Lately, I have been experimenting with techniques to remove mold and mold spores from “dry clean only” clothing items. These items of clothing are often the more expensive pieces—dress slacks, cocktail dresses, wool coats, blouses, suits, etc.—so, it is only natural that people are less willing to part with them, even when they have been exposed to mold. Now that I practice a form of mold avoidance, where I clean my home and my things regularly for mold to prevent exposure and maintain health, I needed a way to clean these clothing items without damaging them. I will say, though, that when my family went through getting out of the toxic home that made us all so sick, we basically threw out everything and started over. I did not want anything from that toxic home in my life anymore.
It has been my personal experience that when your body takes a prolonged hit, especially from a particularly toxic mold, like Stachybotrys chartarum, the “things” in your life that also took a hit can continue affecting your health, even when cleaned and even when in a clean environment. It is almost as if your threshold to that particular mold is non-existent. (Note: Toxic load is a known phenomena, either through a big exposure or a gradual one. There HERE is a chart that describes it.) In my experience, I just reacted immediately and on a large scale. Thus, it was not worth it to me to chance it. That being said, the clothing items I am talking about here are ones that are exposed to mold in everyday life, or during travel, or in the store before you even bring them home.
Just as I was getting into my research and experimentation, I got a serendipitous email from the same reader who wrote in about cleaning some chairs for mold a few months back. She is a naturopath by profession and knows a lot about mold illness, so she is obviously ahead of the curve when it comes to knowledge and awareness of environmental toxins. As you will see in her email, she recognizes her susceptibility to mold reactions, and lessens her exposure by thinking ahead and testing items before bringing them into her home.