Have you been enjoying using your bath pillow a lot only to find dreaded mold or mildew on it?
Getting yourself the a top quality bath pillow helps keep this type of problem down to a bare minimum. However, if you’ve had your bath pillow for a while or the conditions in your bathroom are just too ideal for spore growth, then we’ll just have to deal with this problem.
Don’t worry too much though. You won’t have to throw out your bath pillow just yet as there are two easy ways you can remove this nasty growth.
However, let’s make sure we understand what mold and mildew exactly are and how they got there in the first place.
What are mold and mildew?
Mold and mildew are siblings. They are both fungal growths that like moist and warm areas.
Thanks to mold (or mould for our British readers), we have cheese and antibiotics. However, we don’t want either mildew or mold coming into our homes. Apart from visual sightings, one of the first giveaways for mildew is the strong, earthy, rotten smell.
Mildew is milder and it’s the beginning stage of mold. It’s a patch of gray or white fungus that grows on the surface of moist surfaces or objects. In the meantime, mold is a much larger infestation often found on walls or ceilings. It is black or green and looks fuzzy or slimy.
Because they are fungal growths, they are allergens and can trigger mild to extreme bouts of asthma, respiratory problems, irritated eyes, headaches, and more when not treated properly.
Happily, mildew is easy to get rid of. So let’s get to it.
Natural cleaning method with vinegar + baking soda
The good news with this natural cleaning method is that it’s very safe for you to do and won’t harm your body even if you come in contact with the cleaning materials. In fact, a lot of what you need is already sitting in your kitchen cabinets.
- plain vinegar
- a clean sponge
- baking soda
- a toothbrush (optional)
- Remove your bath pillow from your tub. Make sure you are removing it correctly. Lay down your mildewed bath pillow in your designated cleaning space.
- If you think your bath pillow is made of sensitive material, begin with a solution of half and half water and vinegar.
- Moisten your sponge and scrub gently. Add baking soda as you go. It will form a paste and you will see the vinegar reacting with the baking soda. This helps lift the dirt and mildew from your bath pillow.
- If there are hard to reach spots or crinkles on your bath pillow, use a toothbrush to clean these spots.
- Inspect your bath pillow thoroughly and make sure there are no mildew spots or patches. Otherwise, they will just grow back easily if there is any spore left.
- Air dry or if weather permitting, dry it out in the sun to kill off any bacteria, mold, or mildew. Rest assured that any vinegar smell dissipates easily.
- Next, check your tub. Make sure to clean the area where your bath pillow was sitting. Again, we want to take out any mold or mildew we missed to avoid it growing back.
Cleaning with bleach
If the first method didn’t work for you, or you don’t mind using strong chemicals in your home, or just love the smell of good ole bleach, then this method is for you.
- oxygen bleach
- a sponge or soft brush
- a toothbrush
- a cloth or rag
- 5 gallons of water
- rubber gloves
- goggles (optional)
- Prepare as mentioned earlier. Remove your bath pillow properly and lay it out where you can scrub with your cleaning materials.
- Add one (1) teaspoon of the detergent into the water. Put in a small amount of oxygen bleach. Mix. (I like oxygen bleach as it’s an effective and safer alternative to chlorine bleach.)
- Pour a bit of the cleaning solution on your bath pillow and sponge. Scrub gently. Use the toothbrush for hard-to-reach spots. Make sure you get all surfaces of your pillow clean.
- Next, clean your tub especially the area where your bath pillow was sitting and other areas where mildew may have formed. Cleaning everything will keep the mildew from coming back too fast.
- Air dry or dry out in the sun to kill all bacteria, mold, or mildew.
How to keep mold and mildew from growing back
Mildew can be mildly disgusting and disturbing. Keep it from coming back with these simple precautionary steps.
- Use the exhaust fan to remove the excess moisture and humidity after showers and baths.
- If you don’t have an exhaust fan, regularly ventilate your bathroom by opening the door and windows (weather-permitting).
- Don’t keep damp clothing in the bathroom. Use storage hampers or baskets that have big holes so that clothes don’t stay damp.
- Clean shower curtains regularly.
- Make sure towels dry fully.
- Keep a spray bottle in the bathroom. You can fill it with 1 tsp tea tree oil or a vinegar/water combo. After a shower, spritz it onto areas where mildew might form. (Be careful with the vinegar though especially if you have stone surfaces that are sensitive to acidic components.)
The KEY is that mildew loves moisture. So, if you can keep your bathroom as dry as possible, then that’s the best way to beat it.
Hope this helped!