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Mold Infestation of Shoes, Purses, Clothes, and Closet

     Q. March 15, 2012. In July I moved into a place and about a month later some of our things were covered with thick green mold and some with a white fine mold. We had an air test which came back positive. My landlords solution was to fix it himself but we decided to just move because I insisted only a professional should do it since its affected the whole house.  I am really concerned about bringing the mold with us. I know clothes and things that can be washed or wiped down with hot water or bleach are ok to take but what about things like books, shoes and pictures that have no visible mold. Do I need to part with these? I would really like to try and save as much as I can. But we are throwing all of our furniture away. Please help I dont want to get rid of everything I own. Also some pictures have this white gritty, salty stuff on them would wiping them clean work? Thank you for your time.
     A. I'm sorry you have such an uncaring landlord and that you are having big mold problems. You are so wise to move out to avoid permanent and serious mold health damage from living in the moldy house.  You are also wise to worry about mold cross contamination of where you move to from mold on your possessions.  You can probably save your furniture if it is of good quality and worth saving. Your first step is to do all of your mold cleaning OUTSIDE, and then after cleaning to wrap the cleaned items with clear, sealed plastic in preparation for moving. Second, use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to remove landed/deposited mold spores on all of your personal possessions---do all surfaces thoroughly by vacuuming horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Then scrub (or wipe gently such as your pictures) all surfaces of all items with borax laundry detergent mixed in hot water (to dissolve the borax crystals) to physically be sure there are no remaining deposited/landed mold spores and mold growth. Both borax laundry detergent and (even better) boric acid powder (available at Mold Mart) are very effective mold cleaners and mold preventatives.  Please read carefully my detailed mold removal tips for each type of personal property in my mold advice ebook Do It Best Yourself Mold Inspection, Testing, Remediation, and Prevention, which is available for email attachment delivery to you from Mold Mart. While on the Mold Mart site, you should also buy my ebook Mold Health Guide to help you monitor and deal with health issues that your family may well experience now or in the coming months from having lived 24 hours a day for many days or weeks in a mold hell. If I can be of further help, please email me. In service, Phillip Fry, mold consultant, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator

     Q.  June 3, 2003. My home recently had a leak under my house, and caused damaged to my back bedroom closets, and mold grew over my shoes, on some of purses, spores was found on my my clothes, and I removed those from the closet. I still had clothes in my closet that had no obvious spores. What should happen to those clothes? Should the all be replaced or cleaned? The closet is being mold remediated.
     A. Dry cleaning clothes is good for killing mold and removing mold spores, and cleaning moldy clothing. Washing clothes twice with Borax laundry detergent also kills and removes mold spores. Borax is a natural mold killer and mold cleaner. Borax is one of the ingredients of the very important anti-mold protective coating. After the closet area has been remediated and cleaned of mold infestation, be sure that two wet coatings of boric acid powder mix are sprayed onto the cleaned area. Let each spraying dry naturally before the next spray application. Read about all of the required procedures for effective mold remediation at: Mold Remediation.


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Do-It-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, & Remediation

The Do-It-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing & Remediation book by mold expert Phillip Fry [Certified Mold Inspector, Certified Mold Contractor, Certified Environmental Inspector, and Certified Home Inspector, and formerly with the U.S. Public Health Service National Institutes of Health, and formerly a hospital and medical center administrator], enables you [or others working under your directions] to do your own mold repairs on your home or other real estate property so that: (1) you can be assured that the mold-related work was done both safely and effectively; (2) you protect your family's health and the value of your home or other property; and (3) you get your property mold work done at a small fraction of the cost of hiring so-called "mold professionals" to do the mold necessary mold prevention, inspection, testing, and remediation. This book is extremely valuable and helpful to you even if you plan to hire a Certified Mold Inspector or Certified Mold Remediator to do the work because you need to know precisely what steps and procedures are required to be done by the contractor or remediator to achieve safe and effective mold remediation.

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