Your Impact Is HUGE

Look Outdoors

To a great extent, nature is inherently “self-cleaning.”

Nature has UV light and ozone, which sterilize. Water washes grime away. There are only few “trapped spaces” where air and moisture cannot escape.

Microbes are always forced to compete with the elements and endless other species to survive.

Indoors

Inside, there’s no UV light or ozone, and buildings cannot tolerate being wet. Air is perpetually trapped in modern buildings.

The microbes and fungal spores that come inside daily — each time we open a door — are trapped. They accumulate over time, unopposed. Moisture intrusion often occurs unstopped. Mold’s spores and VOCs are released and build up over time. Chemical toxins become concentrated in our spaces.

Why Invite Risk?

The less we clean, the more these toxic elements increase indoors.

Dust collects — harboring chemical toxins, and on which unseen mold can grow.

A cluttered environment also means we are less able see the health problems with our buildings.

A New, Clean Path

Beautiful, clean practices can benefit you throughout your health journey.

Make life easier, simpler, and even more enjoyable — as you rediscover healthy living spaces.

Explore the Mold section
The Mold section -- Learn about mold illness and how your environment can affect your health, longevity, and recovery from illness.

You may be surprised how much cleaning can help your immediate health – even in a sick building.

Just a 15% improvement in your daily exposure to irritants and toxins could noticeably improve how you feel each day and set the stage for faster progress in your health recovery.


1

The Indoors Must Be Cared For

Look at Children

When we observe kids playing, they demonstrate very little awareness of anything potentially harmful to them.

If we watch long enough, we’ll certainly see children playing in the filthiest of places (toilets, garbage, etc.) — without a second thought.

In this respect, we shouldn’t be like children! Our homes and buildings can become especially unhealthy — unless we take active steps to prevent sick building syndrome.

To be healthy adults, we must become aware of our modern buildings — how they work, how they fail, and how to maintain them.

Buildings Are “High Maintenance”

You probably aren’t “high maintenance,” but the buildings we live in are.

Buildings cannot maintain themselves and, therefore, it is up to us — their inhabitants — to keep them up.

Taking care of our buildings is no small task. Buildings have become more complex in modernity.

An increasingly technological world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by building maintenance, even while having little clue where to start.

Current architectural designs tend to favor complexity, often to boost curb appeal — creating a structure that is more difficult to stay on top of.

Modern retrofits and remodeling of old buildings tends to adulterate the original simplicity. Remodeling old homes rarely improves the health of the home. Instead, it’s usually the far opposite.

More moving parts in a home means more to keep track of, and more to understand.

The first step to stay on top of your home’s maintenance? Keep it clean.

The first step to improving your indoor air quality? The same — keep things clean.


2

Dust Is Very Bad For Health

Keeping dust levels low is an important first step in improving the health of a home.

Mold Loves Dust

Humidity above 60% allows mold spores to grow on dust.

Chemicals Love Dust

“Humans spend most of their time indoors and thus have long-term exposure to chemicals.”

VOCs are harmful chemicals, and they collect in dust.  

Keeping surfaces wiped down is essential to reducing these carcinogenic and harmful additives to our products.

Dust is a sink for most indoor chemicals, and its ingestion is an important pathway for chemical uptake. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31081622

Dust Mite Excrement

Related image
A dust mite leaves toxic excrement — especially in carpet and cloth furniture.

Dust contains dust mite feces, which is toxic and builds up enormously in fabrics.  

Your focus may be on mold — but dust mites can increase the toxic load of your home exponentially.

Enzymes in dust mite poop break down the cells of our body, literally trying to eat our flesh — inside or out.

When it comes in contact with our skin or lands in our lungs, the enzyme erodes our cells as if they are food. 

https://nautil.us/blog/-a-holiday-guest-is-leaving-dangerous-poop-in-your-couch

Dust mites begin to die when humidity drops below 50-60%. As dust mites die, their bodies pile up in unwashed fabrics. Thus, it’s important to both clean all fabrics frequently — and also to control your indoor humidity!

The quick tips to reduce dust mite allergens from this study:
  • Launder bedding weekly
  • Careful, frequent vacuuming of carpets and upholstery
  • Steam cleaning
  • Dusting

When you’re in control of the dust in your house, you’ve reduced a major source of contamination — and the toxic load your body has to deal with on a daily basis.

3

Microfiber Towels

The antidote to dust?
Related image

Microfiber towels trap everything.  

