stachybotrys | cleaning surface mold

You can minimize exposure in the home by using green cleaning methods. To protect woolens from pests, wash items and let them dry in the sun (which also helps get rid of mothball odor) before storing them with cedar chip sachets. Read labels before purchasing and avoid buying items that contain phthalates and PBDEs.
Some sausages, such as salami, incorporate starter cultures of molds [12] to improve flavour and reduce bacterial spoilage during curing. Penicillium nalgiovense, for example, may appear as a powdery white coating on some varieties of dry-cured sausage.
Mold can cause serious respiratory problems and other health conditions and should be removed as soon as it is noticed. The method used to remove mold from drywall varies depending on whether or not the drywall is coated. If it is, then cleaning it with water and a cleansing agent should work. If it is not, then that section of drywall must be removed since it is too porous to clean.
Dispose of the coveralls and paper towel in a plastic bag, which you should tightly seal before taking out with the trash. Wash soiled rags and the nylon scrubber in hot water, or throw them away with the coveralls and paper towel as an extra precaution.
Take the appropriate safety measures to keep yourself safe. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles and importantly, don an air mask to prevent mold spores from getting into your lungs. If you intend to use a cleaning solution that contains bleach, wear protective outerwear in order to safeguard your clothing against stains.
A controversy began in the early 1990s after analysis of two infant deaths and multiple cases in children from the poor areas of Cleveland, Ohio, due to pulmonary hemorrhage were initially linked to exposure to heavy amounts of Stachybotrys chartarum. Subsequent and extensive reanalysis of the cases by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have failed to find any link between the deaths and the mold exposure.[8]
Great article – very helpful! One thing about the HLA’s that continues to confuse me is the groupings (multi-susceptible, mold, chronic lyme, etc.) For ex. if you have a mold specific haplotype like 17-2-52A does that mean that you are ONLY susceptible to mold? And not other biotoxins like lyme and dinoflagellates? Or if you have a lyme specific HLA like 15-6-51, are you only susceptible to Lyme and not to mold?
Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents.
Karvonen AM, Hyvärinen A, Roponen M, Hoffmann M, Korppi M, Remes S, von Mutius E, Nevalainen A, Pekkanen J. Confirmed moisture damage at home, respiratory symptoms and atopy in early life: a birth-cohort study. Pediatrics. 2009;124;e329.
Many foam type products do not age well and they are porous so mold will be difficult to get rid of (if not impossible) when the mold or mildew gets deep into the cells or fibers of the cushion material.
Cytokines are cell signaling molecules that aid in communication during immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells toward sites of inflammation. Symptoms in this stage might include– headaches muscle aches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, unstable temperature and difficulty concentrating. Tests included for stage two include:
Hi Christina! His name is Dr Michael Rothman and he’s in Springlake, NJ. Address 1325 Warren Ave, 07762. His phone is listed as MD wellness and his phone is (732)268-7663. Brenda his nurse is very nice as is he and I don’t think he’s actually a naturopath but he believes firmly in finding out WHY you have problems and them wants to correct them…which is the only way to get well, right? He’s into nutrition, clean way of living and will prescribe meds only if absolutely necessary and appropriate which all Drs should be doing. He doesn’t take any insurance but when other stupid un informed Drs have destroyed your health, it a blessing to pay someone who actually knows what to look for, knows what labs to test, spends an 1 1/2 hrs for the first visit so you have plenty of time to talk uninterrupted and then gets it right. I’m not trying to paint him as a God, but right now in my book….he’s close! I had been suffering for close to 4yrs, was operated on 3x’s for nothing, many, many meds, labeled as a complainer with phychiatric problems who they just wanted to medicate with anti depressants and then to hear your not crazy and to see the lab results..IT MADE MY DAY and I’ve contacted a few of those “other Drs” to TELL them how far off the mark with what they did to me they were and it’s satisfying to see their faces when they look at the lab reports and I tell them what they should have done instead. I really think God I ended up in his office because I still wouldn’t have any answers and I’d still be living in this sick house not knowing any better. I’m trying now to find a clean place to rent, at least for a yr but I have money problems and also 8 cats…so it’s not easy but somehow it will work out…I hope! Good luck and if you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to ask!
