Removing mildew from a bathroom ceiling

Updated November 21, 2016

Mildew on your bathroom ceiling is not only unsightly, but it can also pose a health risk. Normally ceiling mildew will not emit an odour, but if left untreated, it can become an assault on the olfactory sense. As if all these prospects weren't bad enough, mildew can cause permanent, serious damage to your ceiling if it's not treated properly and in a timely manner. There are many different causes of mildew on a bathroom ceiling. A combination of warm temperatures and humidity due to showers and baths, lack of sunlight and air that does not circulate, can all cause mildew to form on the bathroom ceiling.

Treating the Problem

Identifying mildew on the bathroom ceiling is the first step in combating it. It's easy to spot because it will appear as fuzzy spots that are either green or black in colour. The size of the spots varies, depending on how the size of the spores that have accumulated. These spores are a type of fungus that must be removed. The spores can be very small in size, ranging from about the size of a pinhead to the size of a half dollar, although sometimes they can be much larger. Wear rubber gloves. Get a bucket and mix a solution of 1 gallon hot water and 1/2 cup of bleach with chlorine, then add 1/3 cup of washing powder. Use a stick or something that can be thrown away to mix the solution. Soak a sponge that has an abrasive, scrubbing side in the solution, and squeeze excess solution out into the bucket. You will probably need a step stool to reach the ceiling, so make sure you have something sturdy to stand on. Scrub the area free of mildew. Repeat the sponge dipping process often until the mildew is gone. After you have scrubbed the area clean, dump out the solution and rise the bucket and sponge clean. Fill it with water and using the sponge once again, rinse the ceiling. Use an old towel to pat the affected area dry. You can also use a fan, pointed towards the ceiling, if you'd rather not pat dry with a towel.

Combating Mildew

As long as damp conditions exist, the spores that cause mildew will grow. This often happens to bathroom ceilings because when the shower or bathtub is used, the steam from the water rises to the top, settling on the ceiling. Because the ceiling never gets dried after use and because there is most likely little to no sunlight, spores begin to form. In certain situations, there's no way to avoid the accumulation of ceiling mildew, but if you have even just a small window in your bathroom, open it after the shower or tub has been used, particularly when the weather is warm. Another way to avoid the accumulation of mildew is to clean the spores off the ceiling and then paint the entire ceiling with a mould-resistant paint.

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