New Life Painting, Inc.
New Life Painting, Inc.

How to Remove Mildew from Siding


It happens to the best of us. Mildew creeps onto our home's exteriors (not just in our bathrooms!) without us even realizing it. That's why it's so important to do routine walks around your Santa Ynez house, checking on the condition of everything. When you notice mildew, don't panic. It's possible to remove, but keep in mind that you'll need to take swift action. Mildew can stain your siding, cause allergies to flare up, and can cause wood to rot. Tackling mildew removal as soon as possible will protect your family while keeping your home's value up where it belongs.

How to Tell If It's Mold or Mildew

Both mold and mildew grow in damp, shady areas, but they are different beasts. Mildew is typically easier to spot. You'll notice it is a gray/white or light brown color. Mildew sits on the surface of your house's exterior and it's powdery in form. 

Mold, on the other hand, is a bit trickier. The first sign may be a bad smell. It comes in many different colors and is more on the fuzzy side.

How to Remove Mildew from Wood and Vinyl Siding

1. First cover any plants near where you'll be removing mildew.

2. Wear protective clothing.

3. Choose a commercial mildew remover, or make your own solution of 1/3 cup all-purpose laundry detergent, 1 quart fresh household chlorine bleach, and 3 quarts warm water. You can also add washing soda or a cleaner that has trisodium phosphate for extra help.

4. Test the solution on a small area.

5. Wet the siding with the solution, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then scrub the area with the solution and a soft brush. Start at the bottom and work your way up. When done, rinse from the top down with your hose.

How to Remove Mildew from Brick

Make it a habit to spray your brick with the spray nozzle on your hose once a year. If you notice mildew in between, you'll need to scrub with a solution. Soak the brick first, and then use a solution of one cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water. With a stiff brush (not wire or synthetic), scrub the mildew. 

How to Remove Mildew from Stone

All you need is a mild soap solution to clean mildew from stone. Once you've wiped or scrubbed it away, rinse the stone with clean water.

How to Choose Paint that Is Resistant to Mildew

When it's time to repaint your house, make things a bit easier on yourself and choose a paint that is resistant to mildew. The least susceptible paints are exterior enamels, while the most susceptible are latex paint. Linseed oil base paints are incredibly susceptible.

How to Prevent Mildew in the Future 

Preventing mildew from ever showing up in the first place is always a smart move to make.

  • Keep your trees and bushes trimmed so you can limit the amount of moisture that can access your siding. 
  • Walk around your house at least once a month to inspect for damage. If you find any mildew, attack it immediately before it has the chance to grow.
  • Wash your siding every fall to prevent mildew from growing. 

And if you're too busy, too worried, or can't get the mildew to disappear, give New Life Painting in Santa Ynez a call at tel:8059379836 or contact us online for an estimate.


How to Clean Painted Cabinets

how to clean painted cabinets

The kitchen is a greasy, messy place. It really takes a beating several times a week (or day). From grease splatters to liquid spills and dishwasher steam, your cabinets are exposed to varying temperatures and messy substances. Keeping the cabinets clean, especially if they are painted, requires you to take proactive steps before the grease and grime build up. 

Your cabinet faces should be cleaned about every other week. But how can you clean the cabinets without damaging the paint? 

Don't Be Too Harsh

No matter the finish of your cabinet paint -- lacquer, semi-gloss, or anything else -- stay away from abrasive cleaners or cleaning tools. Using harsh cleaners or rough tools can dull or damage the paint. Avoid strongly alkaline or acidic detergents. 

It's best to start with the gentlest cleaning method and work your way up. Sometimes, the simplest, gentlest method will do the trick (especially if you stay on top of cleaning your cabinets), while other times will require slightly stronger methods.


Gentlest Method for Cleaning Painted Cabinets

The gentlest, easiest method is to simply wipe your cabinets down with a damp, soft cloth. If this rids your cabinets of splatter and dust, congratulations! You're done! Go take a relaxing bubble bath with your extra time.

The Detergent Method

If you still are faced with grime and grease, mix a bit of detergent with warm water. The measurements aren't exact -- just add enough detergent to a bucket of running water to make suds.

Dip a microfiber cloth into the suds and wring it out. Rub the damp cloth on your painted cabinets in a circular motion, repeating until the grime is gone. 

Take a second microfiber cloth, and get it damp with non-soapy water. Go over the cabinet with the damp cloth in a circular motion, being sure to remove all soapy residue.

With a third (dry) microfiber cloth, dry the painted cabinet, using a circular motion again.

Done! Go have a relaxing bubble bath to unwind from all the effort.


Attacking Any Remaining Grease Spots (Gently)

If you still have yellow grease spots left over after your thorough (and gentle) work, try this method to spot clean those areas.

You'll need:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Combine these all together, dip a soft cloth into the mixture, and spot clean those stubborn areas. Wipe the areas dry with a dry cloth when done.

You can also try combining equal amounts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray onto the grease spots, let sit for five minutes, and wipe away.

If you're not already in the habit, the New Year is a great time to be more mindful of messes in the kitchen. Commit to wiping up grease spills as soon as they happen so you can avoid dealing with grease stains later on down the road. Add a basic cabinet wipedown into your regular housecleaning routine to stay on top of dust. This will help you keep your painted cabinets looking clean, beautiful, and updated far longer (while cutting down on extra work).

New Life Painting can help you get the kitchen of your dreams, whether that's simply painting your existing cabinets, painting your walls, or remodeling the whole room. Give us a call at (805) 937-9836, or contact us online for a free estimate.