To tell if black mold may be growing in your home, just follow your nose. A musty, earthy smell, like dirt and rotting leaves, is a telltale sign of mold’s presence. Stachybotrys smells especially strong. All molds need food, water and a dark, stagnant environment with temperatures that neither freeze nor boil to grow. Stachybotrys likes it a little wetter than some, feeding on water-saturated cellulose-based material such as cotton, wicker, drywall, lumber, cardboard and even dust or lint. If your home has flooded or you notice excessive moisture on or around building materials, possibly even dark rings on drywall indicating moisture damage, the conditions are ripe for black mold. The smell almost guarantees mold. But even if you see mold, that’s no guarantee that it’s black mold.
Before removing any black mold, gear up: Don disposable coveralls, rubber gloves, airtight safety goggles, and a face mask/respirator. This protective gear will reduce the risk of health issues that may result from exposure to the substance, including respiratory infections, allergic reactions, joint inflammation, and rashes. Because a single black mold spore hitting your eye can even induce blindness, you don’t want to cut any corners.
Tea tree oil is one of several natural mold killers that you can employ instead of bleach. To put tea tree oil’s natural fungicide power to work, combine two teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the mixture anywhere that you see black mold. Then just let it sit and reapply as needed. Tea tree oil is said to be one of the best natural mold killers. (10) Pine oil can also be used in a similar fashion.
Regular household cleaning and maintenance go a long way toward limiting exposure. Change filters and have heating and cooling equipment cleaned and checked regularly by a professional; these systems can become not only breeding grounds for mold and other biological contaminants but also superhighways for dispersing them throughout the home.
Overview of allergy and atopy. Merck Manual Professional Version.;-allergic-disorders/allergic,-autoimmune,-and-other-hypersensitivity-disorders/overview-of-allergy-and-atopy. Accessed Dec. 29, 2015.
Although bathrooms (particularly shower stalls) and basements are typical moist areas prone to mold growth, any moist area in the home can be moldy. Drywall, ceiling tiles, carpets, furniture, ductwork, roofing, paneling, wallpaper, under sinks, and the areas around plumbing pipes are examples of areas in the home that can become infested by mold if the ideal growing conditions are present.
test. Any mold Dr’s in VA? Any one here using attorneys? Do I have to lose everything? I’m disabled…my service dog has shown symptoms off & on…she does not go in with me when I tend to the cat 2 times a week & I wear a mask but I’m still effected when I go in apt.
Black mold can be found anywhere in your home, including ceiling tiles, water-soaked wood, walls, floors, and carpet. Small leaks or plumbing problems often lead to the growth of mold because the organism thrives best in moist environments. Flooding or leakage from the rain can leave carpets damp for a prolonged period of time. If your carpet has gotten wet and did not dry thoroughly, mold may bloom and spread in that damp area.
Another place to watch out for black mold is your HVAC or air conditioning system, which is constantly recycling air. If there is moisture in the air, this can lead to moisture inside the system, which can then lead to mold growth. In addition to the mold actually growing within the inside of the system itself, now you have a system that’s spewing out mold spores into your living space. This is why it’s so important to have your system checked and cleaned regularly, or even replaced if the system already contains mold.
I took a drop ceiling out of an old house and found dry mold on the rough lumber. I sprayed it down with vinegar 2-3 times. Removing it was impossible. I painted over it with a mold killing primer, but still difficult to cover completely. Also I was exposed initially, I’m using a dehumidifier, and staying out of the area for the moment.
Nasal corticosteroids. These nasal sprays help prevent and treat the inflammation caused by an upper respiratory mold allergy. For many people, they’re the most effective allergy medications, and they’re often the first medication prescribed.
