To clean furniture:
Photographee.eu/ShutterStock Ammonia is what you need. Clean the mildew off unfinished wooden patio furniture and picnic tables with a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of water. Rinse off thoroughly and use an old terry-cloth towel to absorb excess moisture. (This same combination can clean painted outdoor surfaces.) To remove mildew from wicker furniture, wash it down with a solution of 2 tablespoons ammonia in 1 gallon of water. Use an old toothbrush to get into hard-to-reach twists and turns. Rinse well and let air-dry. An important safety note before you use ammonia in any part of your home: Be sure you use it in a well-ventilated area, always wear rubber gloves, and never combine ammonia and bleach.
To clean shower curtains:
donikz/ShutterStock Just because your plastic shower curtain or liner gets dirty or mildewed doesn’t mean you have to throw it away. Try cleaning it in your washing machine with two bath towels (to prevent the plastic curtains from crinkling) on the gentle setting. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your detergent during the wash cycle and 1/2 cup vinegar during the rinse cycle. Before the machine goes into the spin cycle, remove the curtain and let it drip-dry; don’t put it in the dryer.
Chlorine is another option to get rid of mold in your bathroom. Wash them—along with a couple of bath towels—in warm water with 1/2 cup chlorine bleach and 1/4 cup laundry detergent. Let the washer run for a couple of minutes before loading. Put the shower curtain and towels in the dryer on the lowest temperature setting for 10 minutes, then immediately hang-dry. Rid your rubber shower mat of mildew by soaking it in a solution of 1/8 cup chlorine bleach in 1 gallon water for 3-4 hours. Rinse well. (Here’s how you’re cleaning your bathroom wrong.)
To clean fabric:
vichie81/ShutterStock To remove mildew from upholstery and other fabrics, soak a sponge in a solution of 1/2 cup borax dissolved in 2 cups hot water, and rub it into the affected areas. Let it soak in for several hours until the stain disappears, then rinse well. For the same effect on clothing, soak the garments in a solution of 2 cups borax and 2 quarts water. Borax can also make other tiresome chores easier.