Can You Get Mold Out of Clothes?

Mold in Clothes

MoldyClothes-MoldSolutionsNWDealing with moldy clothes isn’t typically what we do, but it’s an issue for many people, and can be a sign of further problems.

Just like organic materials around your home, ie. walls, carpets, flooring or ceilings; if conditions are just right, mold can begin growing on your clothing and shoes, especially if they are made of of organic materials such as cotton or cotton blends. If there is too much moisture in your home, if clothing is left sitting while wet, (swimsuits and towels, or sweaty clothes from a workout), or if they aren’t thoroughly dried after washing, your clothing becomes a breeding place for mold spores. They just need the right conditions, (moisture, warmth and a little darkness), and within a few hours mold will begin to grow.

How do you know if your clothes are moldy? They will be discolored, black or green and will have a distinct musty smell.

Because of too much moisture…

If you find mold growing on your clothing, shoes or bags in your home, you can be pretty certain you have a moisture problem in your home. You can try to clean your clothes or throw them away, but unless you deal with the excess moisture, mold will continue to grow.

Places where mold can be a problem is in dark, damp basements, in closets and under sinks.

One young woman was constantly getting migraine headaches and couldn’t understand why. One day while looking through her bedroom closet she discovered black mold growing on the walls and floor, and it had spread to some of her clothing. After checking a little further, she discovered that her closet, which was on an outside wall of her home had a leak. Once she had the leak repaired and the mold properly removed, her headaches went away.

Can you clean mold from your clothes?

Mold is basically digesting your clothing if it has begun to grow on it, and it leaves a stain where it has been, so the longer it grows the larger the stain, the less you’ll want to use the clothing and the harder it will be to remove the stain and the smell.

If the mold hasn’t been growing too long, there are some products that will help remove it from your clothing:

  • BleachMoldyClothes-MoldSolutionsNWWashing them in a detergent that is designed to kill mold
  • Baking Soda
  • Bleach – can help lighten stains
  • Vinegar – helps remove the smell of mold
  • Borax – doesn’t emit toxic fumes

Be sure to wash the items in hot water and run through 2 complete wash cycles. A great way to make sure the mold has been killed is to line dry the clothing in the sun, where the sun’s ultraviolet rays will not only help to fade the stains, but will work to kill the mold as well.

If you have mold growing on your clothing, your home might have a mold problem, if you do…

 Contact us  – Mold isn’t always easy to see, but we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 

 


What are Mycotoxins and How Can They Affect You?

What are Mycotoxins?

Mold Spore-MoldSolutionsNWJust hearing the last part of the word – “toxin” – we know automatically that mycotoxins can’t be good for us and they are something to stay away from.

A mycotoxin is a type of toxin that is produced by fungus, (another word we don’t like), and is more commonly known as black mold. And just as you assume from its name…it is poisonous, in fact some of the most poisonous substances known.

Mycotoxins, like mold spores, travel through the air, and are too small to be seen without magnification. But unlike mold spores, they are not alive.

Mold spores typically enter a person’s body when they breathe, but mycotoxins can enter not only through the air but can also enter through our eyes and sometimes they can be absorbed through the skin. If toxic mold has been growing on food, it can also be ingested. After a period of time it can end up in the blood stream.

The greatest majority of the mycotoxins we come into contact with either come from the air we breath or the food we eat.

Symptoms you may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Skin rash
  • Itching eyes
  • Tachycardia
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Immune problems
  • Respiratory problems

These symptoms and so many others can go from mild to serious, but the good thing is that once the source of exposure to mycotoxins is removed, the symptoms will decrease. Nevertheless, some health problems caused by black mold may leave you more sensitive to exposure in the future and your immune system could be weakened.

When Black Mold Grows in the Home…

There is one common denominator between homes and buildings that have mold growth in them…moisture accumulation. A home without a moisture problem is a home without mold.

The excess moisture is usually caused by:

  • Condensation encourages mold growth - Mold Solutions NWHigh humidity
  • Condensation
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Roof leaks
  • Flooding
  • Repeated spills
  • Poor ventilation
  • Dampness in the basement

Along with the moisture, mold spores need things that are readily available in our homes to begin growing and reproducing, such as warm air, organic materials, oxygen and a little time; only 24-48 hours to be exact.

If you think your home might have a mold problem, and in the fight to keep your home “mycotoxin free”…

 Contact us  – Mold isn’t always easy to see, but we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 


How Clean is the Air You Breathe in Your Seattle Home?

