Every soldier knows they need weapons if they are marching into battle. The same thing goes for athletes—they need good nutrition, the right shoes and plenty of practice under their belt before marching onto the court or field.
And, if you’re recovering from mold illness, you need some essential tools for Mold free living.
(or “weapons”) too.
My Top 8 Essential Tools for Mold Free Living
Here are my top 8 essential tools for mold free living, in no particular order.
#1. Several Air Purifiers
Air is the most important nutrient we consume. Think about it: we can go a debatable 7-21 days without food, 3 days without water, BUT only a 2 to 3 minutes without air (oxygen). The air we breathe is pretty darn important!
The solution? An air purifier of course—a machine that helps maintain a healthy indoor air quality and keep airborne air particles (like dander and pollen) at bay.
One study evaluated indoor air quality over 12-weeks in the homes of people with asthma, finding that those who used a HEPA filter reduced indoor air particles by 55% as well as outside pollutants tracked inside by 23% (2).
That said, contrary to popular marketing claims, you can’t “kill mold” with an air purifier, but you can keep a clean (non-toxic home) mold-free and maintained by investing in a good quality air purifier. Additionally, if you are currently living in mold or trying to “break free,” an air purifier can be a bandaid solution for helping you breathe better.
In fact, when I was moving from home to him, looking for mold free housing, I relied on a cheaper Honeywell air purifier to help me get through some tough nights of breathing. I would blast it on my face to help me sleep and lessen the inhalation of mold spores in the air. This is one of the most essential tools for mold free living.
Now, in a cleaner home, I absolutely LOVE my IQ Air Purifier—a Cadillac of air purifiers, and I truly believe you get what you pay for!
I did not want to use a really nice purifier however in a toxic environment because, as you may know, many items in a toxic home become contaminated by mold. You never want to re-use an air filter or air purifier unit in a new clean home after using it in a contaminated moldy home.
Regardless of which purifier you choose, always choose a HEPA filter and keep in mind, you get what you pay for. Again, I kept a cheaper air purifier by my head at night in order to sleep better while trying to figure out a healthier, safer environment; and then, once in a clean space, I invested in several top notch purifiers to purify the air in my home.
Note: Avoid ‘ozone filters.’ These “air purifiers” release harmful ozone into the air to bind with different chemical pollutants. It is dangerous because the ozone itself is extremely toxic. Also, while UV lights in some purifiers sound cool and claim to destroy mold and mildew, UV light only affects what the lights shine on. In order to be truly effective, you need to move it around—otherwise it just keeps targeting the same limited area.
- IQ Air (for clean homes): I like the Multi-Gas, but you can also get the basic
- Honeywell (for travel or in less-than-ideal moldy environments)
#2.DeHumidifier + Humidity Detector (Hygrometer)
Ideally you want humidity at 50% or below.
#3. HEPA Vacuum
Keeping a clean, dry space is the name of the mold-free game. Remember, mold spores (mycotoxins) are dead toxins that are heavy and tend to fall to the ground and collect in dust.
Regular vacuuming (even daily or every other day) may seem excessive, but it can help maintain the mold-free zone you’ve aspired to acquire.
During any mold remediation a HEPA vacuum is also an essential—preferably with a hose and upholstery attachments and a handheld steamer. During the remediation process, in addition to removing any mold sources, all surfaces should be cleaned as well. Use HEPA vacuuming followed by damp wiping with a cleaning agent that does not leave a residue.
For most surfaces, terrycloth towels (soaked with a cleaning agent that leaves no residue like ammonia or EC3) can also be used to scrub off residues during pre-cleaning and before air cleaning. Surfaces should be visibly clean to the point there is no visible dust when viewing surfaces with a bright light or flashlight.
I absolutely love my Shark vacuum with lift-away.
A fogger is not a “mold killer” for a toxic mold home but it can help maintain a mold free home if you are breathing clean air already. Additionally, if you are living in a place with a little bit of mold, fogging can help with short term balancing of indoor mold levels that are elevated due to water leaks, or high humidity.
Ultimately, to properly deal with mold contamination, you must follow the 3 essential steps:
- The source of the moisture that was feeding the mold must be eliminated.
- Visible mold contamination must be removed and any contaminated items pitched or thoroughly cleaned (if not fully contaminated)
- Conduct a fogging or misting treatment
Generally, if these three items are completed, mold contamination will not return. However, if moisture returns to the environment, mold may return as well.
I love my BioBalance fogger and it’s helped me continue to live mold free and also take care of issues immediately when or if they arise.
#5. Nasal Spray & Washes
Mold spores love to take residence in cavities—like nasal passages and sinuses. Keeping your nasal passages cleansed is essential to remaining mold free for most mold sufferers.
#6. Non-Toxic Cleaners & Laundry Detergent
Non-toxic cleaning sprays and cleaners like EC3 or homemade (white vinegar or clear ammonia) are staples in my home for wiping down surfaces in my home as well as cleaning my car regularly. Again, like most things, these sprays and wipes do not “kill mycotoxins” (mycotoxins are not living; but they can discourage the growth of mold in environments and keep mold at bay.
Note: NEVER use bleach to clean mold (it makes it spread more).
As for clothing, mold and mycotoxins LOVE porous items (like clothing, upholstery’s etc.). For this reason, a mold-free laundry cleaning routine is essential.
Here are my top 6 supplies for cleaning clothes exposed to mold spores:
- Borax Detergent
- EC3 Concentrate or Laundry Additive
- Branch Basics Laundry Detergent
- Free & Clear Laundry Detergent (any non-toxic will do like Seventh Generation)
- Epsom Salts (plain or with essential oils like Eucalyptus, Lavender, or Mint)
- Optional: Dryer Balls
Although it may seem like “a lot”, a little will go a long way and you will thank me later when your clothes feel fresh and clean again.
#7. Plastic Bins
Most every item I transport in my car nowadays goes into one of the two plastic bins in my trunk. I learned this by experience after getting rid of two cars that became contaminated with mold. Again, mold loves porous items, so instead of exposing potentially moldy items (books, papers, clothes, plastics) to my air in my car or home, I tend to keep loose items contained.
#8. Infrared Sauna
Last but not least, daily sauna sweat sessions are like water to my detox soul. Not everyone tolerates saunas super well (some like coffee enemas, others like Cryo or dry brushing, and others love just fresh air or yoga and walks). Whatever it takes for you to support your “channels” for cleansing.
I invested in a simple travel sauna, and also joined a local sweat studio to sweat daily.