Homemade Mold & Mildew Cleaners That Work

Updated April 20, 2020
Woman cleaning bathroom

There is a huge market for cleaning products that claim to eliminate mildew. However, most name brand mildew cleaners can put a dent in your wallet with frequent use. The best way to save your belongings from mildew and keep your budget intact is to switch to homemade cleaners. You can whip up a batch of homemade mildew cleaners for pennies using ingredients you have around the house.

Simple Homemade Mildew Cleaners

Many store-bought mildew cleaners contain hazardous solvents and petroleum-based chemicals, which may contaminate groundwater and present a problem to wastewater treatment facilities. Since no one wants that, you might want to consider switching to natural homemade mold killer cleaners. They are much safer to work with and are just as effective as name brand versions. Check out a few homemade solutions to remove mildew from fabric.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Mildew Cleaner Extraordinaire

When it comes to killing mold and mildew, hydrogen peroxide is a great go-to cleaner from the bathroom to the kitchen. In addition to decomposing mold and mildew through its oxygen power, hydrogen peroxide is a registered disinfectant with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. To use hydrogen peroxide as an all-purpose disinfectant to kill mold and mildew around your house, follow these steps:

  1. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray mixture in the shower stall or other non-porous surface and leave to dry for an hour.
  3. Rinse the area with clean water and allow it to air dry.

While hydrogen peroxide works great in the bathroom, you can also use it in the kitchen and even on walls to kill mold and mildew. However, remember that peroxide does have a bleaching agent, so if you use it on a colored fabric or surface to remove mold, be cautious.

Homemade Mildew Remover: Bleach & Borax

Two other cleaning agents great for giving mold and mildew a one-two punch right out of the park are bleach and borax. If you are looking to eliminate mildew in your bathroom, you'll want to follow this recipe:

  1. Mix the following in a spray bottle:
    • 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach
    • 1-1/2 cups of water
    • 1 tablespoon borax
  2. Spray cleaner on mildew tile or wall and let sit for approximately 30 minutes, keeping the surface wet to keep the bleach solution active.
  3. After 30 minutes, wipe mildew from the surface with a cloth
  4. Rinse the area with clean water and allow it to dry.

While this recipe will work great on non-porous surfaces, you'll want to avoid using bleach on porous materials like grout. Not only might it cause discoloration but the chemical makeup of bleach can cause deterioration.

White Vinegar the Mold Killer

Straight white vinegar is said to kill 82 percent of mold. Therefore, it makes a great mold killer recipe. To make this homemade cleaner, you'll:

  1. Pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mildew area and let sit.
  3. After a few minutes, rinse with clean water.
  4. Dry with a cloth.

Vinegar is very acidic. While that is great for killing mold, it is also very harsh on the sealant for granite. Therefore, you'll want to avoid using this recipe on these surfaces. However, vinegar is gentle enough to use on leather and cloth surfaces for mold.

Natural Mold Cleaner Recipe With Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal. Since mold and mildew are a fungus, it works as a great natural cleaner. Additionally, this recipe is gentle enough to be used on nearly all surfaces. To use tea tree oil, just follow these instructions:

  1. Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray mildew areas.
  3. Do not rinse; simply allow to dry.

Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a long way. Also, the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but the scent will subside in less than a day and the product is non-toxic.

Homemade Mold Cleaner Recipe: Borax and Vinegar

Last, but certainly not least, is the borax and vinegar killer combo. This strong powerful cleaning duo will eliminate mold and mildew in a few squirts. Just remember to keep vinegar away from granite. For this recipe, you want to follow these steps.

  1. Mix 2 teaspoons of borax with 1/2 cup white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Apply the mixture on mildew and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. The borax will scour the surface while the white vinegar combats the mildew and mold.
  4. Rinse with clean water and allow the area to dry thoroughly.

Cleaning Tips

To save time and money, mix large quantities of the natural mildew cleaners at one time and store unused portions. Just remember to label the cleaner. Also, keep in mind that just because the homemade cleansers are made from natural products, doesn't mean you shouldn't wear gloves when you handle them. It's a good idea to wear a pair of rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, especially when cleaning with bleach.

Homemade Mildew Cleaners That Work

It's not hard to find a homemade mold cleaner that works to eliminate that mold. However, you'll want to make sure to use care with some materials on specific surfaces like fabrics and granite. Now it is time to get cleaning. Mold waits for no man or woman!

Homemade Mold & Mildew Cleaners That Work