Saving Your Household Items From Toxic Mold

Saving Your Household Items From Toxic Mold

November 12, 2020

If you have recently fallen victim to the presence of toxic mold in your home, it is only natural that you’d be asking how you can save your household items from toxic mold. Upon a quick Google search, you may find any number of different answers to this question. Some websites may tell you that you must discard all of your current household items in order to move on without the threat of reinfestation. Others insist that you can simply clean items exposed to toxic mold and you should be good to go.

With so many different solutions to this toxic mold dilemma, who is to be trusted? Just what should you do to save your household items from a toxic mold infestation? Today, we will be answering that question. If you’ve suffered from a toxic mold presence in your home and want to move forward without losing all of your household items, this article is for you! Let’s get started. 

How to Know Which Items Are at Risk

Before identifying which of your household items can be saved from toxic mold, it is vital that you know how to determine which items are at risk. This is an important consideration to make when selecting which items can be saved and which are too risky to keep around. After all, it would be tragic to get rid of most of your current household items only to experience a reinfestation because of one overlooked item. 

In order to determine which of your items are at risk for the presence of toxic mold, two things should be beared in mind above all else:

  1. Household items can be contaminated with toxic mold even if no mold has ever grown on them.
  2. Killing all of the mold in an infested environment doesn’t provide a solution to the existing toxicity problem. 

Determining which of your items are infested with toxic mold isn’t such a cut and dry issue. First, we need to detail the difference between mycotoxins and poisonous dust. These varying forms of infestation are spread in different ways and determining which is affecting your home will have a lot to do with identifying which of your household items are most at risk of contamination. 

Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are what makes toxic mold toxic. Mold itself is very common and found in nearly any home. Where mold becomes harmful is when it begins to produce harmful toxins associated with a number of health issues. These toxins are known as mycotoxins and are microscopic in size, making them very hard to identify without the proper testing procedures. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not these mycotoxins are able to bind with our household items, infecting them. For this reason, the simple presence of mycotoxins do not necessarily mean that all of your household items need to be thrown away in the event of an infestation. Still, this isn’t an established fact so making the decision to only clean your household items rather than discard of them is done at your own risk. 

Poisonous Dust

Poisonous dust is where things get tricky. Poisonous dust is defined as “the dormant spores and spore fragments of the mold itself” that disintegrate into spore fragments. These dormant spore fragments are even smaller than the whole spores themselves and even more toxic. When poisonous dust is present in the home, it mixes with other forms of dust and get carried throughout the home, extending the infestation into other rooms and onto other objects. This has the potential to cross-contaminate nearly all of your household items with the effects of toxic mold. 

When dealing with the presence of poisonous dust, the cleanup process is a bit more straightforward as a simple vacuuming and cleaning of all of your household items should remove the spore fragments found in dust. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it may seem. After all, these particles are microscopic and missing a deposit of poisonous dust isn’t hard to do. 

During your cleanup process, be sure to bear in mind that just because an item appears to be dust-free doesn’t mean this is necessarily the case. After all, dust can find its way into crevices and tight corners. This is especially true in the case of items like clothing. A thorough washing may seem like enough to remove any poisonous dust particles while, in all actuality, there could be dust fragments embedded so far within the fabric that it isn’t removed completely. 

What Can You Keep and What Should Be Discarded?

In order to establish which of your household items stand the best chance of being kept and thoroughly cleaned, it is important to classify items based on risk factor. When cleaning items exposed to toxic mold, an ammonia solution should be utilized. Going further, only items classified as non-porous can be saved using an ammonia solution. Here is a breakdown of items and their risk factor of recontamination based on non-porous value.

Non-Porous Items

Non-porous items are safe to clean in ammonia solution and keep given that they are brought into an outdoor environment and FULLY submerged in a 50/50 water and ammonia solution. 

  • Dishes
  • Metal or glass furniture
  • Glassware
  • Serving bowls
  • Bakeware
  • Pots and pans
  • Silverware
  • Items made of rock, concrete, clay, or stone
  • Anything made of glass
  • Lamps made of metal, glass, or ceramic
  • Metal glass/ plastic framed mirrors
  • Stoves

Porous Items 

Porous items may or may not be able to be thoroughly cleaned with an ammonia and water solution and stand the risk of recontamination. Consider discarding of these items if you are unable to clean them with the specified solution.

  • Real wood furniture/anything with exposed raw wood
  • Leather clothing
  • Leather furniture
  • Wool coats
  • Wooden cutting boards
  • Older TVs
  • Microwaves
  • Washers/Dryers
  • Suitcases
  • Leather bags

Extremely Porous Items

Extremely porous items cannot be cleaned with the specified ammonia solution and should also not be sold to others in an effort to discard them. These items are at a great risk of recontamination. These items should be put into sealed plastic bags, labeled as toxic, and thrown away entirely. 

  • All carpeting in the home
  • Particle board furniture
  • Area rugs
  • Mattresses/pillows
  • Couches
  • Padded furniture
  • Stuffed animals
  • Wall art and paintings
  • Woven baskets made of raw wood
  • Cosmetics and makeup
  • Faux plants
  • Food
  • Cardboard
  • Foam
  • Sponges
  • Paper products
  • Books and magazines
  • Pictures
  • Paint and paint products
  • Most crafting items
  • Vacuums of all kinds
  • Toiletries 
  • Fur coats

Testing Your Home For Toxic Mold

If you think your home may be under an infestation of toxic mold, there’s no time to waste. The key to saving as many of your household items as possible is early detection. Our best recommendation is to use mold testing solutions like our home testing kits to detect the presence of toxic mold early! Once mold is confirmed by our lab experts, we can discuss your best options for removal. Don’t delay if you think your home may have toxic mold!



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