Seattle Indoor Air Quality Guide

BreatheCleanAir-MoldSolutionsNWThere is all kinds of talk about the outside air we breathe…is it clean; is it free from such things as the toxic emissions from cars, manufacturing pollutants or even outdoor burning?

But have you ever considered the air you breathe in your home where air quality can be just as toxic or worse and detrimental to your health as those things we have mentioned above?

Sources of indoor air toxins:

Although you are usually not aware that you are breathing in toxins in your home, believe it or not, they can be found in every room. They can come from:

  • Your pet
  • Your fireplace
  • Space heaters, water heaters and furnaces
    • Many of our appliances release gases and particles that we breathe every day
  • Cleaning products
  • Dust mites
  • Carpet
  • Plastics
  • Certain building materials
  • Mold spores

Just as you can suffer from chronic illness, your home can suffer from chronic poor air quality…sometimes called “Sick Building Syndrome”. Although that may sound funny, to people whose health is affected by it, it’s no laughing matter.

Bad air quality can cause:

  • Cold symptoms that won’t go away, such as coughing and sneezing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Frequent and lasting headaches
  • Asthma -If you already have asthma it will increase your symptoms

These conditions affect the elderly, the very young and those who already struggle with some of these issues the most.

How to improve the air quality in your home

Regular cleaning is a great way to improve the condition of your home’s air. Although frequent dusting and vacuuming is important, it’s also important to have your furnace and your air ducts cleaned regularly.

Use your ventilation fans whenever you’re cooking or showering. Good ventilation in your home can help eliminate humidity issues which help cause dust mites and mold growth. If your home seems to always have high humidity, using a dehumidifier can be very helpful.

PreserveAairQuality-MoldSolutionsNWChoose your cleaning products carefully. Beware of those that might contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) including ammonia and bleach. Choose products with low or no VOCs and avoid aerosols and other sprays.

Keeping your pets clean can help reduce allergy causing dander.

No smoking in the house.

Grow live plants in your house. There are several plants that can help remove the pollutants that fill your air: The Peace Lily, Dracaena, English Ivy and Areca Palm to name a few.

If you think you have mold that is causing poor air conditions in your home, it may cause serious problems if not dealt with correctly, it’s damaging to your health and to your home.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 

 


Could Mold be Hiding in Your Home? Learn How to Find Out

Mold in Your Home

HidingMold-MoldSolutionsNWAll too often, when a home has mold problems, the mold is found hiding in places you don’t often look at. By the time its presence is detected, it has had a chance to really take hold and do damage to your home and possibly your health.

It can hide:

  • Under sinks around leaky pipes
  • Between walls
  • Under carpets or other flooring
  • In damp basements
  • Around your window sills
  • Even in your furnace
    • Mold can grow in the areas of your furnace’s duct work where dust collects. Then as you turn on your furnace and warm air begins circulating through your house, so do the mold spores that have begun growing.

If mold is hiding…how do you know it’s there?

Mold is not only ugly to look at (it can be pink, green, gray, white or black), but it has a distinctive odor. If you have ever smelled moldy food from the refrigerator, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a dirty, musty, moldy, unpleasant smell. It can often be smelled before it can be seen.

These odors are a strong clue that mold growth has begun, and it’s something that should not be ignored.

Another indicator that you have hidden mold in your home is if one or more persons develop cold like or allergy like symptoms such as sneezing, runny or itchy eyes, nasal congestion or a runny nose.

If these are symptoms you already experience, it may cause you to think this is normal. But if your symptoms are worse when you are in your home or business and they ease up or go away when you leave, it is more than likely that your symptoms are brought on or made worse because you are being exposed to mold.

Other signs of mold…

  • How Does Mold Grow - Mold Solutions NWPeeling, cracking or bubbling paint
  • Peeling or discolored wallpaper
  • Walls that bow or bulge
  • Walls or surfaces that always feel damp
  • Discolored or stained walls
  • Continuous condensation around windows or pipes

Mold can be a serious problem if not dealt with correctly, it’s damaging to your health and to your home.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.

 

 


Solve Your Allergies Seattle Problem – Symptoms Caused by Mold

Does Mold Cause Allergic Reactions?

Mold Allergies - Mold Solutions NWDo you feel like you are “doomed” to live with cold symptoms forever? Is it one of those seasonal colds  or sinus infections that you just can’t get rid of?

