Cleaning Clothing and Linens
The chapter regarding laundering and dry cleaning clothing, linens and other material items is currently being edited and is almost ready to post. About twenty years ago, I was routinely recommending clients with major mold contamination problems in their homes have clothing and other materials tested after laundering or dry cleaning to see if the cleaning techniques had been effective. What I found was that:
--items with actual mold growth that had caused staining or visible damage to the fabric was unlikely to be successfully cleaned
--items with high levels of settled spores were successfully returned to levels where no contamination was detected.
After several years of routine successful cleanings I stopped recommending routine post-testing.
In spite of these early successes, there have been times when laundering or dry cleaning appears not to work for mold hypersensitive clients. Equipment problems, faulty cleaning methods and cross-contamination have almost always been the discovered reasons. Here are three examples:
Equipment Problems - The gaskets on front-end washers frequently become contaminated with mold growth that can transfer to the items being laundered. This problem has already been discussed in my already posted chapter on Clothes Washers and Dryers.
Faulty Cleaning Methods - You need to find a laundry detergent or soap that you tolerate. My already posted chapters on Effective Cleaning and Effective Cleaning Products explain why cleaning only with vinegar, baking soda or borax frequently doesn't work.
Cross-Contamination - Using a clothes dryer located in a mold contaminated area is using contaminated room air to dry the cleaned clothing. This problem has already been discussed in my already posted chapter on Clothes Washers and Dryers.
In a few days, I will send you and email that lets you know when the additional information in the Cleaning Clothing and Linens chapter has been posted.
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We know a lot about mold problems in buildings, but plenty of unanswered questions remain.
Please help us get from "Thinking we know to "Knowing"!
John C. Banta