Welcome to my article all about essential oils for mold!
Finding mold in your home can be very concerning.
In addition to being unsightly, mold is bad for the respiratory system.
It can be especially harmful to people with asthma and similar pre-existing conditions.
Many people think mold removal requires extensive treatment or even a complete remodel.
But getting rid of it may be as easy as applying certain essential oils.
This article will give you the information you need to know.
But before I get into the best methods and essential oils to get rid of mold, let’s first discuss what mold is and why it grows in our homes.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that can grow in any warm, moist environment.
There are over 100,000 types of mold microorganisms.
They grow on food and surfaces and spread in different ways.
They can spread through ventilation or contaminated air ducts, and their spores allow them to reproduce rapidly.
In addition to looking unsightly, mold is also bad for health.
It can cause respiratory symptoms and worsen existing respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies.
It can also negatively affect people with weakened immune systems.
What Causes Mold?
Many people are embarrassed to find mold in their home because they feel its due to a lack of proper cleaning.
But the truth is, mold only needs a damp environment to grow.
It can be caused by high humidity, roof and foundation leaks, overflowing appliances and more.
How Can Essential Oil Kill Mold?
When fighting mold, you may think you have to bust out with the heavy artillery.
It may surprise you to find out how something as seemingly benign as essential oil can kill it.
But there is a science behind it.
Essential oils contain chemical components like ketone, terpenes, aldehydes, and phenols.
These can disrupt the growth of mold’s cell membranes.
They also have air purifying benefits.
In fact, plants contain essential oils to protect them from mold and bacteria growth.
It also keeps pests away while the aromatic scent attracts pollinators.
While essential oils can assist in mold elimination, they will not be effective when used on their own.
They will need to be combined with other mold removal strategies.
They may also not have the ability to tackle large areas of mold.
Which Essential Oils Kill Mold?
There are certain essential oils that are more effective in killing mold than others.
Here are a few you can try.
Clove oil has been shown to have the most antifungal properties of all the essential oils.
In fact, it may be as effective in killing fungus as some commercially sold disinfectants.
It’s active ingredient, eugenol, damages fungus cell membranes and reduces germ formation.
To use clove oil on mold:
- Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of clove oil to 1 liter of water.
- Spray the solution on the nonporous surface.
- Leave it overnight to soak.
- Use a stiff brush dampened with soap and water to remove it the next day.
Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial characteristics that make it effective in fighting bacteria and air purifying effects that can destroy airborne mold.
It doesn’t kill mold on surfaces, but it does prevent new spores from growing.
It is effective in treating varieties such as Coprinellus and Ulocladium but will not work on other species.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has microbial properties that are similar to those found in certain disinfectants.
It contains alpha terpineol and terpene 4-ol which are effective in destroying mold cells.
Studies have shown that the oil reduces airborne mold concentrations when evaporated in a room.
You can also use it to get rid of mold on surfaces by:
- Diluting a teaspoon in 2 cups of water.
- Apply it to moldy areas with a spray bottle.
- Leave it on to loosen the mold.
- Scrub it off after a few hours.
Lavender oil isn’t as potent as other essential oils in killing mold, but it contains linalool and linalyl acetate which are air-purifying, antibacterial and anti-viral.
It has been shown to reduce mold growth but to a lesser degree than some of its sister oils.
Citrus oil is often included in cleaning products as it has anti-microbial, antifungal and air-purifying properties and a great fresh scent.
It contains limonene and linalool which have been shown to disrupt mold growth.
Cinnamon may not remove mold from surfaces, but it will work to kill mold on food.
Studies have shown that wrapping a sandwich in wax paper with 6% cinnamon oil will reduce mold growth by 96%.
Another study showed it can reduce bacterial growth for up to 60 days.
This means it could be a natural alternative to preservatives.
Thyme contains thymol, a compound that is known to kill fungus.
Studies have shown it to work to reduce spore growth in the Aspergillus species.
Another study revealed it may be effective in getting rid of several types of the Penicillium species.
If you want your food not to grow mold, try adding oregano oil.