This includes mold spores — along with dust and dirt.  They don’t merely push dirt around, they grab grime, and won’t let go easily.

Use With:

  • Benefect Decon 30
  • Vital Oxide
  • Vinegar + essential oils
  • Water
  • Dry  

Wash With:

  • Machine wash, warm wetting
  • Dry on gentle setting
This particular microfiber product has worked great for me.

Quickly and easily reduce dust, spores, and mycotoxins from your home, by having 10-20 microfiber towels on a shelf (and a Swiffer) ready to go.  

My fleet of microfiber towels fresh out of the laundry and ready to be folded.  Amazon has affordable Microfiber towels.

Microfiber: Uncomfortable On Your Hands?

If microfiber cloth is uncomfortable on your skin — consider wearing some gloves.

For what it’s worth, microfiber used to bother my skin, too. My skin has improved so much over the last few years (thanks in large part to getting out of sick environments, as well as gut health and nutritional improvements) that microfiber towels no longer bother me at all.

Dust Efficiently!

A whole room — or the entire house — can be wiped down rapidly if you know where to focus.

Tops Of Things

Make sure you get the tops of things, where dust collects.  With microfiber, it can be so easy to clean the tops of everything in a whole room quickly.

I consider the floor to be a “top” when I’m dusting, due to the way dust settles on it.

Bottoms Of Things

Focus also on the bottoms of things (that’s where they touch other surfaces).  Bags, lunchboxes, and boxes that regularly touch the floor may be as dirty as shoes.

Handles

Hands touch handles — be sure to wipe them down (and disinfect them) frequently.

Remember! Hard surfaces are cleaned quickly and easily — and don’t store harmful compounds so well.

Carpets, rugs, and cloth furniture, on the other hand, are difficult to deep clean, and store incredible quantities of toxins when compared to hard surfaces.  


4

The Swiffer

A dry Swiffer is merely a microfiber pad on a stick.  

I was able to get this much dirt off a gym floor with a dry Swiffer.

A Swiffer can trap a lot of nasty stuff.

With hard floors and a Swiffer, you can remove dust from your floors in minutes.


5

Cleaning Products

Great cleaning products exist — effectively sanitizing while using safe, natural ingredients.

Benefect Decon 30

This is perhaps the best cleaning product I’ve ever used.

As its namesake suggests, Benefect Decon 30 completely disinfects (99.99%) in 30 seconds. The company claims it is safe to use on food-prep surfaces — without even needing to wipe off before preparing food.

The active ingredient is thymol, the main component of thyme essential oil. Botanically sourced, you get harsh-chemical performance from an all-natural product.

There is only a very faint, pleasant, scent of thyme oil when using this product, and it fades quickly.

Vital Oxide

This is the second-best cleaning product I’ve used.

Vital Oxide has been on back order during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s a very, very close second to the Benefect.

Vital Oxide essentially claims everything that Benefect claims: 99.99% disinfection, safe to leave on food-prep surfaces without rinsing, safe to use around people and children.

The label describes this as a hospital-grade disinfectant, and it’s also used on farms to prevent disease in livestock.

Vital Oxide has a very, very slight “clean” scent. I don’t think it smells like a fragrance, at all. Having had MCS, myself, I don’t think the scent would bother most folks with chemical sensitivities.

Four Big Mold Cleaning Products

Concrobium

Concrobium is best for crawl spaces, attics, HVAC fogging, & generally moldier homes — due to more aggressive anti-mold action and the fact that Concrobium is designed to remain on surfaces, long-term.

  • Concrobium actually encapsulates and suffocates mold, killing it.
  • Concrobium highly recommends reapplying another coat if you wipe up residue, to prevent more mold growth. The product is designed to invisibly remain on surfaces indefinitely, acting as a mold deterrent.
  • Dried Concrobium powder can be irritating for some.

NOT an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant.

Benefect Decon 30

100% natural, essential oil-based thymol is the active ingredient, and it is a potent disinfectant.

Apply via sprayer, cloth, or fogger and leave on surface for 30 seconds before wiping up.

  • Benefect claims there is no need to wipe up — even on food-prep surfaces. The product will dissipate.

For all-purpose cleaning and disinfecting.

Vital Oxide

Vital Oxide has all the same application characteristics as Benefect, only it uses a less-natural active ingredient. The company makes all of the same safety claims as Benefect.