Spray a small amount of the solution onto the mold. Do not drench the area, since additional moisture can actually increase the mold problem rather than getting rid of it. Spray to mold once or twice over, making sure that each area has been covered with the solution but without using so much solution that it begins dripping off.
I just had one of my cats urine tested for mycotoxins from real time labs and it came back as Gliotoxin and it’s a very nasty one. When I looked it up it said that these toxins can’t ever be pulled out of tissue and will remain imbedded because they have especially sharp hooks. They cause DNA/RNA damage as well. I want to cry. I probably have them too. Now I’m crying. This sucks.
Next, seal any doorways or other openings leading to other areas of the home, place heavy plastic over them, then seal the plastic in place with duct tape. If there are outdoor openings in the room, place an exhaust fan near them to help remove mold spores from the room.
Yeah I have the same problem; tried almost everything. Trying the bleach test today; hope it works. My make is a UITLA wash and dryer, I don’t use the dryer as I have separate one, but still have the same problem as everyone else. It must be what they put in the washing powders. I will post a comment once I have tried this test.
Hello Everyone. I was researching on ways to remove molds from rubber (on the cover of my glass blender) and came across your problems. I was just in LA visiting relatives and noticed the molds on their machine as well. I checked mine and it is very clean. I’ve had my machine for about 5 years now. It’s a Samsung 2-in-1. For sheets, towels and white clothes, I use powder; for dark colors, I use liquid. I also use liquid fabric softener. For sheets, towels and white I wash at 60 degrees. I suspect it’s the climate, environment. I live in Manila, hot and humid mostly. I’m sorry to hear about all your predicaments, but if you have that problem there and I don’t (I had a Whirlpool before this), then, there is no other culprit.
My wife and I are extremely pleased with services provided by Moldman. We had a few small spots of mold growing in our baby’s room… We contacted Moldman for an inspection… And they were able to recommend us a remedy that we could do by ourselves, without charging a dime! Other companies we contacted wanted to charge hundreds of dollars just to come out and check if it was indeed mold: of course it is mold! It’s nice to see there are still honest people out there and Moldman is one of them.
Gardeners sometimes encounter them in their backyards—spongy yellow masses squatting in the dirt or slowly swallowing wood chips. Hikers often spot them clinging to the sides of rotting logs like spilled bowls of extra cheesy macaroni. In Mexico some people reportedly scrape their tender bodies from trees and rocks and scramble them like eggs. They are slime molds: gelatinous amoebae that have little to do with the kinds of fungal mold that ruin sourdough and pumpernickel. Biologists currently classify slime molds as protists, a taxonomic group reserved for “everything we don’t really understand,” says Chris Reid of the University of Sydney.
I am a family practice physician and I have been in practice for over 15  years. In 2006 I was sick with many terrible symptoms for 11 months. I did not know why I was sick until I discovered I was being exposed to very high levels of stachybotrys, the more common toxic black mold and chaetomium, a less common toxic white mold. This was what caused all my symptoms over the span of a nine month exposure. 
Mold growing in homes and buildings, whether it is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) or other molds, indicates that there is a problem with water or moisture. This is the first problem that needs to be addressed. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Mold in or under carpets typically requires that the carpets be removed. Once mold starts to grow in insulation or wallboard, the only way to deal with the problem is by removal and replacement. We do not believe that one needs to take any different precautions with Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra), than with other molds. In areas where flooding has occurred, prompt drying out of materials and cleaning of walls and other flood-damaged items with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water is necessary to prevent mold growth. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. If a home has been flooded, it also may be contaminated with sewage. (See: After a Hurricane or Flood: Cleanup of Flood Water) Moldy items should be removed from living areas.
I have a Bosch front loader. I researched before I bought it and saw reviews in front loads about molding on the gasket. I went to our friend’s appliance store and asked about that and feel I was lied to to my face. How do we get rid of this? I feel like doing a service call to have them billed. Guessing we just need to change the seals if this doesn’t work.

