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how to wash clothes during mold avoidance?

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Aerose91, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Im about to take off for the desert- I have all new stuff and it's sitting in my truck- hasn't been inside the house. I'm not bringing any paper, cardboard or anything porous. The solid things I bought I can wash and I'm sure will be fine, but what about my new clothes? I will soak them in vinegar but can I wash them in a laundromat? Even if I wash them in borax how do I know there hasn't been mold in the washer/dryer? And is even being inside the building that may have had mold (laundromat) risky? I live in New England and it's very cold and rainy so hand washing and drying things on the line isn't possible unfortunately. I really don't want to cut any corners. Thank you for any help
     
  2. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Left Coast
    I just googled and mold seems
    To only to be an issue for front loading washers. There's tons of information on how to get rid of it by cleaning all the rubber around the doors.

    As for the dryers, Mold can't survive without a water source so I wouldn't worry about them. I don't know for sure but maybe the heat will kill any stray mold.

    If you're worried about inhaling mold get a mask. 3M makes some that are about $30.
     
  3. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Thank you. My laundromat only has front loading washers though. I guess I'm sort of confused on when you know things are safe. If I wash something in a front loading washer which is questionable, with borax and baking soda, then put it in a dryer, would that be safe? Is there no danger in simply having it in the laundromat itself?
     
  4. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Toxic mold only grows on cellulose based materials. Therefore even if there was any possible mold in a washer, It would not be the kind of mold that would get you very ill. It still is not healthy to breathe in or be around but you should be fine.
     
  5. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Where does cross contamination come in? As in, If you have something inside a building that has been exposed to mold. I know the spores are difficult to get rid of, can that thing just be washed and it would be ok?
     
  6. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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  7. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    HI @Aerose91,

    Practicing mold avoidance has different rules than just regular people worrying about mold in washing machines.
    In mold avoidance, you are also trying to avoid the toxins that are made by some species of molds. So washing machines and dryers and particularly the ones in laundromats are dangerous because of cross contamination from other people's clothing.

    Hand washing and line drying are ideal. If you can't do that, a top loading washing machine might be okay if it hasn't had anyone's contaminated clothing in it recently. What people who are sensitized do is they stick their heads in the washing machine opening and breathe in and see if they feel sick.

    Dryers are usually more contaminated with mold toxins than washers, so that's why line drying is preferred if possible. Sticking your head in the opening of a dryer can be very unpleasant, but it's the only way to tell if it is going to be toxic. I wish I had some better advice for you.

    Personally, I avoid laundromats. And the laundry rooms at campgrounds. They're usually so full of mold toxins. But in your situation, you may have to make some compromises in order to have clean clothes at all.

    If some of your new clothing gets exposed to a bad building briefly, there is a good chance the toxins will wash out. Occasionally there can be a building that has toxins that are so bad that it wrecks the item of clothing. In that case, washing doesn't help. You will have to see how it goes for you and how you feel wearing the exposed, washed clothes.

    I hope that things go well for you on your desert trip! At least out there it should be dry enough to line dry clothes!
    Forebearance
     
    leela likes this.
  8. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Thanks so much, that's pretty much what I was assuming. What about if you don't feel immediately sick though? That doesn't necessarily mean the place or fabric is are ok, right? I know most of these toxins have to taste or smell.
     
  9. Forebearance

    Forebearance Senior Member

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    It's very true that if you haven't been sensitized to mold toxins, you might not notice if a washer or dryer or building has toxins in it. Or it could take some time. That is why there is a learning curve on living this lifestyle.

    At first you just do your best and try not to buy anything expensive. Realize that any of your clothes or possessions may have to be thrown out because of mistakes. It's just normal.

    Also it helps to buy a tub to wash things in and a $10 garment rack from Target to dry things on. Many campgrounds don't allow clothes lines, but you can use the drying rack if you weight it down to keep it from blowing over. You can even dry a blanket on it.
     
  10. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    Those are good ideas, Thank you. I got rid of all my stuff and got new things but I know that's not enough. It looks like we will have a few good days of weather coming up so I'm going to rehash everything by hand and hang it to dry. Hopefully some vinegar and borax will be sufficient and then I can pack everything up
     

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