5 Surprising Locations for Household Mold
Mold is extremely common, but some types of mold can be hazardous to your health.
While mold is important for the breakdown of plant and animal matter, when it comes to our homes, mold is an unwelcome and potentially dangerous intruder!
According to the Mayo Clinic, 93 percent of all chronic sinus infections are mold or fungus related. Mold has been connected with everything from respiratory problems and lung infections, to asthma.
If you have mold in your home, it’s important to find it so that you can get rid of it. But where does mold live? According to Päivi Salo, PhD, an epidemiologist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, indoor mold tends to grow in places that are moist or damp. Bathroom tiles, near sinks, in damp basements or crawl spaces, and areas around windows are all prime places for mold growth.
In addition to the more obvious places, there are some unexpected places that mold can grow. Here are five surprising locations where household mold can live.
- The Coffee Maker
While this may be a surprise –your coffee maker can be a home for household mold. Since the reservoir of your coffee maker never gets a chance to dry out completely, and is most likely never cleaned, the mold has the perfect opportunity to grow there undisturbed. To prevent mold, once a month fill your coffee maker’s reservoir with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar and switch it on, running the mixture through the machine. Rinse by running one or two cycles of plain water through.
- The Dishwasher
Your dishwasher may be less clean that you’d think. Mold buildup is quite common in dishwashers and the rubber door gaskets because they rarely have a chance to completely dry. The warm, humid conditions sealed inside your dishwasher makes a perfect location for mold to grow. Some dishwashers even contain black yeast –a type of mold that is toxic to humans. Prevent mold from growing in the dishwasher by wiping the gasket once weekly after you’ve run it through a cycle. Leave the dishwasher door open after each use and wait for it to dry before closing it. You can also use the heat-dry function to help dry the inside and prevent mold growth.
- The Refrigerator Drip Pan
In frost-free fridge freezers, frost that’s accumulated is defrosted during the heating cycle –and the water then drains into a drop pan at the bottom of the fridge: where it sits. This water allows bacteria, yeast, and mold to grow in the pan, and if a draft blows under the fridge, the spores can get into the air and easily move across your kitchen. Try to clean your refrigerator drip pan annually with a suitable cleaner.
- Your Toothbrush
Replace your toothbrushes! Toothbrushes –especially electric toothbrushes are prime places for mold to grow. The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston discovered that hollow-head electric toothbrushes can contain up to 3,000 times more mold and bacteria than a solid-head toothbrush. Yuck! Be sure to replace your toothbrush, or electric toothbrush heads regularly.
- Front-Load Washers
Front-load washers are notoriously bad for encouraging mold growth. This is because the door gasket is often damp and wet since the door is usually closed in between washes. To combat mold in the washer, run a hot water wash with a suitable cleaner to remove the mold.
Common symptoms of mold spore exposure include nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation, sore throat, and a chronic cough. If you experience any of these, and it’s not allergy season, mold may be the culprit.
If you suspect that mold may be hiding in your home, it’s important to take action to eliminate it. Get ahold of a high-quality mold cleaner, and spend some time inspecting, and cleaning prime locations where mold commonly grows. Opt for safe yet strong household cleaners specifically designed to clean mold.
You might be surprised at how ridding your house of hidden molds can help you to combat allergy-like symptoms, and improve your health!
Have you noticed mold in your home? Share your mold prevention tips with us in the comments!