  • Vital Oxide claims there is no need to wipe up — even on food-prep surfaces. The product will dissipate over a few weeks.

For all-purpose cleaning and disinfecting.

EC3

EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate is not an all-purpose disinfectant. It needs to be diluted with water, and makes 1 gallon of product — similar to the others on this list.

This product uses citrus seed extracts.

  • EC3 makes similar safety claims as Benefect Decon 30, but is marketed specifically for mold — whereas Benefect and Vital Oxide are all-purpose cleaners and disinfectant.

Does not claim to be an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant.

  • EC3 recommends using HEPA vacuum after application to remove spores.

Cleaning Vinegar + Essential Oils

Vinegar is a decent daily cleaner.

It’s extremely safe, and it won’t aggravate mold growth the way harsh chemicals can.

I’m a fan of adding 4-7 drops of essential oils to my spray bottle of vinegar. Any essential oil is fine, but Thieves-style blends (tea tree, peppermint, and clove oils) are my favorite.

How To Use:
  • Mix in a spray bottle. 
  • Vinegar doesn’t have to be diluted. 
  • Add 4-7 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle.

Be careful with essential oils. Sometimes they aren’t good for the finish on furniture.

High-quality spray bottles are money well-spent.

Borax Is Antifungal

Borax is quite safe and has antifungal properties against mold.

Borax is a chemical made of sodium and boron minerals. Both are minerals the human body needs for health.

Boron from Borax will absorb through the skin, and this could raise the body’s boron levels.

Many people could use a little extra boron, so this absorption is potentially a good thing for those folks.

However, in the chronically ill, too much boron absorption through the skin (or internally from supplements) could result in elevated levels of boron. High boron could deplete zinc and other minerals.

How To Use Borax:

Just add a 1/4 cup to a spray bottle of water. You might see some people suggest mixing vinegar and borax, but this will likely just neutralize the acidity and reduce its cleaning (and possibly mold-killing) power.

Bleach

Bleach is not great for killing mold — and should never be used on porous surfaces because it can actually increase mold growth.  

When we spray bleach on something porous (like wood), the bleach can stay on the surface and kill the surface mold, but the solution is mostly water — water that will wind up soaking into the material — and actually hydrating and feeding the mold deep inside the material.  

Only use bleach on hard, non-porous surfaces (if you use bleach at all). Never combine bleach with vinegar or ammonia. Many folks with MCS are so sensitive to the fumes that bleach is simply not an option for them. Which is fine — it’s not the best option, anyway.

Read more

6

HEPA Vacuums

Vacuum well and often, in multiple directions.  

A vacuum with a HEPA filter is necessary to trap spores — otherwise spores will be spread each time you vacuum.  

Always empty a vacuum OUTSIDE the building/home, and be careful to minimize spread of dust and dirt while emptying.

Festool HEPA Shop Vac
AMAZON — Quite possibly the highest-quality shop vac in existence.
  • Flawless design
  • Incredible power
  • HEPA filter
Nilfisk Aero 21 HEPA Shop Vac
AMAZON — A high-quality European shop vac.
  • I read this brand is produced by Festool, for a lower price-point.
Dibea Bed Vacuum Cleaner
AMAZON — UV-light + HEPA vacuum for bedding and upholstery.
  • HEPA filter
  • UV light — to sanitize as it cleans.

Carefully change or empty a vacuum’s bag and filter outside.

Don’t bring the dirt, spores, and germs you just vacuumed back inside the house!


7

Ozone

Ozone is a powerful oxidizer.

Ozone machines emit ozone in high quantities, which dries the air, oxidizes toxins and chemicals, and also kills bugs (including bed bugs, lice, and dust mites).  

An ozone particle is so reactive that it steals an electron from other particles and alters their chemical identity. As an oxidative agent, it is second only to fluorine gas.

Great For Prevention

Mold does not like ozone, and therefore it can be a potent element in the prevention of mold growth.  

However, if you have mold growth already occurring, ozone will likely not ever eliminate it entirely. Instead, it will merely slow the spread and proliferation.

Only Decent Coverage

Ozone cannot reach all areas equally; it must be blown around a room.  

Even then, it will not reach behind objects, behind books, or other hard to reach spaces very well.

Ozone will not get inside walls very much at all.

An ozone machine.
I’ve had good results with ozone machines like this one.

