We have just experienced heavy rains and certain communities had severe flooding. The aftermath of that is mold and mildew. On soceial media I see a number of people asking advice on dealing with mold and getting rid of mold. I realised I have not written anything about how to get rid of mold using essential oils. Let’s start at the basics though.
Understand mold – what is it?
Mold is a fungal organism that grow on organic matter. There are mold spores or mold fragments in the air that we breathe. You certainly don’t want colonies of mold growing In your home or workplace. It is impossible to determine the type of mold by visual examination.
What can you do?
Keep the area dry
Try to keep the area dry. I know that is easier said than done but running your air conditioner or a dehumidifier can be very helpful.
Dealing with the source
Although we see the signs of mold first in our cupboards, our shoes and purses or on the couch, the source needs to be addressed if necessary.
So if there is a leak, that needs to be addressed. Mold is serious and if it is a large area that needs to be replace or you have someone in your house with a weak immune system then get a mold specialist in to tackle the problem.
Determining whether the mold is safe for you to clean yourself is important. Mold is can cause severe health implications. Black mold especially should be handled by a mold professional.
Mold experts can also advise you how to prevent mold from reoccurring in your house. We had a ventilation system under our house that was installed by the Mould Doctor. Interesting fact, the American spelling is mold and the British/Australian spelling is mould.
Clean the mold
I personally prefer natural methods rather than chemicals not only for my own health but also the health of my kids and my pets.
Remember to wear a mask because breathing in the mold spores are not good for you. Put some gloves on and open the windows when cleaning mold.
Now when you are using fogging machines you will want to keep the windows shut. You can read here more about the details of how to use fogging machines after flooding to kill the mold.
It is a very good read on what not to use in your fogging machine because you might have problems down the road with paint not sticking to the walls etc.
There are many cleaning options out there:
Bleach will do exactly that. It will bleach the mold so it looks a lot better but it will not kill the mold.
Vinegar and baking soda has been proven to be quite effective in treating mold.
Sunlight will kill mold so after cleaning it you can leave the item out In the sun to dry.
Can you use essential oils to fight mold?
1) Essential oils can be very effective in slowing down and eliminating mold growth due to their anti fungal properties.
2) The oils can support your immune system whilst it is combating mold exposure.
3) There has been studies done on the effectiveness of essential oils on mold
4) Some essential oils will work better depending on their constituents and the species of the mold. However, sometimes that is not possible and you just have to get on with it because every cupboard is just smelling musty.
The following oils are all irritants to the eyes and skin so therefor use gloves, masks and eye protection when dealing with these.
Best oils to fight mold
1. Clove bud essential oil
Clove oil has anti fungal properties and is powerful enough to deal with black mold, You can read more about Clove bud oil here and find a few more options of Clove Essential oils here.
Spicy and heart warming, Clove Bud essential oil is a powerful cleaner for the home, es… [More]
2. Tea tree oil
Tea tree also contains anti-fungal properties and can freshen up mildew smells. You can add a couple of drops of Tea tree oil to your detergent to get rid of that musty smell.
Organic Tea Tree is one of the worldâ€™s best known and beloved essential oils. Native … [More]
Cinnamon is a great oil to use to combat mold and probably one of the nicest smelling ones as well. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties makes Cinnamon a top choice. Aldyhyde is one of the major constituents of Cinnamon oil and that is also why it is an effective oil.
Create a warm, inviting atmosphere with Cinnamon Bark. This powerful essential oil not … [More]
4. Thyme oil
Another anti-fungal oil that can be really effective in dealing with mold
Thyme Thymol is one of the very best essential oils for supporting the immune system an… [More]
How to use essential oils to clean
For spraying down surfaces
Essential oils do not mix with water so simply adding them in a spray bottle is not as effective. Add some alcohol mix in your spray bottle first and mix your oils into that.
Use 3 parts alcohol to 1 part water and 10 % essential oil of the total weight of the mix.
For mopping up
You can mix the essential oils with some Castille soap and then add your water.
Mop your floors, leave to dry and then mop with clean water to remove residue to keep your pets safe. You can add about 1 ml of oil to about 3 liters of mop water.
Cleaning the airborne mold
You can use a diffuser with some oils on the list. I would probably add about 3 drops of each and then run your diffuser for 30 minutes in that room. Make sure there is no one in the room whilst it is running. Make sure the pets are also not in the room either. Close the door and put a rolled up towel in front of the door. Go from room to room until you have done all the rooms.
Go back and wipe down the residue.
Then run your air purifier room by room again.
Click on the link below to have a look at different diffusers.
Hydrosols are the water component when distilling essential oils. I find it really easy to use and you can have a look at different hydrosols when you click below.
Dealing with mold is a big job and you can easily feel overwhelmed. You can use essential oils quite effectively to fight mold.
Please remember essential oils contain volatile compounds which can irritate the eyes, nose and skin. Also remember to make sure that your pets are safe as some of these oils can be toxic to dogs. Use a good quality essential oil. One of my trusted companies that I get my own oils from is Planttherapy.
Take care of you so that you can take care of those you love