To clean outdoor stains:
Hannamariah/ShutterStock Bleach can get mildew and other stains off unpainted cement, patio stones, or stucco. Mix a solution of 1 cup chlorine bleach in 2 gallons of water. Scrub vigorously with a stiff or wire brush and rinse. If any stains remain, scrub again using 1/2 cup washing soda (this is sodium carbonate, not baking soda) dissolved in 2 gallons of warm water. While you’re cleaning, you may want to consider giving your patio a makeover.
To clean painted surfaces:
NinaMalyna/ShutterStock For painted surfaces and siding, bleach is your answer, again. Make a solution of 1/4 cup chlorine bleach in 2 cups of water and apply with a brush to mildewed areas. Let the solution set for 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat as necessary. Check out these other smart uses for bleach around the house.
To clean clothing:
Etaphop-photo/ShutterStock Wash mildew out of washable fabrics. Wet the mildewed area and rub in some powdered detergent. Then wash the garment in the hottest water set-ting permitted by the clothing manufacturer using 1/2 cup chlorine bleach. If the garment can’t be washed in hot water and bleach, soak it in a solution of 1/4 cup oxygen bleach (labeled “all fabric” or “perborate”) in 1 gallon warm water for 30 minutes before washing.
If you’re short on chlorine, make a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub it on the affected area. Then, dry the clothes in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. This works well for rust stains on clothes too. (Here’s why you always need lemons in your house.)