There is some evidence ozone can destroy mold spores, although it apparently takes high concentration.  

If you’ve got an existing mold problem, ozone won’t “kill all the mold.”    

This doesn’t mean ozone isn’t useful to discourage mold growth, though. For prevention — or making a bad situation temporarily somewhat more tolerable — ozone can be effective.

In the most chemically sensitive, ozone can cause a poor reaction. Be sure to air out a space sufficiently before entering, using open windows and fans.  

Ozone also doesn’t change the environment in which the mold developed, in terms of chronic moisture, humidity, condensation, and trapped air.

Wall outlet ozone generators produce very small amounts of ozone.  I recommend having a few of these and using them regularly — especially in bathrooms.

An outlet ozone generator, producing a small amount of ozone.

PRO TIP: Place your ozone machine near an HVAC intake vent.

This will expose your HVAC system to ozone.  Again, this will not “kill all the mold,” but regular treatments can discourage and temporarily inhibit mold growth.


8

HVAC Systems

Prone to becoming disgusting.

HVAC systems create condensation and continuously take in dust and mold spores.

The evaporator coils and drainage pipe are common areas of mold growth.

HVAC Filters

Choose Better Filtration (MERV 8+)

Dust should never enter a HVAC system.

Therefore, quality filters are important.

A higher MERV rating will more effectively keep finer particles out of the system.

Image courtesy of factorydirectfilters.com

MERV 8 is Probably Best

MERV 8 seems to be the best solution for most typical HVAC systems.

Higher ratings than MERV 8 could make your HVAC system work too hard to circulate air, to run too long, and never get enough airflow to heat/cool your house. A lack of airflow could also impede the unit’s ability to effectively dehumidify the indoor space.

Therefore, a MERV 8 filter will trap mold spores without affecting airflow too much.

A system designed for stronger filters will have a beefier fan to move more air through a thick filter.

A MERV 8 is the best filter most systems can handle.

The Filter I Use
I’ve used this filter for several years now and I’m happy with it.

Nordic Pure claims all of its filters are electrostatically charged for even better performance.

Change Filters Frequently

HVAC filters need to be changed every three months.

Change every 1-2 months for even better protection of the HVAC system.

Clean The Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils need to be cleaned every 6 months.

Most HVAC systems’ coils never get cleaned.

If you’re due (or over-due), call a professional soon and schedule an appointment to have the coils/evaporators of your HVAC system cleaned. 

Image courtesy of: jeremykc.com

Dirty evaporator coils can also increase your electricity bill by over 30%.

How Evaporator coils are cleaned:
  • Foam is applied to the entire structure, eating through built-up mold and bacteria. 
  • If lots of moldy gunk has built up on the coils, it may take several applications to do the job. 

Inform the HVAC professional that you’re interested in the coils being as clean as possible.

Inquire whether the service offered provides 1) a guaranteed total cleaning or 2) one simple application of product without guarantee of results.

9

UV-C Lights

In YOUR HVAC System

A UV light — installed under the evaporator coils — can significantly reduce and prevent mold build up inside the unit.

Best for prevention, UV-C lights are still recommended in moldy systems to reduce fungal proliferation.

UV For HVAC

UVC lights for HVAC systems are rapidly becoming an industry best practice.  

Mold is killed and inhibited by UV light.

A UVC light kills microbes that enter the HVAC System.

This will help keep the coils free and clear of mold and other buildups.

The could be a slight smell of ozone within a few feet of most UVC lights, but once installed it almost certainly won’t be smelled at all. This miniscule amount of ozone can further sanitize the air handler and ductwork.

Best Practice

UV-C lights should be installed in all HVAC units.

UVC For Car & Home

You can also purchase portable UV-C sterilizing lamps for your home and your car.  

Simply running the lamp a few times per week or month can reduce the load of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses in a building.  

Many UV-C lamps treat an area in 5-15 minutes, and there are larger, whole-room lamps available. UV-C light will only sterilize objects on which it shines.  

UV light will not seek out mold in all the dark corners and crannies of your building. Instead, only surfaces in direct sight of the lamp will be irradiated.

UV-C Wands

In theory, UV-C wands are also a good idea for your home and belongings.

Unfortunately, I have not found any UV wands that I can recommend.

The Remi Halo

I have recently installed the Remi Halo in my HVAC system.

This device uses multiple technologies (ionization, hydroxyl radicals, zinc ions, UV light) to keep the HVAC system — and the home — clean.

