Secrets of How Mold Remediation is Actually Done—Part 3
What exactly is done to remediate a mold problem?
Part Three: Clothing & Other Contents
For clothing in general, whatever method of cleaning (wet or dry cleaning) is recommended by the garment manufacturer would be appropriate to treat items of clothing. That means that for much of a person’s wardrobe, putting the items in the washing machine is all that is needed. But don’t I need to do something extra special with these garments because of the mold presence. Actually, no. Laundering will remove the mold and/or the settled spores. There could be the possibility that mold could stain a garment which may not come out, but there is no reason to be concerned that the mold is still lurking around in the garment.
When taking something very contaminated to a dry cleaner, you would want to contact them ahead of time to let them know what you have to bring in for dry cleaning in case they have any particular direction to provide.
As a rule, clothing can be fairly reliably cleaned and retained.
Specialty items, such as furs, leather coats, etc. would also require communication with the cleaners regarding your specific situation.
Leather and canvas shoes (and handbags and other leather goods) seem to develop mold quickly. Our experience is that the economical approach with these items is to replace them.
Luggage tends to exhibit visible mold growth fairly quickly, too.
With many contents in a mold remediation situation, the decision is “What is the most cost effective way of addressing the mold-damaged goods?” Oftentimes, the simple answer is to replace the item.
For specific situations where there is a desire to retain an item that typically is disposed of, please consult with your remediation contractor or feel free to contact them for their advice.
NOTE: We have tried to cover the most common situations that we have observed during mold inspections that we have done over the last ten+ years. However, there are many other possible scenarios not covered above. Feel free to reach out to POWERS ENVIRONMENTAL LLC for a free phone consultation.
Mold Fact No. 6
Bleach is not the best product to clean mold-affected materials. First of all, bleach is a potentially harmful product for you to expose yourself to. It can cause chemical burns to the skin and can be very damaging to the eyes if it should splash in them and to the lungs from breathing in the heavy chlorine fumes. Remember the goal of cleaning mold-affected surfaces is to remove, not kill the mold. Even ‘dead’ mold fragments and spores can cause allergenic reactions to people who are sensitive. The goal is not to kill, the goal is to REMOVE. Use of disposable wet wipes is an excellent way to capture the mold contamination and remove it from your indoor environment. (If you want to use Clorox Wipes, go right ahead.)