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Being mindful of mildew this summer

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Summer is finally here. While that means hotter temperatures nation-wide, for much of the United States it also means higher humidity. While we fret about allergies in springtime and colds in winter months, it’s summer that brings the steamy conditions that mold and mildew thrive on.

Mold spores are present in the air all around us. When the fungi find organic matter to feed on, such as the natural fiber textiles that we turn to in summer months to keep us cool, mold starts to proliferate. Combine stagnant air and a little bit of moisture with fabrics – like a stuffy linen closet – and you’ve got yourself the perfect breeding ground for mildew.

These spores are destructive to the fabrics they grow on, causing discoloration and degradation. They release compounds that create a musty smell. They can also be harmful to human health – producing allergens, irritants, and potentially toxic byproducts called mycotoxins.

As with so many other things, it’s more cost-effective to invest in a preventative solution to maintaining fabrics while in storage rather than replacing them as they degrade.