One unique characteristic in this device is that it emits hydrogen peroxide compounds that travel into the living spaces and destroy pollutants — similar to the popular Molekule air purifier.

This section will contain further updates and recommendations after I’ve sufficiently tested the product, but at this point, the results have been extraordinary for reducing the VOC levels in my new construction home.

10

Daily Habits

Laundry

Wear clothes once, and then wash them.  

There’s no need to allow clothes to collect more than one day’s worth of dust, spores, or toxins.

When buying a washing machine, but a top-loader. Front loaders are many times more mold-prone.

Make the Bedroom a “Clean Room”

Raise your standards of cleanliness for the bedroom — think of your bedroom as a “clean room.”  

Don’t bring shoes, jackets, dirty clothes, belongings (purses, etc) into the bedroom. Consider cleaning smartphones, laptops, and electronics before bringing them to the bedroom.

Identify Gross Zones

Identify objects and areas that are touched frequently, or come in contact with the floor.

  • door handles
  • light switches
  • smartphones
  • shoes
  • countertops

Smartphones make several trips to the bathroom each day.  

Most phones rarely get sterilized, but they should be cleaned almost every day.

Cleaning Notes
  • Door handles, light switches, and floors should be cleaned weekly
  • Countertops and floors should be cleaned multiple times per week
  • Benefect Decon 30, and Vital Oxide are excellent for surfaces
  • Vinegar is a safe, though weaker, option
  • Isopropyl alcohol is quite antimicrobial, but could harm surfaces
  • Keep shoes by the door and wash them frequently — don’t wear them through the house.

Shower Frequently

Bathing is essential to keeping the body clean of the spores, toxins, and dust that you may react to.  

Daily bathing also washes away potentially harmful microbes that live and reside on the skin. This is essential when the immune system is compromised.

How To:
  • Take 1-2 showers per day.
  • Mind the bathroom’s humidity from the shower — always use the exhaust fan.

11

Cleaning Automobiles

Automobiles are not designed well for cleanliness.

In fact, automobiles can quickly become problematic because cars are a trapped space with:

  • Infinite nooks and crannies
  • Built in HVAC system
  • Made with materials containing toxins such as lead and PVC
Image result for dirty car interior

Maintaining Your Car

  • Wipe down surfaces with microfiber multiple times a week and every time you suspect your car has been exposed to questionable objects or even people who live in mold.  
  • Change the cabin air filter every 8-12 months
  • Use all-weather liners on floorboards and trunk.
  • Use a shop vac to vacuum your car weekly. It’s fun to keep your car clean.
One of the best purchases I’ve made in some time.

While Driving

Crack or open windows as much as possible while driving.  

Minimize your use of the car A/C in favor of windows when possible.

An automobile ionizer may help make your auto air more hostile to mold growth, especially in the car’s HVAC system.

Never store containers with liquid in a vehicle — they are prone to leak.

Garages

Garages are notoriously moldy due to the presence of high humidity and moisture.

By contrast, parking a car outside allows fresh air to seep in, UV light to sterilize the exterior, water to rinse, and lets your car avoid possible contamination from moldy garage air.  

Use wall outlet ozone generators in the garage to help sanitize the space.

Is Your Car Already Contaminated?

If you suspect your car is contaminated, heavy ozoning may help temporarily, and weekly deep-cleaning will help to a fairly large extent.

However, finding a different car may be the only long-term solution — especially are considering remediation or moving house.

How To Care For A Clean Or Moldy Car

Ozone, vacuum (with shop vac), and disinfect (with Benefect or Vital oxide) the car weekly.

Purchasing A Car

Look for well-kept cars with leather seats and no discernible smell.

New cars are easily the safest option. You can protect it and keep it clean.

If buying used, look for cars les than 2 years old. Spend at least 30 minutes inside the car, and be sure to test the A/C, both heat and cooling.

Always demand to see the CarFax from dealerships and private sellers (even though they aren’t perfectly reliable). Don’t take no for an answer — insist to see the report in full.


12

Showers

Showers can easily become a mold city — all it takes is a little neglect.

Storage

Minimize your storage of items inside the shower.

After Showering

Pull the shower doors or curtain to an open position allowing for all surfaces to dry.  

Always run bathroom exhaust fan during and after a shower.  

Don’t allow areas to remain perpetually moist.  

