How to Remove Mildew Stains

Mildew isn't just for bathroom tiles.
Mildew isn't just for bathroom tiles.
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Mildew is a fact of life, however you don't have to suffer its unsightly stains any longer. Mildew stains can pop up just about anywhere, so use these stain removal techniques to stop mold in its tracks.

After you identify the stained material, you can f­ollow these tips to erase mildew stains:


Non-washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove mildew stains from Acetate, Carpet (synthetic and wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate and Wool:

  • Brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to sweep staining material up onto a piece of paper) off any excess stain gently.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) with Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Then apply a dry spotter and amyl acetate.
  • Very gently scrape (the method of using a dull tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) or pat the stain with an absorbent pad dampened with dry spotter.
  • Flush with the dry-cleaning solvent and allow to dry.

If stain persists:

  • Sponge (the method of using a dampened pad to apply light strokes, moving outward from the center of the stain) with water and apply a wet spotter and a few drops of white vinegar.
  • Scrape or use an absorbent pad dampened with wet spotter to work the stain.
  • Flush with water and allow to dry.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol and pat the stain with a pad dampened with alcohol.
  • Flush with alcohol and allow to dry. (Do not use alcohol on acetate, rayon, or triacetate.)
  • To remove any final traces of the stain, use an oxygen bleach as directed on the package label.
  • When treating carpets, blot all excess liquid, apply an absorbent pad and weigh it down until no more moisture is absorbed.

Washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove mildew stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex. Most mildew stains can be removed during regular laundering if they are moistened beforehand.

If a stain remains:

  • Test fabric for colorfastness.
  • If color doesn't change, cover stain with a paste of lemon juice and salt.
  • On cotton and linen, make a paste from an oxygen bleach, water, and a few drops of ammonia.
  • Let paste cover stain for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Flush thoroughly with water and launder again.

Household Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove mildew stains Bamboo, Cane, Cork, Linoleum, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile and Vinyl Wallcovering.

  • Wipe stain with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added.
  • Rinse well with clear water and wipe dry.

If stain is stubborn:

  • Test on an inconspicuous place.
  • Apply a mildew stain remover according to package directions.
  • Do not use the product on fabric or flocked wallcoverings.

Ceramic Tile and Grout

Follow these steps to remove mildew stains Ceramic Tile and Grout:

  • Apply a mildew stain remover.
  • Another effective method is to dampen the stain with water and rub gently with bar soap -- not a deodorant soap.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Blot excess liquid and allow to dry.

Leather and Suede

Follow these steps to remove mildew stains Leather and Suede:

  • Rub the stain with petroleum jelly.
  • If stain remains, sponge the area gently with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol (be sure to test for colorfastness first).
  • On leather only, condition with leather cleaner or saddle soap.


Follow these steps to remove mildew stains from Wood:

  • Gently remove excess with a cloth dipped in a solution of 5 tablespoons washing soda per 1 gallon of water.
  • Rinse with a clean cloth moistened with clear water and polish or wax as soon as possible.