The Mildew Summer

I thought it was just us. All summer long, mildew seemed to be taking hold all over the house. As we packed boxes and got furniture ready to be moved, we wiped mildew off off just about everything.

We did have incredibly high humidity all summer long, and some tropical days for sure. But this seemed a bit extreme. It was as if you’d wipe mildew off a surface and it would start right back.

As it turns out, people all over the east coast were having quite a mildewy season. And those warm, wet conditions were perfect for mildew to grow. And grow.

Mildew is a fungus that needs a food source (wood, paper, cloth, leather, etc.), high relative humidity, and warm temperatures.

Changing the dryness of a room with air conditioning is one option. This is expensive and energy-intensive, though. There are other options:

  • White vinegar can be used to wipe down most surfaces and remove mildew. Full strength if needed, or mixed with water.
  • For fabrics, a borax solution can help.
  • For painted surfaces, diluted bleach can clean up mildew.
  • For wood surfaces, a mixture of ammonia plus vinegar, baking soda and water can be used.

Have other tips? I’m sure we’ll have more tropical days in the coming years, and more mildew to fight off, and could use all the ammunition we can get.

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