  • You’re sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Congested
  • You have watery itchy eyes
  • You have constant postnasal drip
  • Irritated throat
  • Headaches
  • Irritated Skin

Maybe it’s not a cold or sinus infection at all…maybe you have a mold allergy. Mold allergy symptoms are frequently thought to be cold symptoms, the big difference is that cold symptoms eventually go away – mold symptoms remain as long as you are exposed to mold spores.

 

Does Mold Affect Everyone the Same?

Not everyone has an allergic reaction, but those who do can become very uncomfortable, even to the point of becoming very ill. In fact, if you’re someone who suffers from asthma, exposure to mold may cause your asthma symptoms to get worse.

People who are at the highest risk of health problems especially allergies from mold are:

  • The very young
  • The elderly
  • People who already have respiratory problems such as asthma, other allergies or emphysema
  • Weakened immune systems such as people going through chemotherapy, those who have HIV, and those who have had organ transplants.

 

How Does Mold Make You Ill?

Mold is a living organism (a fungus) that grows and reproduces as tiny, microscopic spores are formed and released into the air. As the spores land on a surface that offers them what they need to live, moisture and organic materials for food, they can begin to grow.

Because mold spores are always in the air around us, whether we are inside or out, they can find their way into our bodies naturally as we breathe. This usually isn’t a problem unless the mold spore levels are too high when our bodies start reacting in the form of allergies or illness.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that just don’t seem to go away, you should examine those places where you spend a lot of time, home or work, to see if there is mold growing there.

 

Locating Mold – Where to Look After Experiencing Symptoms?

  • Mold on Ceiling - Mold Solutions NWWhere there might be water leaks
  • Where there may have been flooding
  • On your walls or ceilings
  • In your carpet or behind your wallpaper.
  • In your basement or crawlspace

Mold can grow in your walls or ceilings especially if the external wall has a crack (or multiple cracks) that collects moisture whenever it rains.

Painting over mold is never a good idea, the only way to stop it from reappearing is to remove it first, and sealing all cracks that are collecting water.

 

What about leaks?

One family had a leak from their dishwasher they weren’t aware of. Over time, the linoleum on their kitchen floor started turning gray. As they investigated and found the leak, the mold on the linoleum and on the plywood flooring became evident and had to be replaced.

If left unattended, mold will still linger on, causing allergies even when the source of the moisture has gone away. If there were small children in the house in the above mentioned case, the floor would have been a source of allergens for years to come – if not for a mold inspection and testing run.

 

Mold in Ventilation Shafts And Air Ducts

Another big issue is that you might be living in an older building which has air ducts that are not cleaned regularly, or at all. Air ducts are ventilation infrastructure that is supposed to guard the building against stale air but dust, pollen, and even bird feces and feathers all pile up in ducts over the years.

Combined with moisture, the end result is not pretty at all and could potentially pose a health hazard, not just as a mold-spreading machine.

Even defunct, without a spinning blade at the end, air ducts can be dangerous and have air flowing through them via draft currents or strong winds. Once a strong wind “activates” all of the piled up dirt in an air duct, all rooms that feature an air duct are at risk of becoming a cause for various allergies as everything that’s piled up in the shaft will now disperse across the rooms.

HVAC ducts can be particularly nasty. Cleaning both the filter in the HVAC unit itself and the ducts will get rid of mold. Mold only needs warmth and moisture, so keep this in mind.

 

Symptoms That Get Worse When the AC Turns On

If you or others start showing allergy symptoms whenever the AC is turned on, your #1 suspect should be dust and mold spores. If there’s a noticeable musty odor as well, there’s a high chance it’s not just dust, but actual mold growth you’re dealing with. Dispersed like this, mold can cause headaches, skin, nasal and throat mucosa irritation, nausea and other more serious symptoms.

You can always go to an allergy specialist doctor to check if it’s dust (which is 90% comprised of human skin, by the way), seasonal pollen, or the mold growth that’s causing the allergic reactions. The worst scenario is if you have multiple allergies and a weakened immune system.

 

When Do You Need to Call an Expert in Seattle?

For allergies and disease symptoms, contact a doctor immediately and get your symptoms in check. If left unattended, allergy symptoms can get out of hand and influence your day-to-day life, mood, routines, work capability and cost you more in the long run.

Regarding the mold, you may need an expert to locate and determine the extent of the problem.

Contact us if you think you have a mold problem – we know what to look for, where to find it, and what to do when its found.