With the holidays just around the corner, it's that time of year again to start thinking about gifts. Whether it’s for friends or family, hunting down the perfect present can be difficult. There are a million and one store options out there, but what will really bring your loved one joy and show your appreciation for them? If you’re shopping for hypersensitive individuals who are looking to create a safe home environment or for anyone who has suffered due to mold exposure, this is the gift guide for you!
In fact, snagging items that promote home health is a great gift idea for any loved one. Far too often, individuals are suffering due to toxic indoor environments thanks to a myriad of issues. Contamination situations can go unnoticed for some time, remediations can unsuccessfully decontaminate a space, or mold inspections can fail to create an accurate representation of what’s going on in an indoor environment.
Unfortunately, there’s a lack of attention given to this worldwide dilemma, leading to unnecessary chronic health issues. When the average person breathes 20,000 breaths per day and spends around 90% of their time indoors, it just makes sense that these spaces can affect our health.
Taking steps to prevent indoor contamination from occurring and properly handling any that pop up can ensure that these environments are promoting our ongoing wellness. This puzzle piece may not be factored into the health equation very often, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be!
Gifting items that can help create healthier environments for your loved ones is a thoughtful and beneficial way to support their health and happiness.
With that in mind, here's a holiday gift guide full of 8 suggestions to get you started.
1. Microfiber Towels
A key component of choosing the right cleaning products for mold is their ability to actually remove it from your indoor environment. Microfiber cloths are an invaluable power tool when it comes to cleaning homes and eliminating tiny particles from your space.
They’re made from polyester and polyamide fibers, which are split into thin threads and then woven together. This tightly intertwined fabric is what gives them their cleaning juju. They’re able to produce static electricity, allowing them to pick up more particles like mold spores and bacteria.
A few additional perks of microfiber cloths include:
- Studies show that microfiber can remove 99% of bacteria, compared to the 30% that conventional supplies can expel. While these super-cloths won’t kill the microorganisms they pick up, they do help remove them from the environment, which is a plus-plus for home health.
- Thanks to the tightly woven threads, microfiber can get into tiny cracks and crevices where small particles like mold spores and mycotoxins can get trapped.
- Microfiber cloths are incredibly absorbent and can hold seven times their own weight in fluid. A huge part of preventing mold is reducing moisture in an indoor environment, so this is another checkmark in their cleaning box.
In a nutshell, these cloths are a must for any home, whether working on prevention or mold removal.
2. The Mold Medic: An Expert’s Guide on Mold Removal
One of the biggest issues regarding mold is failed remediations. Far too often, projects are unsuccessful because of a lack of understanding about how to properly deal with a contamination situation.
A successful remediation protocol should be based on three pillars.
These three pillars are:
- Remediate the sources properly.
- Identify and address the problems that led to those sources in the first place.
- Eradicate all contamination created by those sources, including toxins and bacteria.
Having a better understanding of what to expect from remediation and why each step is important can help ensure that this scenario doesn't happen. The Mold Medic: An Expert’s Guide to Mold Removal provides readers with the tools to battle mold safely and effectively. The step-by-step guidebook is an easy, accessible tool that will teach readers how to find a team to locate the mold, the process involved in removing it, and what is needed to detoxify a home and belongings from microscopic particles.
3. Botanical Cleaning Products
The key to handling mold is choosing cleaning products that will actually eliminate the contamination from surfaces so that they’re no longer in the environment, leading to exposure. Not all cleaning products are up to the task.
To effectively stop exposure, you have to deal with all the contamination present, including the living colony, dead particles, spores, mycotoxins, and bacteria. That means the popular "just use bleach" suggestion won’t solve your moldy problem. Sure, the chemicals may kill the living mold, but you’ll just be left with a bleach bomb odor and harmful microscopic particles all over your home.
That’s why botanical cleaning products are the better option. These products utilize natural ingredients instead of a ton of harsh chemicals to deal with mold and its affiliated contaminants. These non-toxic options are also safer for you and the environment.
When looking for your go-to home health products, make sure to check for ones that also have surfactants. This will help pull particles away from the surface so that you can wipe them away.
A few great options to get you started are:
4. Contents Cleaning Kit
The Contents Cleaning Kit is a great option to ensure any decontamination project is tackled correctly.
The kit is packed full of the exact products used by HomeCleanse, as well as detailed instructions on how to safely decontaminate the contents inside a home. Whether someone is cleaning up after a remediation project or helping to maintain a mold-free indoor environment, the products in this box will help ensure personal items are free from all of the invisible particles associated with mold, including spores and mycotoxins.