The flavorful Italian seasoning inhibits the growth of aflatoxins that are found in certain fungi.
It especially effective in targeting aspergillus fungus.
Peppermint Essential Oil
The menthol in peppermint oil has been shown to kill fungus.
It’s vapor alone may be effective in killing mold.
Studies have shown that just a little bit of peppermint oil can kill various fungus species.
It may also be better than tea tree oil when it comes to treating fungal infections.
Can You Combine Essential Oils to Kill Mold?
Essential oils will kill mold on their own and may be even more powerful when combined with other oils.
Take, for instance this mold busting scrub.
To mix it up, you will need:
- 4 drops clove oil
- 4 drops cinnamon oil
- 1 cup baking soda
- Soapy water
- A sponge
- A glass jar
- Put the baking soda into the jar
- Add the essential oils.
- Allow 10-20 minutes for the oils to sink in.
- Apply to the molded area.
- Allow to sit for five minutes.
- Dip a sponge into soapy water and forcefully scrub the area to remove mold. Repeat if necessary.
- Rinse the soap off with warm water when you are done.
Another option you can try is pre-mixed essentail oil blends, such as Thieves Essential Oil Blend.
This can be purchased at the store or through online retailers such as Amazon.
It contains a mix of lemon, cinnamon, rosemary, clove, and eucalyptus essential oils for maximum effectiveness.
Does the Brand Matter?
Not all essential oils are created equal.
Some are watered down and contain questionable ingredients.
Others are purer and more concentrated.
It’s important to use an essential oil that’s made with pure, potent ingredients to ensure it is powerful enough to remove mold.
Check online reviews to determine if you are buying from a brand you can trust.
Why is Essential Oil Better for Getting Rid of Mold Than Other Cleaners?
Essential oils may not be as abrasive as other mold killing cleaning solutions, but it wins out in other ways.
Many household cleaners contain ingredients that can be irritating to your skin and respiratory system.
Some may even have carcinogenic effects.
Essential oils are all natural so they will never do permanent damage, especially when diluted with water.
And unlike many chemically smelling cleaners, they have a great scent.
What’s more, they may be more effective than bleach in killing mold.
Bleach will kill mold, but not prevent it.
Essential oils can kill and prevent mold, making them a preferred choice.
Can I Use Essential Oils to Kill Mildew?
Mildew, mold, what’s the difference?
Mildew is actually a type of mold so there’s not much difference at all.
It’s not as toxic to the system as some mold types, but it’s still best to get rid of it when it appears.
Just like essential oils kill mold, they can also kill mildew.
If you are looking to get rid of mildew with essential oils, you can mix up the following ingredients:
- 25 drops of tea tree oil
- 10 drops of cinnamon oil
- 5 drops of oregano oil
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup distilled water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray on to walls.
Leave it on for a few minutes and scrub it with a scrub brush to get rid of mildew.
You can also spray it on non-mildewed areas to prevent growth.
Can You Use Essential Oils to Kill Mold on Your Drywall?
Essential oils are best used on moldy surfaces like bathtubs, tiling and appliances.
If there is mold on your drywall, it’s likely you will need to remove the piece and replace it with a new one.
Will Essential Oils Work on All Types of Mold?
Certain essential oils will kill certain types of mold.
It’s advisable to find out the mold you are dealing with and determine the best essential oils to use on it.
Essential oils will also only work on nonporous surfaces.
While they have shown to be effective in killing newly formed mold, they may not work as well on mold that has been there a while.
Essential Oils for Mold: Conclusion
Mold looks terrible and it can be harmful to health.
Fortunately, natural essential oils will work to kill mold keeping the atmosphere in your house healthy.
I hope you have found this article helpful and informative!
If you enjoyed it, here are some other articles you may like to read as well:
About The Author: Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Mom of 2 and I love DIY hacks, home decor ideas and non-toxic cleaning tips. I created this website to share my knowledge with a community of like-minded people who love simple, easy and safe ways to keep their home clean and inspiring. I hope you enjoy!