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Hello, Sara. I’ve been sick for about a month and a half as has my mother. We also live in Louisville, KY. I was wondering if you have found a specialist close in this field so we could see them as well.
In order for you to receive shots the mold allergen that is affecting you needs to be identified. Also, you might need to take shots regularly for months or even years for them to remain effective. Like other medications, shots don’t cure allergies, they just increase your tolerance to allergens and therefore lessen the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself following EPA’s mold guidelines. If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.
Too many preventable accidents have happened when combining 2 or more cleaning agents together. Often enough, this occurred because the user (although well intentioned) did so to create a stronger cleaning agent for the job at hand.
Hi, I lived in orange county and Black toxic mold destroyed my entire life. Even till this day. I only live in the house with major black toxic mold(which all looked perfect because there was new carpet, new everything. But it has brought my life down. and nobody has any clue the amount of money it will take to combat this problem for the rest of my life. I need help. I’m facing the landlord soon in court. n I can not have kids due to this, I lost everything i own. I am also disabled. what do I do???
It’s so much more than a green pigment found in plants. I’m talking about chlorophyll, which has shown an ability to protect DNA from damage caused by toxic molds like aflatoxin. (8) Chlorophyll also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a highly recommended part of any healthy diet, but especially one that is looking to fight black mold symptoms.
Protect the surrounding area. To prevent potential damage that could result if you accidentally spill chemicals or cleaners, protect anything that you do not plan on working with directly. Remove furniture and decorations to the other side of the room or out of the room completely. Cover the floor with newsprint or plastic drop cloth and tape the coverings taped in place. Keep an old rag on hand to catch any spills as you notice them.
Over the last several years, I’ve written extensively about the importance of nutrition, physical activity, stress management, sleep, social connection, pleasure, and spending time outdoors. There’s no doubt that these factors are vital for all of us.

5 Replies to “stachybotrys | cleaning surface mold”

  1. Karie Fay earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in law from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. After growing up in construction and with more than 30 years in the field, she believes a girl can swing a hammer with the best of them. She enjoys “green” or innovative solutions and unusual construction.
    I was reading this article and intrigued by the air filter mentions: you said they were pricey, and pricey indeed: I looked up the items and from what you said it appears you have invested at least $4000 in air filtration/sanitizers in your own home, which is, as you say, worth it. I believe it is for you and your family.
    I had a patient come back with a positive stachybotrys IgA level. My patient was greatly relieved to have these results as they helped her grasp that mold toxicity was the cause of her symptoms. It also helped her with her relationship, as her condition being caused by toxic mold, now had more credibility in her boyfriend’s eyes.
    Thanks for the article, I will definitley try out some of these things to get rid of the mold in my house. For several months I just had a slight cough, I didn’t think much of it at first, but when it didn’t stop I went to the doctor. After a while of taking medicine with no results, I decided to look for other causations, turns out there is mold behind my walls.
    Scrub the surface mold stains from walls and wood trim with a mixture of 1 qt. water and 1/2 cup bleach mold cleaner to kill the mold. Use a soft brush and work until signs of the mold disappear. After scrubbing the surfaces, simply allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate the surfaces and dry.
    Thanks for getting the word out on the critical topic that even many functional medicine doctors remain unaware of. I recently wrote an article about the toxic effects of mold after finding mold in my office ( So important we educate our patients and other docs, too!
    Tea tree oil is one of several natural mold killers that you can employ instead of bleach. To put tea tree oil’s natural fungicide power to work, combine two teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the mixture anywhere that you see black mold. Then just let it sit and reapply as needed. Tea tree oil is said to be one of the best natural mold killers. (10) Pine oil can also be used in a similar fashion.
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  2. Before removing any black mold, gear up: Don disposable coveralls, rubber gloves, airtight safety goggles, and a face mask/respirator. This protective gear will reduce the risk of health issues that may result from exposure to the substance, including respiratory infections, allergic reactions, joint inflammation, and rashes. Because a single black mold spore hitting your eye can even induce blindness, you don’t want to cut any corners.
