How To Clean Mildew From Ceiling

If you live in a climate where you have to fight off humidity, you are likely going to have to battle mildew in your home as well.

Bathrooms especially, regardless of the climate you live in, are the most common location to find mildew on your ceiling.

Even the smallest amount of moisture can cause mildew and mold to appear and start growing on your ceiling and walls.

Mildew can be hazardous to humans, especially if it is not under control and completely removed.

Once you notice any signs of mildew and mold, you need to start taking action to remove them from your ceiling.

Follow the steps below to learn how to clean mildew from the ceiling.

What You’ll Need

Now that you know exactly what you need to clean mildew from the ceiling let’s go over our step-by-step instructions to teach you how to do it.

1. Spray Ceiling With Vinegar Or Hydrogen Peroxide

You can use either white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and fill an empty spray bottle.

Using the bottle and standing securely on a ladder, spray the mildewy ceiling with white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Be sure to spray outside the mildew spots to prevent the spread of mildew further on the ceiling or walls. 

Let this soak for at least an hour. 

2. Rinse Vinegar Or Hydrogen Peroxide Off Ceiling

Now using either another spray bottle filled with water or a removable shower head if you are addressing your bathroom ceiling, spray the areas you sprayed earlier to rinse the white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide off. 

3. Brush Any Remaining Mildew Off Ceiling

On any parts of the ceiling that are more mildewy than others, you can use a soft brush to unsettle and remove any additional mold or mildew that has remained.

The white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide that you used has reached the root of the mold, and now you need to remove what is leftover!

4. Use Baking Soda And Vinegar

If the stains and mildew still remain, you can use a solution of two parts baking soda to one part vinegar and one part water (2:1:1 ratio).

I love the Lucy’s Family Owned – Natural Distilled White Vinegar.

They are a family-owned business and get wonderful reviews on Amazon.

Once you have created the mixture, spread it on the mildew area on the ceiling. 

Let it dry, and then scrub it with a soft brush.

Next, rinse and repeat if necessary. 

5. Spray Water And Borax For Stubborn Stains

If you are still having trouble removing mildew stains from your ceiling, create a mix of one part Borax to 16 parts water.

I recommend using the 20 Mule Team All Natural Borax Laundry Detergent Booster & Multi-Purpose Household Cleaner.

The 20 Mule Team is a household name and gets excellent reviews on Amazon, plus I’ve had great results with this brand.

Spray the solution on the mildew, let it dry, brush, and rinse. 

6. Call The Professionals

If the stain is persistent and recurring, it is time to consider contacting a professional.

Mildew and black mold can be severe and dangerous in your home. 

Video Instructions

If you are still not 100% sure on how to clean mildew from the ceiling, follow this video tutorial to lend you some clarity:

Commonly Asked Questions

Should I Use Bleach To Clean Mildew From The Ceiling?

No! This will not actually kill the mildew.

While we think of bleach as being a super cleaner, it actually will only irritate the mildew, but it does not actually remove the mildew and mold.

White vinegar and hydrogen peroxide will remove and kill the mildew that is taking root in your bathroom.

Can I Mix Any Of These Cleaning Solutions To Create A More Powerful Mix?

No, do not mix chemicals, as this could create a noxious and dangerous solution.

Use either the white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide on their own.

The only ingredients from the steps above that you can safely mix would be baking soda and white vinegar. 

What If The Mildew Is On A Textured Ceiling Or Wall?

If the mildew and mold are on a textured ceiling or wall, such as popcorn ceilings, you will want to blot the surface rather than scrubbing with a brush.

In addition, if you are treating drywall, be sure to use the baking soda and vinegar solution of Borax and water solution as they will be less wet. 

Can These Solutions Be Used On Other Areas Of The House With Mildew?

Be cautious of using any of the more wet methods on areas of the house that are difficult or hard to dry.

Consider using the baking soda or borax methods while using less of the watery component.

This will still allow the killing of mold to happen, but the wet ingredients of vinegar or water will not penetrate the surface too deeply.

In addition, do not use vinegar on hardwood or stone surfaces due to its acidic qualities.

This will damage the surfaces and do more long-term harm than good.

How Can I Prevent Mildew?

There are different ways to ensure mildew does not grow in your home.

You can increase ventilation by opening windows and utilizing exhaust fans to remove steam from bathrooms.

You can invest in a dehumidifier to decrease the moisture in the air that will lead to mildew growth.

If you decide to go the route of a dehumidifier, I recommend this Waykar 2000 Sq. Ft Dehumidifier for Home and Basements.

After setting your desired humidity levels, this dehumidifier will auto shut off when it reaches those levels and re-start automatically when levels have risen.  

Another issue that might be causing mildew growth on your ceilings is leaks or condensation in the pipes running through the ceilings and walls.

This would be causing unseen moisture that is difficult for you to address.

If this is a consistent problem, you may want to address this with a plumber.


I hope you enjoyed learning about these steps above in how to remove mildew from your ceiling!

Mildew on your ceiling is no joke.

Not only is it not a pretty sight, but it can also be harmful to you and your family.

Smaller-scale mildew issues, such as those that will naturally occur in bathrooms and other areas in your home with high humidity and moisture, can be taken care of with some DIY methods and elbow grease. 

Please make sure you are cautious and know when it is time to call a professional to get it cleaned!