If you grew up in a home that held essential oils in high regard, then you may not have had to deal with mold and mildew. Especially if you used the right essential oils for mold and mildew.
Unfortunately, like the rest of us, you may have grown up in a home that knew nothing about essential oils, or one that didn’t know what it could do. You may have battled with years of endless allergies with little relief from antihistamines. But, that shouldn’t be the case anymore.
With all that the non-toxic compounds in essential oils promise to give in healing and preventing diseases, all that the essential oils can do to get rid of mold and mildew, and the subsequent allergies, it is only fair for us to dig deeper into these two issues affecting health worldwide. Before we look at how specific essential oils help get rid of mold…
What is mold/ mildew?
Mold and mildew are types of fungi cut from the same coat- brothers perhaps. While they have similar characteristics like their liking for moist and damp areas, they have their differences seen in their size, texture, and color.
Mold refers to surface fungi that looks black or green. Mold comes about from a large infestation. It is common around food, appearing fuzzy or slimy.
Mildew, on the other hand, refers to surface fungi easily identified as a patch of gray od white fungi lying on a moist area.
Both mold and mildew grow on different surfaces.
Mold is either toxic or non-toxic with the toxic mold rarely found in regularly maintained homes. Toxic mold exacerbates allergies, and it causes it worsens or causes asthma attacks, itchy eyes, lung issues, and headaches. Most of the black mold is the toxic mold that is responsible for several health issues because they produce mycotoxins.
According to the CDC, mold thrives in moist, warm, and humid conditions and they spread and reproduce through spores. While it is easy to eradicate grown mold, the spores are tough to eradicate because they can withstand the harshest environmental conditions, even the driest conditions.
Mildew appears powdery or downy. With mold and mildew used interchangeably because they have similar effects, they all produce a nasty odor and cause diseases, the course of elimination is often similar.
Causes of Mold and Mildew
- Water leaks and leakages in kitchen or bathroom sinks
- Dampness and an elevation in humidity levels
- High moisture content and an adequate supply of nutrients
- Poor garbage disposal
- Old food left in the fridge
- Dirty cutting boards and rotten foods.
For growth, mold requires mold spores, a food source, darkness, oxygen, warmth, moisture, and time.
What are the signs and symptoms of mild and mildew at home?
- Blocked or a runny nose
- Itchy skin
- Sore eyes
- You may also smell mold or see mold growing around the house
- High humidity levels above 60 percent
- Water Stains
- Paint coming off the surface
- Dampness in the basement
- Warping and deterioration of furniture
Preventing and elimination of mold and Mildew
With infants, children, the elderly, people with chronic liver disease, and immune-compromised people at risk of mold reactions, it is crucial to take steps that will lower the risk of reactions or diseases.
Essential Oils for Mold and Mildew
The use of essential oils to get rid of mold and mildew is a smart move since mold and mildew do not like essential oils. The natural, highly concentrated, and powerful plant extracts contain natural antifungal properties, hence their effectiveness in eliminating mold.
Mold is also therapeutic and soothing, and it effectively helps to alleviate the symptoms of mold reactions. But, that isn’t all. Essential oils also contain antibacterial properties, and they will help treat any resulting infections.
The non-toxic and powerful plant compounds in the oils have also been shown to be effective in boosting the function of the immune system, speeding up recovery in individuals suffering from exposure to mold spores in toxic levels.
So, which are the best essential oils for mold and mildew?
- Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon, the oldest and the most popular spice has unique functions cutting across your whole house. In oil form, you have the cinnamon essential oil which doesn’t just boost your brain function but also boost the quality of your home by getting rid of mold and mildew.
Studies place cinnamon essential oil on top of the list of essential oils capable of battling mold. In different tests and studies, cinnamon essential oil has an unparalleled inhibitory effect on the growth of mold.
According to studies by the International Journal of Food Microbiology, cinnamon essential oil is also capable of suppressing the growth of bacteria.
If you get a fungal infection or even a bacterial infection from the growing mold in your home, you can rely on this essential oil to eliminate all your issues.
- Thyme Essential Oil
Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks used thyme as incense. The distinctive taste remains a staple for culinary masters but, that isn’t all one can use thyme for. Thyme essential oil treats coughs, and it also alleviates the acute symptoms of acute bronchitis. Also, thyme essential oil has been known to treat mold infections and candida albicans.
It also contains immune-boosting effects thanks to all the vitamin C it carries. It is also rich in vitamin A which enhance cellular function and boost the activity of the immune system, bringing you back to health.
That isn’t all – thyme essential oil contains thymol, a compound which holds many fungicidal properties. Therefore, thyme essential oil works to disinfect mold and mildew.
Lastly, the oil contains cleansing and purifying effects on the skin.
- Oregano essential oil
Oregano essential oil is one potent herbal oil known for its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It kills fungi and resultant fungal infections.
Its anti-inflammatory effects make it suitable for elimination of mold-related inflammations which can hurt your quality of life. That isn’t all. Oregano essential oil treats respiratory conditions resulting from mold reactions
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is commonly used for its disinfecting and its cleansing abilities. Not only is the oil antimicrobial, but it also possesses strong antifungal effects which are effective against mold.
