How To Clean Mold: The Aurthorative Guide (2024)

How To Clean Mold

How To Clean Mold

Welcome to my blog on how to clean mold. I want to start by acknowledging I’ve been there. I’ve lived in two water-damaged properties and the second made me really quite sick. Debilitating brain fog, fatigue, gut issues, a flare up in psoriasis that I hadn’t suffered with in over a decade, and some ‘man issues’ which I still can’t fully explain(!).  My wife also got sick but her main symptoms were respiratory (she had a constant cough……and I mean constant!) and serious fatigue (in bed until 13:00 type fatigue).

But I can put my hand on my heart and say we are now in good health.

You can read my journey here: My Journey With Mould Illness

Now cleaning is one component of getting better. I have various blogs for you to check out on mould – from testing to treatment – see the top of this page and the drop down menu called mould illness. A lot of what I have learned when it comes to cleaning, the comes from Bryan Karr, co-founder of YesWeInspect. His IG handle is moldfinders you will find a fantastic free resource all about cleaning mold. This blog is influenced and inspired by that resource.

What To Clean

The first thing to know is that any item with actual mold growth should be simply thrown away.

What’s important to expand on, is how to save items that have been cross-contaminated. Cross-contamination is when mold spores or mycotoxins have traveled from the source of the mold and has colonised and settled onto other surfaces in your home.

First Thing…Protect Yourself

It is essential that you first protect yourself. If your health has been affected by mold, then it makes no sense cleaning it (and likely increasing your exposure to mycotoxins) unless you do this first step.

You can ‘piss off ‘the mold, leading to more mycotoxin production, and experience a worsening of your health issues. I have seen this countless times with clients coming to me for support. Many share their stories and I hear all the time how their health issues got worse when they tried to clean it (often with bleach).

The things to consider investing in include: masks, gloves, coverall suits, and safety glasses. Below are examples of what you might need when needing to clean mold. Again I would like to thank Brian Karr for his brilliant work who helped me understand the importance of this, as well as the products he recommends.

  • Half Respirator:
    • Recommended product to clean mold for those in the USA: click here.
    • Recommended product for those in the UK: click here.
  • Respirator Filters:
    • Recommended product to clean mold for those in the USA: click here.
    • Recommended product to clean for those in the UK: click here.
  • Coverall Suit:
    • Recommended product to clean mold for those in the USA: click here.
    • Recommended product for those in the UK: click here.
  • Gloves:”
    • Recommended product to clean mold for those in the USA: click here.
    • Recommended product for those in the UK: click here.
  • Safety Glasses:
    • Recommended product to clean mold for those in the USA: click here.
    • Recommended product for those in the UK: click here.

My Interview With Andy Habbershaw On Mold Remediation

Cleaning Tools

Below are tools that will be helpful when you need to clean mold. It is not a requirement to have or use all of these tools, but having them can increase the odds of effectiveness.

  • Compressed Air (portable container or machine).™
  • HEPA Vacuum.
    • HEPA vacuuming is not always required. It’s most appropriate for larger solid and semi porous items where you can see visible dirt or dust.
  • Microfiber towels:

Cleaning Solution Options

  • EC3: click here.
  • Other options include: Benefect Decon 30, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, thieves all purpose cleaner

Laundry Solution Options

Clothes also need to be considered. To clean mold off clothes:

What To Not Clean

Any item that has visible mold growth or cushioned porous items. Throw these out. Cushioned items (mattresses, pillows, cushions, etc.) are going to be almost impossible to clean. Mold spores, or their fragments and the toxins mold produce can become embedded in the cushions and, when inside, you won’t be able to get them out. This mean that every time you sit on your cushion, for example, these particles will be released and contribute to ongoing exposure.

Damp Wipe

Using a damp wipe should be applied to all your items. There are two options I have experience with. One is using the Ec3 wipes from conscious spaces, the other is using their spray and applying it on to microfiber towels. The microfiber towels should be folded in quarters so the same side of the towel is never used more than once to wipe down surfaces.

Once all sides have been used, then the towels should be discarded.

Note: If you continue to use the same towel for multiple items/areas, then you’ll just be spreading the problem around. When done properly, you will go through A LOT of microfiber towels.

Cleaning Clothes

Cleaning Products to Consider: EC3 laundry additive, vinegar, thieves detergent, or just plain soap and water.

The Most Important Thing To Know

It’s important to understand that our health is constantly evolving – hopefully in a positive direction but for all of us, at some stage in life, it may decline due to uncontrollable stressors. It is for this reason that reactions to specific items may change over time. As we heal, we may find we are more tolerant of things that previously triggered a reaction.

As a result, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to store things away until your health has improved I’d recommend doing this. Once you feel better and heave your health back, you can clean and slowly introduce items to see how you feel.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to stress you do not necessarily have to throw everything away – this is bad advice which gets floated round many forums and social media accounts. There are some things you should definitely discard, but without more context it’s impossible to say with any certainty.

Another important point to stress is that there will always be some level of mold in your home. Even after remediation. Even after cleaning your items. Any other expectation is not realistic. We are able to tolerate this when we have resilient health and therefore it’s important to focus on this and understand that you are resilient, and you can (or will be able) to tolerate a ‘normal’ amount of mould.

Brian from YesWeInspect put’s it like this:

“With that in mind, if you chose to clean or discard 90% of your items in the appropriate way, and for some reason you just can’t get yourself to go “all-in” on a few particular items, is that completely unacceptable? For most people, I don’t think so.”

And yes there are the exceptions to this – some people, the most hypersensitive of people, who are simply to sensitive they may need to discard an awful lot of their items to get back their health. The thing to know is that if you fall into this category, you will already know who you are.

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