This is a dangerous mistake that you might be making with laundry

Science and Health

During the winter season, when the house is closed and less ventilated, we often notice mold stains that accumulate on the walls, furniture, toys and even in the wardrobes and on the clothes themselves.

Why does this happen? Most often the mold is formed and spreads due to the high levels of humidity that accumulate in the house. There are factors due to the weather and the rainwater entering into the walls of the house, but there are also factors inside the house that can contribute to the development of moisture and the spread of mold in the spaces of the house.

The accumulation of moisture and mold in the house can harm the quality of the air we breathe and affect our health. Mold is a fungus that has a structure similar to that of a plat; it contains roots, stalks and spores. Its structure sometimes allows it to grow deep into the soil on which it grows, even if we cannot detect it.

The problem is the spores that the mold comes from. To reproduce and disperse, mold emits microscopic spores that are airborne into the surrounding space.

For most people, exposure to these spores can lead to symptoms such as a stuffy nose, coughs and itchy eyes – annoying but nothing too serious.

Laundry 370 (credit: thinkstock)

However, exposure to mold may be more severe for people with asthma, respiratory problems, a weak immune system or specific allergies.

So, what do you do with wet laundry in the winter and how can you still maintain the air quality in your house on cold days and prevent a comfortable environment for mold to grow?

According to the experts at Beko, a home appliance brand, you can avoid the accumulation of moisture and humidity by following a few simple steps.

First and foremost, make sure to dry the wet laundry correctly and try to avoid drying the laundry indoors.

How can hanging wet laundry indoors in the winter cause moisture?

During the winter, the amount of laundry we have increases – winter clothes are thicker and we tend to layer them. If we add socks, scarves, coats and blankets, it adds more to the laundry that we have to dry.

As we enter the height of winter, the hours of sunshine and warmer weather that we would need to dry our clothes outside are lessened and naturally, we prefer to dry our clothes indoors, but here a problem begins: During the winter, we tend to turn on our heat more and close the windows.

When we combine this with wet laundry hanging inside the house, a lot of condensation is created, which can cause the humidity in the house to increase by 30%.

The condensation is absorbed into our walls, carpets and furniture, creating moisture which is a convenient place for mold growth.

Using a clothes dryer on cold and rainy days will be effective in both time and in preventing unnecessary humidity in the home and if you choose a clothes dryer that works with innovative technologies, you can also save energy and electricity.

If you still prefer to hang the laundry to dry, try to do it outside under a laundry guard cover, and if you hang it indoors, be sure to place the drying rack near an open window.

How to identify mold at home

There are some clear signs that indicate the formation of moisture and mold in the house. Pay attention to these signs and if they appear, consult with professionals for quick treatment to rid the problem: Musty smell, the appearance of fungi or mold on walls, floors, or ceilings, the appearance of dark or faded spots on walls or plaster, lifting or peeling of wallpaper and layers of paint, walls, floors or ceilings that feel cold or wet to the touch.

Beko’s experts offer additional tips for proper conduct that can reduce the increase in humidity levels and the formation of moisture and mold in the home, during the winter:

1. Don’t overload the washing machine. Make sure not to overfill the washing machine to allow it to perform the squeezing operation properly, reducing the time it takes to dry.

2. Keep your closet spacious and airy. A closet containing huge amounts of dense and cramped clothing can be a “fertile ground” for mold formation. Be sure to arrange the clothes in the closet spaciously and on nice days when you open the windows in the room and open the closet doors and ventilate the shelves and clothes in it.

3. Open the windows. When operating a washing machine/dryer and when cooking or taking hot showers or baths, be sure to open the windows of the house to increase airflow and prevent moisture from accumulating.

4. Vinegar, soap and water. Use vinegar, water and soap to wash and clean mold from hard surfaces.