Cleaning

Clean shower regularly and inspect weekly for mold growth, broken tiles, or failing caulking.  

Spray shower with disinfectant cleaner after most showers — or disinfect entire shower weekly.

Avoid allowing the drain to become lined with sludge and treat your drains with enzyme-based drain cleaner regularly.

Shower heads can become contaminated — take them apart and clean them with disinfectant.

In The Bathroom

Wall-outlet ozone generators are highly encouraged in bathrooms.  


13

Drains

Drains are dark, wet tubes that never dry out.

Drains easily incubate mold spores and bacteria.  

They are often a primary or secondary source of mold in a building;

And once a building is already inhabited by mold, the drains quickly become moldy.

Image result for kitchen sink drain
There are many ways for mold, fungus, and bacteria to proliferate in these pipes.

GUIDELINES FOR DRAINS

Clean sink with Benefect or Vital Oxide weekly. Also spray product down the drain.

1x/Month

Pour lots of water down the drain rapidly.

2-3x/Year

Use Drano, Vinegar, or Hydrogen Peroxide.

Protect Drains From Organic Matter

Image result for drain fly moldy drain

Fungus in your drains just needs a food source to go with all the constant moisture.

Therefore, don’t let food and other organic matter such as hair or snot/mucus into your drains.

Garbage disposals are inherently problematic — drains simply should not have organic matter in them.

Drain flies are a clear warning sign that drains are unhealthy.

14

Air Purifiers

Image result for molekule

The Molekule Air Purifier oxidizes pollutants via shining UV light on conductive metal.

The Molekule is receiving some of the best reviews of all high-end air filters due to superior design, features, & construction.

Enviroklenz Air Purifier

The Enviroklenz was designed by folks with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) for folks with MCS.

I’ve tested out its filters — they are incredible at reducing VOCs in the room.

The extremely-effective VOC-reducing “earth mineral” filters cost $99 and need to be every 3-4 months. The HEPA filter costs $120 and needs to be replaced every 2 years.

An overpowered HEPA filter + VOC-gobbling earth mineral filter + UV light.

Enviroklenz provides some impressive stats to back up its claims about reducing VOCs in the room — specifically comparing itself to the Molekule.

IQAir Medical-Grade HyperHEPA

This is a super high-quality air filter.

The IQAir’s primary characteristic: a HyperHEPA filter that scrubs particles even smaller than HEPA filters.

The IQAir will not reduce VOCs, or actively kill microbes in the room.

IQAir GC MultiGas

IQAir also has a product directed at reducing VOCs and gases in the air, the GC MultiGas.

The only trade-off? The GC MultiGas uses a regular HEPA filter — rather than the HyperHEPA.

But this will reduce gases, smoke, and chemicals in the air with incredible results.

Great for new construction VOCs and mold VOCs.

Winix 5500-2

I love this air purifier. It’s powerful and quite sensitive, but definitely not in the same class as the Molekule or IQAir. I still love it.

The Winix PlasmaWave 5500 relies on 2 carbon filters + a HEPA filter.  

The air blows out the top of the unit, through an ionizer that emits electrons into the living space which causes particles in the air to drop to the floor.

For an entry-level air purifier, this one is hard to beat. It won’t be enough to fix a sick, moldy home — but no purifier is.

They’re Great! …With A Catch

Air purifiers are an excellent idea — for prevention and improving moldy air.  

However, because air purifiers can store and harbor spores and mycotoxins, they should not travel from a moldy space to a clean space.  

They can definitely improve air quality in a moldy space for some time.  So if you’re okay throwing the unit away when you move or remediate, I suggest using them. Otherwise, wait to purchase until you’re in a clear space.

Air purifiers are certainly recommended for moldy buildings, but they need to be discarded after remediation or moving.

They need to be cleaned regularly.

Can An Air Filter Be Cleaned?

I don’t recommend even trying.

I did try when I moved to a new apartment — I wasn’t convinced it was safe enough to continue using.

I brought my much-loved Winix from a moldy space to a clean space. I ultimately tried to clean it. Even though I never saw any sign of mold, I ended up tossing it — just to be safe.

15

Toilets

Toilets need constant attention.

Mold is especially prone to grow in the toilet bowl, but it can also grow inside the tank!

Toilets need to be sprayed and deep-cleaned several times a month at minimum. Once per week is ideal.