While destroying the growing mold, the essential oil leaves the room smelling fresh and clean thanks to its refreshing scent.
Tea tree oil doesn’t stop there – terpinen-4-ol boosts your immune function with its ability to increase the activity of white blood cells which fight foreign invaders and germs. The germ-fighting properties are lauded as they give the oil the ability to fight fungal skin infections. The preventive and healing properties of the oil are best felt if the oil is applied to the skin (affected area) directly).
While you can diffuse the oil without diluting it, you have to dilute it with a carrier oil for topical application. Tea tree oil is one of the most powerful essential oils, and it could cause an adverse skin reaction. You should never ingest tea tree oil. The best carriers for tea tree oil include olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.
While killing mold, diffused tea tree oil also acts as an insect repellant.
- Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil is thought to be one of the pioneers in dealing with mold and mildew growth. The oil hinders fungal growth. It is particularly effective in killing the black mold (caused by Aspergillus niger) hence its use for clearing out mold in hard and non-porous surfaces.
Clove essential oil is also effective in killing fungi like candida, whether the growth is in the intestines or the mouth.
You might also like the clove essential oil for its unmatched antioxidant properties which make it capable of warding off free radicals, preventing cellular and tissue inflammations, and improving the function of the immune system. Cloves contain more antioxidants than blueberries. The high eugenol and antioxidant levels make cloves the ultimate protective herb protecting you from viruses and bacteria. It also slows down aging and cellular degeneration.
While diffusing clove essential oil, your skin will also thank you as the oil improves skin health and eliminates acne.
- Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is a delightful aromatic essential oil common in aromatherapy. What you may not know is that the oil has potent antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Several studies show that geranium essential oil inhibits the growth and proliferation of several fungal species including the ones that cause mold.
For use, you should dilute the oil with a carrier oil, or add some drops in your diffuser. Adding diluted oil in your foot bath will help cure athletes foot.
You might want to know that geranium essential oil is also effective in inhibiting the growth of different strains of bacteria.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil
The healing effects of lemongrass essential oil are immense. Out of all the oil can do, its antifungal properties rein high. Lemongrass essential oil can destroy ringworm infections when diluted and applied topically.
It is also capable of treating MRSA, a tough bacterial infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria.
When diffused, the essential oil’s antifungal effects are seen in its ability to kill Aspergillus niger fungal strain, as well as candida albicans and candida, tropicalis fungal strains. It is, therefore, clear that you can use lemongrass essential oil to get rid of black mold.
And, that is not all – lemongrass essential oil has anti-inflammatory effects, and it helps with conditions that arise from mold infestation.
Best Essential Oil Blends for Mold
Thieves is an essential oil blend of oils such as cinnamon essential oil, eucalyptus, cloves, lemon, and rosemary essential oils. By combing the antifungal properties of these oils, you have a high success-rate of killing mold and mildew. The power of the essential oil blend comes from clove essential oil capable of killing the black mold and boosting immune function, thanks to the high antioxidant count. This blend gets rid of mold and mildew from the air, as well as the hard-to-reach porous surfaces.
This blend also goes by the name Burglars blend and its effectiveness comes from the antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
- Caraway, Fennel, and Lemongrass essential oil blend
With spores able to survive in the harshest conditions, and their growth responsible for the production of mycotoxins, it is essential to find a remedy that will hit the problem at its core, eliminating it. This essential oil blend has that power.
This essential oil blend prevents the germination and the growth of spores from Aspergillus, the fungi responsible for black mold. In the process, the oils prevent the production of mycotoxins.
How to use essential oils for mold
With the use of a diffuser as the most effective way of killing mold, it is important to mention that you should use a cold air diffuser, a waterless one for the best results. You can also use a dehumidifier in the damp basement but, you should clean out the excess water soon after.
Other Remedies for Mold and Mildew
Besides spraying the air with essential oils, you can eliminate mold and mildew in the following ways:
- Dry Out dampness: with moisture as the main cause of mold, you want to keep your home dry. Besides manually drying spaces, you could use a dehumidifier.
- Fix leaks: if the dampness comes from a leaking tap, fix it immediately to get rid of mold breeding areas.
- Work on the ventilation systems: you need to establish a good air flow in your home. A fan is a great place to start.
- Let in the sunshine: mold and mildew dislike light so, let in the sun, even in the basement. UV light from the sun kills mold.
Other remedies include:
- Use of a hydrogen peroxide spray
- Use of vinegar
- Ethanol or denatured alcohol
- Boric acid kills mold on hard surfaces.
- Seal tiles and grout, and also keep them clean.
Essential oils are effective but, you also need to work on reducing the humidity levels of your home to between 30 and 60 percent. You need to prevent dampness or ventilation. With potential side effects of mold and mildew growth presenting as allergic reactions, asthma, and several other skin and respiratory conditions, prevention is essential.