Bathroom Mildew Removal
Bathroom Mildew Removal
Ceramic tile is very attractive. Its glass-like surface makes it easy to keep clean, and you can do many decorative things with the material. It is the grout that causes people to become disenchanted with this building material. The porous grout is simply cement that looks like a sponge under a microscope.
All sorts of bacteria, organisms, etc. can soak into and hang out within the grout. The grout can also absorb and hold moisture. These qualities make it the perfect breeding ground for mildew. Well, it can run but it can't hide!
If you are a military historian, you know that it is a common practice to try to starve out an enemy. Cut off their food or water supply and it is only a matter of time before they surrender or become too weak to fight effectively. Mildew is no different. If you want to stop or minimize mildew, then you need to cut off its water and food supply.
Once you have an outbreak of mildew in your home, it is tough to totally eliminate it. Why? The mildew sends out airborne spores or seeds to start a new colony within your house. These spores can be just hanging out waiting for enough water and food to show up before they start to grow aggressively.
A common source of mildew spores is actually in the tub or shower drain. There is often a horrible black buildup of mildew and other bacteria on the side walls of the drainpipe that is between the chrome drain strainer and the trap where the standing water is. You can remove all of this buildup by cleaning it periodically with chlorine bleach.
Be a Doer!
I have found that there are talkers out there and there are doers. Doers get things done. Talkers talk about it and frequently make excuses. It requires more discipline and work to be a doer. If you don't want mildew in your shower or tub area, you need to spend an extra 30 seconds each time you take a shower. You need to rinse off the wall and floor surfaces and then squeegee them to send as much water down the drain as possible.
You can buy decorative shower squeegees at better hardware stores. They even come with a handy holder that attaches in the shower area.
Mildew also needs food to eat. It doesn't take much to satisfy them, but unfortunately we offer them more than they need. Body oils, soaps, etc. all contain food for mildew and other bacteria. If you clean your ceramic shower or tub area on a regular basis, you cut off the food supply.
In a few moments you will read about regular cleaners you can buy at any grocery store. Most of these do a swell job of removing dirt, soap film, etc from ceramic tile and grout surfaces. I didn't list every cleaner as there were simply too many. The next time you buy one, look at the ingredients. Keep in mind that the chemical name for chlorine bleach is sodium hypochlorite.
Read Ceramic Tile Cleaner Products for these cleaners.
Hard Water Stains
Friends of mine have complained that they can't get tough stains out of their shower. When they describe them to me, I realize they are not mildew but light colored hard water stains. These are some of the easiest things to deal with. Common white vinegar will dissolve hard water stains and deposits. It may take repeated soakings and scrubbings, but faucets, sinks, toilets, tile, etc. will look brand new.
Cleaners that contain mild abrasives can harm just about any surface, even ceramic tile. Use them often enough and they will de-gloss shiny glass surfaces. The abrasives are work savers. They help you to cut through dirt. If you clean on a regular basis, you usually don't need the help of the abrasives.
Never use abrasive cleaners on plastic, fiberglass, acrylic, etc. type surfaces. They will remove the gloss from these surfaces. Refer to the care instructions that usually come with products for safe cleaners.