How do I remove stubborn mildew stains from a bathroom ceiling?

Mildew--like mould--is a common problem in bathrooms. The excess moisture that occurs in bathrooms can produce an overgrowth of the fungus. Mildew will stain bathroom ceilings, causing unsightly spots that are difficult to remove. These stains can cause your bathroom to look old and dingy. The best defence against mildew stains is prevention. Use a vent in your bathroom to help remove the excess moisture. If mildew stains already are present on your bathroom ceiling, you can remove them with a few simple items.

Wear a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves.

Add 2 cups of warm water into a 5-gallon bucket. Add 1/4 cup of TSP. TSP--also known as trisodium phosphate--is a tough cleaning solution that is available at local home improvement stores.

Submerge a sponge into the mixture. Wring out the excess liquid so the sponge is damp but not soggy.

Scrub the bathroom ceiling with the saturated sponge. Rinse the sponge into the mixture when it becomes dingy and continue scrubbing the ceiling.

Fill a small container with undiluted bleach. Dampen a white cloth with the bleach.

Wipe the bathroom ceiling with the cloth. Gently scrub mildew stains in a circular motion until they are no longer visible.

Saturate a clean cloth with water and rinse the bleach off the ceiling. Allow the ceiling to dry completely.

Apply a mildew-resistant paint to the bathroom ceiling to prevent future mildew growth.


Open windows and doors in the bathroom to help provide air circulation and ventilation during the cleaning process.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty rubber gloves
  • Water
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • TSP
  • Sponge
  • Small container
  • Bleach
  • 2 white cloths
  • Mildew resistant paint
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.