Remember, the fewer particles there are in our indoor environments, the more they’ll promote our ongoing wellness.
5. A HEPA Vacuum Cleaner
The filtration portion of the machine is what sets HEPA vacuums apart. While other machines will filter out the majority of larger particles, they don’t have the capability to stop some of those ultra-fine and microscopic particles like mold spores. The technology behind HEPA filters allows them to filter out and remove smaller particles, instead of just blowing them back into the surrounding environment.
To reach the EPA standard and be qualified as a HEPA filter, they must filter out 99.7% of particles that pass through that are 0.3 microns in size.
With mold spores ranging from 2–4 microns on average, these machines will not only pick up dust and large particles but also these tiny specks as well. The more particles you can remove from your environment, the healthier the space will be.
A great option is the Advance Euroclean GD930 Canister Vacuum Cleaner.
6. An Air Purifier
Air purifiers help to remove these microscopic pollutants so that they’re not circulating through our indoor spaces and making their way into our bodies.
As many homes are built with net-zero energy efficiency in mind, there’s very little airflow between indoor and outdoor environments, so it's more important than ever for us to actively work to remove contaminants from our air.
Not all air purifiers are built the same, though. One of the most important characteristics to look for is their ability to remove the smallest particles. These microscopic particles are measured in a unit called microns, so machines with top-notch technology should be able to eliminate these particles from the air so that they don’t just blow right back into the environment. Air purifiers should at least meet HEPA status, but if they can remove smaller particles more of the time, that’s even better.
Another factor to look for is how often these machines can eliminate particles. Stay away from air purifiers that "sometimes" remove pollutants; you want one that always removes pollutants. Dig deep and look into the machine's air quality testing to ensure it fits the brief.
Intellipure offers phenomenal air purifier options. Their Disinfecting Filtration System (DFS) technology goes beyond normal HEPA standards to capture and remove 99.99% of particles as small as 0.007 microns in size. They also have multiple options, including compact, industrial, and whole-house purification systems, and they individually test each unit before it leaves their facility.
7. A Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is an excellent machine for removing moisture from indoor air. Decreasing the amount of moisture in a home is one of the top preventative steps an individual can take because the less moisture there is, the fewer available locations for mold to begin growing. Mold can grow at a relative humidity of 60%, so the goal is to keep it around 35–50%.
Dehumidifiers can be used year-round in rooms that are prone to mold growth, such as kitchens and bathrooms, which get bombarded with water throughout the day. If these areas don’t have adequate ventilation or it’s difficult to keep the indoor humidity low, these are a great option to ensure they remain as dry as possible.
When looking for a dehumidifier, keep an eye out for these qualities.
- How many pints of water can it remove? The more, the better
- Automatic controls are available, so you can set it and forget it
- Getting a machine that’s the appropriate size for the space is important to make sure it’s equipped to actually remove moisture from the air and lower the humidity level
- Self-draining is preferred, so you don’t have to empty a bucket all the time.
8. The Dust Test
The Dust Test is a great gift for anyone who suspects a contamination problem in their home or for regular checks to ensure the environment is safe.
Gravity brings particles like mold spores, mycotoxins, and endotoxins down to horizontal surfaces like floors, doorframes, and furniture. So basically, where dust collects, so do these indoor contaminants.
Testing this dust will help to determine exactly what’s hanging out in a home and potentially causing problems. Highly contaminated dust is not only a health hazard, as all of those particles can enter the body when they’re kicked up into the air when the dust is disturbed. It also indicates that there’s an underlying contamination problem somewhere in the home.
Unlike ERMI, The Dust Test combines cutting-edge DNA and chemical sequencing technologies to identify the invisible fungal and toxic fragments in any home. This includes determining and quantifying mold species, mycotoxin types, and endotoxins. With this data, your loved one will better understand what’s going on in their indoor space.
9. Expert Consultation
Figuring out the right steps to create a healthy home can be daunting. There’s a ton of conflicting information out there that can leave anyone scratching their head as to how to properly address any issues and decontaminate a space.
That’s where expert advice comes in! An expert can use their wealth of knowledge to create a plan based on whatever goals your loved ones want to tackle. Whether they’re looking to reduce opportunities for contamination situations to occur, determine if there’s a current problem, or create a plan for remediation, they’ll be able to ask whatever questions are necessary to set them up for success.
A few options include:
- A phone or video conference
- An email Q&A
What better way to show you care than by providing someone with tools to ensure their indoor environment is safe and supports their wellness?! Opting for any of the gifts listed above is a phenomenal way to promote health and happiness. After all, that is what the holidays are all about!