Steps For Toilet Mold Prevention

1-2x/week — Spray all toilet surfaces with Vital Oxide/Benefect Decon. This includes inside the bowl.

3-4x/month — Wipe down & scrub all surfaces. Spray Benefect/Vital Oxide inside the tank.

***Other Ideas:

VINEGAR — Flush, then pour 1-gallon white vinegar inside the tank. (1x/month).

EPSOM SALT — Pour 1 cup epsom salt + tea tree essential oil into tank. (1x/month).

Mold Already Growing?

  1. Spray disinfectant liberally on all toilet (& surrounding) surfaces.
  2. Physically remove all mold via careful scrubbing with paper towels, sponges, brushes, or towels. Throw away all utensils used to remove mold.
  3. Flush toilet many times to remove as much water as possible from the tank.
  4. Disinfect all surfaces again.
  5. Follow “Steps For Toilet Mold Prevention” (previous section).

16

Laundry

The biggest risk with laundry comes from your washing machine — harboring and growing mold inside it, and then transferring mold spores and residues into your clothing.

Moldy, poorly-washed clothing can then irritate the skin and lungs, while activating the immune system — making you feel constantly terrible.

Of course, dirty clothes are the primary means for washing machines to become exposed to mold spores.

Your Washing Machine

Washing machines can become clogged and moldy in the drain lines. They also are a risk for leaking, spilling water into your home.

A major risk is leaving clothes in a washer. This is a recipe for permanent mold in the machine.

GUIDELINES FOR WASHING MACHINES

  1. Remove laundry promptly when cycle is done. (Less than 30 minutes).
  2. Clean machine weekly on “Clean” cycle, using OxiClean, bleach, vinegar, or washing soda. Be mindful not to harm washer surfaces with too much cleaning product.
  3. Keep door open (& tray) when not in use.

Warning

Front Loading Washing Machines

Front-loading machines are notorious for becoming moldy.

If you have front-loader, wash every load with OxyClean, run a wash cycle weekly, and leave both the door and tray open after every use.

You’ll need to remove the front lining and fully disinfect, monthly, as well as the pull-out tray where you pour in your detergent.

Purchase a top-loader whenever possible. Clean clothes matter deeply for you — and your family’s — health.

If You Have The Money…

O3 Laundry Ozone Washer System

Saturate your washing machine’s water with enough ozone for some people choose to wash their laundry without detergent.

It’s still recommended to use laundry detergent. But why not increase the cleaning and disinfectant action of each wash?

I suspect this will provide the entire washing machine with an extra layer of protection from fungus growth in the entire wash basin and drain line, as well.

Mold Can Grow In The Drain Line

Dirty water has to exit your washing machine through the drain line, and this line usually has a filter to catch lent and fabric threads before they leave the machine.

It’s a very good idea to get behind your washer and clean/disinfect this filter several times per year.

VOC’s & Mycotoxins

The offensive odors produced by mold can cause neurological symptoms in those who are sensitive.

The compounds are often toxic, as well — making their presence more significant than a mere allergen.

Clothes can absorb these odors as well as mycotoxins from the air in a moldy house. Mold’s odors can also be excreted in sweat — meaning sweaty clothes often become very smelly during mold illness.

Oftentimes, when “moldy” folks sweat, their sweat includes these toxins — which then become infused in the fabric of their clothes. These nauseous compounds can be irritating to those wearing the garments and sometimes loved ones or friends nearby.

It can seem nearly impossible to remove the VOCs and mycotoxins from clothes once they’ve been exposed.

Speed Queen Removed Musty Odors

I recently moved and purchased a Speed Queen washing machine. My clothes went from smelling quite moldy from the old washing machine (a front-loader), to smelling completely odorless.

Speed Queens are incredible — some of the best money I’ve spent in my entire life. They’re also engineered to last 25 years.

Chemicals to Combat Moldy Laundry Odors

Two products represent your best bet for cleaning clothes after they’ve been exposed.

Unfortunately, I have not had success cleaning moldy smells from clothing and other fabrics using cleaning products — until I got the Speed Queen.

Benefect Impact

Produced by the makers of Benefect Decon 30. I’m currently testing it and it performs pretty well, though. itseems harsh on clothing.

  • For topical application and soaking.
  • Unfortunately, it’s not for machine use.

EC3 Laundry Additive

This differs from Benefect in that it can be used in washing machines.

  • For use with washing machines.

This completes Cleaning.
To continue, select Reduce.

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