Mildew is a form of mould or fungus that infests the home and living spaces. You would have seen them around. They have such unpleasant smells and can disfigure any surface they decide to call home. Mildews can also pose a threat to health. They produce microscopic spores known as mycotoxins which when inhaled in considerable amounts can be lethal. Most mildews also act as triggers to allergic reactions like Asthma.
Mildew grows when there is sufficient amount of moisture and ambient temperature. They also thrive in dark places. The most common places where they can be found are, in the bathroom, on wooden furniture, clothing, books, ceilings and even under the refrigerator.
They can be quite recalcitrant if not properly treated. Try these tips when next you notice them sprouting.
Clean With Antimicrobial Agents
It's not enough to just clean with regular detergents. These would only fix the surface without addressing the root cause of the fungal growth. Bleach works perfectly too.
Exposure to Sunlight
Clothings with mildew should be exposed to sun after brushing off the moulds. Raise the blinds and let the sunlight in. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can help sterilize surface/fabrics that are mould-infested.
To eliminate the musty odour of mildew from clothes, soak with a combination of lemon juice/vinegar and warm water. You can also use a multipurpose bleach too.
Wooden surface can be cleaned with damp clothes and mild antimicrobial cleaning agents. This is to preserve the integrity of the wood grains.
Air conditioners are one effective tool for removing moisture and heat from otherwise humid warm air. They can also inhibit mildew growth by lowering indoor temperatures.
Try a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers help to remove dust and the possible growth of mildews. They can reduce odours that can accompany mildew by getting rid of that musty/rotting smell.
Be mindful of:
Hidden water leaks.
Corners that are not usually reached in everyday cleaning. Mildews are likely to settle there.
Clothings that have not been used in a while.
Locating wardrobes in walls closest to the bathroom.