Mold on Clothes – Skin Irritation

Mold Cleaning from Clothes is a MUST!


A healthy adult may be able to live among mold without experiencing serious health issues. Short term inhalation of mold typically will cause problems in those more sensitive such as young children and older adults. Respiratory issues are the most common issues with breathing in mold.

Long term inhalation of mold is more dangerous and long term inhalation of toxic mold can lead to memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, confusion, and even death.

Mold on clothing, however, will present additional and more acute issues. First, as mold begins to grow on clothing it starts as surface mold. At this point it can usually be cleaned as it has not fully penetrated fibers. Once mold starts to grow between fibers it becomes more difficult to clean, and finally when mold is infested within fibers, the stains left by it may be impossible to completely remove. When the mold gets engrained within the fibers it can permanently discolor clothing. Even when the clothing is completely cleaned and disinfected, the discoloration often times cannot be completely removed without dying the clothing. What happens is the actual black mold creates its own dye which permanently changes the color of the clothing fiber. Typically this happens more with natural materials then polyesters.

But more significant may be skin problems associated with wearing clothing that contains mold. Wearing clothing with mold will cause skin concerns. Depending on the individual and their reaction to mold, skin problems can range from mild itchiness and irritation to severe skin rashes and even toxicity.   Direct contact with mold through clothing worn for long periods of time creates severe discomfort that is often difficult to treat in the short run and could take weeks or even months before the irritated skin returns to normal.

The difficulty in cleaning mold from clothing is removing the black stains. Mold typically is removed with bleach or borax and very hot water. Yet these treatments don’t always remove the black stains caused by the mold. Oftentimes the black stains that remain and clothing are mistaken for mold infestation still being a problem. But this is not actually the case. The black stains from the mold are not necessarily active mold spores. Instead it’s just remnants of the dye from the mold can become irreversible. It is important to properly clean mold from clothing where the black mold can be removed without bleach or borax and even without hot water without damaging clothing. Certified cleaning facilities such as Wooven Dry Cleaning use special and specific processes for remediating mold while continuing to protect clothing from damage. Certain Fabrics such as silks and other delicate fabrics should not be washed in hot water and therefore most homes do not have the proper conditions available to treat the mold on the clothing while protecting the fabric itself. 

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