Mold can cause a host of health problems including asthma, increased susceptibility to flu and colds, and sinus infections. Because mold thrives in damp conditions, it can live in many places around your home such as the shower, under carpeting and wallpaper, in the basement and surprisingly even in your washing machine. Washer mildew can linger in your laundry room and transfer to your clothes, increasing your risk for mold-related health problems.
People with asthma may have an increased sensitivity or allergy to mold that can trigger an asthma attack. Asthma is an inflammation of the airways that makes breathing difficult and sends more than 2 million people to the emergency room every year.
For many people, inhaling mold can trigger severe asthma attacks. By itself, inhaled mold spores can irritate the respiratory system, so people with asthma should take additional measures to eliminate mold in their home by reducing moisture and humidity.
Inhaled mold spores can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. Inflammation of the sinuses, irritated lungs, sore throat, runny nose and irritated eyes cause the body’s immune system to work overtime to help heal these areas. A weakened immune response and a weakened respiratory system can make you more susceptible to catching colds and the flu.
These same symptoms can increase your risk for chronic sinus infections, especially if you have prolonged exposure to mold, as with washer mildew and mold hidden under your carpeting.
To help prevent mold-related health problems, it may be necessary to have your home inspected for mold and thoroughly cleaned. Then take steps to reduce moisture and humidity to prevent mold from returning.
Places like the basement and shower carry a moldy stigma, but most people overlook one of mold’s favorite places to hide: the washing machine. The washing machine actually is an ideal place for mold to thrive if not properly maintained.
Since mold loves water, one of the main causes of washer mildew is residual water. As a rule of thumb, always leave the lid or door ajar to allow water to evaporate.
Detergent and fabric softener mistakes are often a common cause of washer mildew. Using too much detergent, especially in new high efficiency machines, causes excess suds that lead to mold. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and measure carefully. Likewise, liquid fabric softener leaves a residue behind that mold can grow in. Switch to dryer sheets instead.
To eliminate and prevent washer mildew, use a washer cleaner such as Smelly Washer up to twice a month. This washer cleaner uses all-natural ingredients to safely and effectively remove mold, odor and fungus from your washing machine.
You can also use Smelly Washer cleaner mixed with water in a spray bottle to remove mold in your tub and shower, and even your canvas boat and grill covers.