaning alternative than the store bought items or bleach, you can try using vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is perfect for the job - you'll need to use full strength in a spray bottle, and let it sit on the area for a few ours. You can then use baking powder to scrub into the area. When the vinegar smell dissipates, the musty smell will no longer be there.

Moisture and mildew has stained and peeled back the paint where the tub meets drywall.
Moisture and mildew has stained and peeled back the paint where the tub meets drywall. | Source

Allergies to Mold

It's important to use proper protective wear when cleaning mold and mildew. That musty smell usually means that mold or mildew - or both, are present. When mold or mildew is present in a room, you may find yourself feeling sick if you are in the room for any time. If the particular room happens to be your bedroom, these symptoms might make you think if it's the possible presence of mold or mildew making you feel this way.

Some of the symptoms that mold and mildew may cause you to have:

Headaches, sinus pressure, sneezing, runny nose, cough, itchy-watery-red-eyes, skin rash or hives, asthma attacks, difficulty breathing and a reduced lung capacity.

Orange colored mildew grows where water is left unchecked.
Orange colored mildew grows where water is left unchecked. | Source

How to Prevent Mildew

Bathrooms are usually fitted with exhaust fans that are not large enough to move any moisture. Always try to blow a fan into the bathroom, open a window, and pull any objects away from the walls so that the air can easily circulate throughout the room.

If your bathroom or room is too cluttered, it may prevent the circulation of air - if the air is unable to circulate, mold or mildew spores will settle and begin to multiply. Keep your windows open as often as possible - especially after the initial clean up - utilizing ceiling fans and oscillating stand-fans to help push air.

Open cupboards and cabinets to air out every now and again. Clean and keep under-sink cabinets clear so that air can circulate. Inspect leaky pipes that may cause damages or re-infestation of mold or mildew.

Keep your home clean of dust and dirt. It only takes a small amount of dirt or dust for spores to settle on and grow. Nip any trouble spots as soon as you notice any new growth, this will help to keep it controlled.

De-humidifiers are a great source when needing to remove moisture in the air. This will also help to curb mold and mildew spores from growing.

What's your favorite go to remedy for cleaning up mildew?

What kind of chemicals do you normally attack mildew with?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks so much for your comment, and good luck with the battle on mildew/mold. Peace. Kawi.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 

      4 years ago

      Interesting article, with very useful tips. Thanks!

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment alocsin, always a pleasure to hear from you. Yeah, its a Northwest thing - a yearly event until we get those much needed few months of sunshine before it all starts all over again... sigh. My wife is in So-cal now, I'll be flying in on Saturday just for a day or two. I need a Hawaiian plate lunch fix! So-cal has the best next to Hawaii. Peace. Kawi.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      This was a major problem in Seattle and I wish that I had this hub then. Here in the much drier climes of Southern California, this isn't much of an issue. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment RTalloni, it's all my wife uses when taking on little trouble-spots in the bathroom. Peace. Kawi.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 years ago from the short journey

      Vinegar really does the job. Living in the south means fighting the effects of humidity. When I learned how well vinegar works to destroy mildew/mould as well as keep it at bay I felt I had found gold!

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment CyberShelley, I'm glad this helps. Peace. Kawi.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for tips and the assistance to naturally rid damp places of mould. Up, interesting and useful.

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      HI Nan, yes, taking a step away from the chemicals is always a step in the right direction. Elbow grease is key in this set-up with vinegar and baking soda - but at least you won't have the chemicals to contend with. Peace. Kawi.

    • KawikaChann profile imageAUTHOR

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      As always Mhatter99, your comments are very welcome. Peace. Kawi.

    • Nan Mynatt profile image

      Nan Mynatt 

      5 years ago from Illinois

      Excellent how-to directions and I will use them with the vinegar, and baking soda.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)