As you may know, Carolina Morning is located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains at the base of Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains Range. The region is considered a temperate rain forest with one of the most bio-diverse eco-systems in the world. This summer, in particular, has felt very damp. We have received an abundance of rain. The high humidity levels have been a common source of conversation among folks in our parts.
Perhaps some of you are experiencing a similar weather pattern. Has your region experienced an unusually wet summer? Do you live in a home without air conditioning? We thought it would be helpful to discuss proper ways to care for your toxic-free, all-natural products.
A warm and humid environment creates a perfect scenario for mold growth. It can grow on almost any surface – paper, wood, stone, fabric, etc. For this reason, to best protect all of your Carolina Morning products, moisture management is a must. Meditation cushions, yoga props, and organic bedding (futons, paleo pads, and sleeping pillows) are all susceptible to mold because of their soft qualities. But even wood based products, because they are natural, can be susceptible to excess humidity. These include Eco Squares, Eco Backrests, and Peace and Sky Benches, and Tilt Seats.
Mold thrives in moist, damp environments with poor air circulation. As a result, the first preventative measure to mold growth is reducing the indoor moisture level. Optimum humidity levels in a home should be in the range of 30-60%. A dehumidifier or an air conditioner can help remedy high moisture levels. Either may show the humidity level, or you can buy a humidity gauge for under $15 to track it. You also want to make sure that laundry dryers and stoves are properly vented out of the house and that plumbing pipes are not leaking. If you do not have an air conditioner or dehumidifier, keep indoor air circulating by opening windows or running fans.
Though our products are created with mold resistant materials such as wool and kapok, their effectiveness can be compromised if they are kept in environments that harbor excessive moisture. Since mold grows on dust, keeping the dust level low in you home will be beneficial as well. If your pillow or futon begins to smell musty, it is important to act quickly. A great natural approach is to wash the pillow protector or futon cover in cold water (since heat shrinks cotton). Hang the covers to dry or put in the dryer on “air”, no heat. If you have an outdoor space, on a dry, sunny day, sprinkle baking soda on the surface of your cushion or pillows, and sun them outside. Flip the cushions to allow each side a chance to absorb the sun’s rays. The sunshine will kill the mold spores and the baking soda will absorb the odors. Repeat this process for a few days, if possible. If you live in an urban area or do not have access to an outdoor space, you can still sprinkle the cushions with baking soda and let them air out with the help of a dehumidifier.
Gently spot clean your cushion if it gets dirty from day to day use without a protective cover. With a damp cloth and a little soap, you can rub areas of the cotton clean. Do not soak the fabric as this will result in wet kapok that can become susceptible to mold. After spot cleaning, please allow your cushion to dry completely, preferably in the sun.
Another important protective measure to consider is a removable cover. If your product doesn’t come with one, it can be purchased separately. The removable covers come in an assortment of colors and are easy to take on and off to wash. They will work to preserve the life of your pillow or cushion by offering another layer of protection from the elements. Here, at Carolina Morning, your products are made using only the highest quality, earth-friendly materials. If they are taken care of properly, they can last for years.