    Decongestant nasal sprays. These include oxymetazoline (Afrin, others). Don’t use these medications for more than three or four days, as they can cause congestion to come back with even worse symptoms when you stop using them. Other possible side effects include headache, insomnia and nervousness.
    Fisk and colleagues reviewed thirty-three studies to assess the risk of health effects in individuals who spent time in damp, moldy environments. Subjects were adults and children. They found that upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, wheeze, and asthma were more frequent in people who spent time in damp spaces.8
    I was a housepainter for 28 years and usually worked in several nasty houses each year that had previous water damage. None of their occupants nor I ever became ill from being exposed to the various molds, fungi, etc. That changed in 2007 when I did four in a row and wound up with a nasty case of Mycotoxicosis. My doctor said there wasn’t anything available to fight it except time for my immune system to develop a resistance to the cruds. Said it could take several months or several years. Took me two years and wound up getting it again but worse two years later. This time it took 40 months for my body to get rid of it. Didn’t get it from living at home since my mother remained healthy and she was in her late 90’s. The only places I went that could’ve been infested were my 1995 car and 1988 work van since their doors’ weather stripping were allowing rain to enter during downpours. They had been that way for years so once damp inside I just left all the windows until they dried out. I guess some of those nasty micro-organisms’ spores eventually found a way in and began to proliferate.
    After you learn how to remove mold, you’ll want to prevent it in the future. The key to stopping most mold is to control dampness. The worst infestations usually occur in damp crawlspaces, in attics and walls where water has leaked in from the outside, and in basements with poor foundation drainage. Stopping leaks, ensuring good ventilation in attics, keeping crawlspaces dry and routing water away from the foundation are the best defenses on how to get rid of mold.

  3. Hi, I’ve done my bit of research and it doesn’t matter what make you have as long as you look after it. Washing gels aren’t ideal; they’re more likely to cause mold. Also, don’t try to be economic by always washing at 30 degrees C, that’s what’s ruining your washing machine. I do washes at 40 and 60 degrees, you need at least a 60 degree wash to kill most of the bacteria, if you want to kill all the bacteria, use a 90 degree wash every now and then.
    Hi Patricia. I don’t know whether I tried the baking soda method based on just knowledge of baking soda, or having read someplace about its use for reducing mold odors. I have been participating in online discussion groups such as the GreenCanary email list on Yahoo! Groups for a long time. This method (storing books with baking soda) would be useless with live mold. Mold spores give off toxic chemicals that are by-products of their digestion, and these chemicals can inundate any material that is in the environment. Some items, such as a glass table, would be easily cleaned or would soon off-gas the chemicals once the live mold has been removed, but things such as books can absorb a lot of them and they remain for a long time. I did have a lot of success storing moldy-smelling things in a room with an air purifier (an Austin Air that has a lot of carbon in the filter). Books do not clean well this way though unless they are propped so that the pages are open slightly. I had some things that just could not be saved, for instance an antique storage trunk that visible mold colonies were infesting the interior paper lining. Other things such as clock radio/kitchen appliances/etc. I disassembled and cleaned as many parts as I could, leaving parts out in sunlight. That seemed to eradicate the mold odors in most cases, it’s a lot of work though! It’s difficult to sum up the methods for cleaning mold toxins from things. Various things need various methods. The acidity of vinegar can be useful for things that can tolerate it, I have used a spray bottle with diluted vinegar on box fans and other sturdy types of appliances that can be washed. Things that can’t be washed with water, often storing with baking soda or activated charcoal is the best thing. It seems like you have a good awareness about detoxing laundry. I find hanging things out in sunlight, if they’re fabric or something that do not have hidden areas like an appliance does, cleans them faster and easier than anything else. I was soaking some clothing items in changes of dishsoapy or detergent water for many weeks, they still reeked of mold, then I hung them outside for a few days and the mold smells vanished.
