Stop Bathroom Tile Grout Mildew

We’re in an old house with a small bathroom where the bathtub is located. The bathtub is surrounded by ceramic tile walls, which is really nice. However, that’s a big invitation for mildew to form from the moisture in that small room. Until very recently, we couldn’t even open the one window in that tiny room. Needless to say, the last time I cleaned mildew from the grout with bleach and a toothbrush, I was really gassed out. I swore I wouldn’t do it again.

And so…I haven’t! I experimented and found a way to prevent the mildew from coming back. I’ve just created a YouTube video on it (the link is below). But, in case you don’t want to watch, here’s the trick…

There’s just a couple simple steps involved that anyone can do…

First, I squeegee water off the walls. If you don’t have a squeegee and don’t want to buy one, you can get by without it.

Second step…I dry the walls the best I can with an old rag towel. If you don’t have a squeegee, two towels may be needed to dry the walls.

Third step…and here’s the key! I mist the walls down with pure rubbing alcohol. Yep…I placed straight alcohol in a spray bottle and mist the walls routinely after the last shower of the day. I have NOT had a mildew problem since!

Note that I started with clean walls. I had just gone through the process of scrubbing the grout with bleach and a toothbrush before I searched for an alternative way to deal with the problem. My alcohol routine has prevented the mildew from reforming around the tiles. I’ve done this for at least a year now, so I’m sure the mildew would have reformed by now without the alcohol treatment, so I have no doubts it’s working.

The alcohol kills any microbes that may be there and also helps to dry up any remaining water in the grout. Between the two effects, mildew has NOT returned! Yipee!!

IF you have mildew already in your grout and don’t want to use the bleach/toothbrush routine, feel free to give this a try. Misting alcohol may take several applications to kill it all. Perhaps pouring it on for a first application may kill it all. Otherwise, you may want to remove the mildew any way you are accustomed to doing it, then follow that up daily with this new routine.

I suggest you give this a try if your plagued with mildew in bathroom ceramic tile grout. IF you have a plastic (or whatever) tub kit, please do check with the manufacturer to verify it is safe to spray the finish with alcohol.

Also, if you have painted walls or anything else painted in the area, please try not to spray the alcohol on the paint. Rubbing alcohol softens paint, making it sticky. HOWEVER, if you do accidentally spray paint with the alcohol, just do nothing. As the alcohol evaporates, the paint will harden up again. Just don’t make a habit of spraying paint with alcohol, as I don’t know what repeated exposure to the alcohol would do to your paint. (If YOU know, please share that with us!)

Here’s the video on this topic. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you! Judi

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