If you have noticed grey, white or dark specks on the plasterboard or ceiling in your bathroom, you may have mildew. Mildew on bathroom walls is common as the dampness and lack of air flow prompts it’s growth. I noticed we recently had a mild growth of mildew on the walls above our shower, and I’m going to share with you how I cleaned it off.
When we bought our house ten years ago, it was a display home. So while it was fitted with a great range of features, there were some things like an exhaust fan in the bathroom that hadn’t been installed.
The tiles also don’t go to the ceiling.
As soon as we moved in, we got our electrician in to install an exhaust fan in the ensuite, but it wasn’t installed above our shower – it was installed in the middle of our ensuite (was the best place to install at the time).
As a result, the steam rises from our double shower and it can cause the plasterboard above the tiles to get damp.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed dark specks above the shower and I knew I had to get onto cleaning it straight away.
The difference between mould and mildew
If you have mildew in the bathroom, usually it is characterized by a grey white colour which can turn dark if left and not cleaned. It’s a fungi that sits on the surface of a damp area like the plasterboard, tiles or even glass in a bathroom.
Mould is usually black and fuzzy and it is much harder to get rid of. Usually it grows in grout, silicone and plasterboard. Sometimes the only way to get rid of mould is to remove the surface it has grown in or get a cleaning specialist in to control and clean the outbreak. While there are natural remedies that can kill the mould spores, it won’t always take away the black spots.
Thankfully, in my case it was just mildew above my shower and I was keen to get rid of the unsightly view.
Getting Rid of Mildew on Bathroom Walls
I have use two products to remove mildew from my bathroom walls with great results.
I did use Koh cleaning product and I added 2 drops of Clove oil. Clove oil is great for killing the mildew spores. I left the spray on for 30 seconds and it only took one wipe to remove the mildew and the wall looks good as new. I used paper towel to clean the spores away first, and then my green cleaning cloth with more clove oil to prevent further spores.
It’s been more than a year since I used that method, and I noticed the spots had come through again on the walls.
This time I used 1 cup of vinegar, 5 drops of clove oil and a paper towel to wipe.
I sprayed along the top of the shower and left the spray on for a minute. I used paper towel to wipe away – while this is not environmentally friendly, you don’t want mildew spores in your washing.
As soon as you see any mildew in the bathroom, it’s important to clean it straight way so it doesn’t cause minor health issues like sinus. Mildew is a type of mould, so you don’t want it to become a bigger problem in the bathroom by leaving it grow. As soon as you see the spots, give it a spray and then wipe.
While cleaning the mildew is important, it’s crucial to identify what has caused the mildew in the first place.
The best ways to prevent mildew in the bathroom:
- Open the window when having a shower to let steam out.
- Always use an exhaust fan when showering to extract steam.
- Wipe down walls with a towel to remove condensation.
- Check for roof leaks or possible water leaks in the bathroom and get them fixed asap.
- As soon as you see a mildew outbreak, clean it immediately and identify the cause – i.e. is the wall damp from a leak behind the wall or from moisture/condensation from what happens outside the walls? Generally, there will be a water stain or mark from water leaking inside the walls.