    Mold must be killed off first, then the reduced or eliminated. Dealing with the condensation problem will help. Well ventilated areas also suffer less with mold. However, you must kill any mold residue with bleach or borax and then paint with either anti-mold paint (usually quite expensive) or add an anti-mold paint additive to your “normal” paint, this is usually cheaper and will prevent new mold from growing to some extent. However, to be absolutely mold-free, all areas where it has been growing need to be treated and possibly replaced (such as drywall).
    Scrub the surface mold stains from walls and wood trim with a mixture of 1 qt. water and 1/2 cup bleach mold cleaner to kill the mold. Use a soft brush and work until signs of the mold disappear. After scrubbing the surfaces, simply allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate the surfaces and dry.

  4. It does have a distinct smell but don’t worry, the smell will dissipate over time. Since it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, aside from killing all types of mold, tea tree oil can be useful for treating lice, dandruff, athlete’s foot, and many other conditions. It is a good idea to buy a small bottle and keep in your house. Remember, a little goes a long way.
    Hi Chirs, Thanks for this great article. I’m wondering if you’ve heard back from Dr. Ghosh about your questions regarding AO? I want to buy one, but I work from home and have 2 cats here as well. It would be hard to run it while not in the room since we have an open studio, and if we run it only when we’re out the cats would still be exposed. Dr. Shoemaker highly recommend I get one, but I’m still a bit concerned about the cats based on your comments about only running them while you’re not in the room. Do you run the AO around your pets (if you have pets?) Thanks!
    Know when to call a professional. Mold can be notoriously difficult to clean, especially in hard to reach places and on certain materials, such as dry wall and other porous materials. There are times when it’s best to call a mold removal professional, including if:[13]

  5. Sometimes, people may develop severe reactions to mold exposure. Symptoms of severe reactions, which are uncommon, include fever and difficulty breathing. People with compromised immune systems or patients with chronic lung disease can develop serious infections of the lungs due to molds.
    Even if you can’t see any mold or other allergens in your home, they could still be there, lurking in hard to reach corners or growing behind walls. All the while, releasing spores and particulates that can cause a range of chronic health problems including asthma and headaches.
    Hydrogen peroxide kills mold effectively on many materials such as clothes, floors, bathroom fixtures, walls and items such as kitchen appliances. Since hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent it may also help fade the stain mold leaves behind. Spot test hydrogen peroxide on the material you’re going to be cleaning to make sure it won’t fade the material’s colors.
    This past October Reid and his colleagues published a study revealing that the way a slime mold navigates its environment is even more sophisticated than previously realized. As polycephalum moves through a maze or crawls along the forest floor, it leaves behind a trail of translucent slime. Reid and his teammates noticed that a foraging slime mold avoids sticky areas where it has already traveled. This extracellular slime, Reid reasoned, is a kind of externalized spatial memory that reminds polycephalum to explore somewhere new.
    I also have the mould problem on the rubber seal. Just like all of you, I have tried everything to keep it from happening to no avail. I had the smell in the machine despite leaving the door open – couldn’t get rid of it no matter what I did. I have recently stopped using fabric softner and use vinegar in the final rinse – no smell. Haven’t had a chance to tackle the mold, but at least the smell isn’t there.
    Dr. Shoemaker has his fervent admirers and defenders, but there are patients who have followed some of this “extreme mold avoidance” advice and become homeless because they ended up not being able to tolerate any environment, moving from place to place until they ran out of funds.
    I want to encourage you to do a healthy vegan diet. That way you’ll get the fiber and nutrients your digestive system needs so that you can tolerate Cholestyromine. All my Drs. except one said I would be bedridden if I wasn’t on a vegan diet. And none of my Drs. are vegan. And I was able to do Cholestyromine no problem.
    The awareness of toxic mold’s effect on human health has increased dramatically over the past few years. But mold is only one of the many biotoxins found in water-damaged buildings, and the illness caused by exposure to these toxins is much more complex than most clinicians and patients assume.

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