Mildew can cause health problems and damage to your home if not addressed immediately, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. As soon as you notice any spots on the ceiling, open up the area for air circulation. Open up doors and windows nearby, unless it is raining; adding more moisture to the air will defeat the purpose. It is important to attack the problem early and by non-toxic means. Many commercial mold and mildew cleaners contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen.
If you have a dehumidifier, place it in the room temporarily to extract excess moisture. If you do not have a dehumidifier, a floor fan will also work. Point the fan at the mildewing area. If there are multiple problem areas, you can rotate the fan as you clean. Make sure to keep any doors and windows open to minimize breathing in the mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can be very damaging to your lungs.
Use a vinegar-soaked brush to scrub mold or mildew spots from the ceiling as soon as you see them form. It is easier to handle a small problem now than it is if you wait until it becomes a bigger problem.
Check the creases and crevices along the walls and floors and all areas of the shower and tub. If you find other mold or mildew spores, scrub there with the vinegar solution as well. To prevent the mold and mildew from occurring or reoccurring, do the following:
* Keep your bathrooms as dry as possible. When in use, use a good ventilation system.
* Wipe down your bathroom ceilings and walls weekly with vinegar. The acidic quality of vinegar helps prevent mold and mildew from occurring.
* For particularly stubborn areas, you can use common drugstore variety hydrogen peroxide to remove mold spores. It works well, and is more eco-friendly and less toxic than bleach.
* Make a preventative solution spray. Fill the spray bottle with hot tap water and five drops of tea tree essential oil. Tea tree oil is very good at combating mold. You can purchase it at most health food, beauty supply, or drug stores. Spray the solution over damp areas once a week and wipe down with a soft, dry cloth, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. All of the above are in The Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly House Cleaning by Anne B. Kocsis.