Essential Oils for Mold

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

If you have ever used an essential oil, you’ll know the first thing you tend to notice about them is their scent. Oils give plants their unique scent, and they can also provide us with many physical and emotional health benefits when we inhale them or apply them topically to the skin.

Inhalation of the Essential Oils

Inhalation of the Essential Oils

Put them in a diffuser: Apply a few drops of oil into a diffuser and it will fill a room with your chosen oil to give you the desired benefits. A good example of this is using lavender oil in your bedroom to promote restful sleep.

Inhale them from the bottle, or from a handkerchief: The oil will be carried to the mood and emotion center of the brain, where it can have an uplifting, relaxing, or mood boosting effect.

Steam inhalation: Add a few drops of oil to some hot water in a bowl or basin, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the vapour. This is effective for easing congestion from colds or sinus infections.

Use them as a room spray: Mix oils with water and add the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray around the room to eliminate odours and cleanse the air. You can also use this mixture as a surface cleaner.

Topical Application of the Essential Oils

Topical Application of the Essential Oils

Massage: Massage is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils topically. Massaging the oils into the skin helps the oils to absorb more easily so they can travel through the body and provide local or systemic benefits.

Hot or cold compress: Soak a cloth or towel in cold/warm water and add a few drops of your chosen oil. Place the cloth or towel on the affected area. This is very effective for treating muscle pains, joint pains, and headaches.

In a bath or foot bath: You can add up to 10 drops of your chosen oil to your bath water, along with bath salts which will help the oil to disperse in the water. You can also add oils to a foot bath to treat fungal infections or simply tired and aching feet. Mix the oil well with the water and be sure to clean your tub properly as the oil can leave a slippery film on the surface.

In body care products: You can swap your chemical-laden deodorant with essential oils mixed with water, or you can add oils to your favourite face creams and body lotions to bring extra benefits. Oils can help to treat certain skin conditions like acne, dryness, and fine lines.

But oils are about far more than just a pleasant scent. Here are some of the most popular oils, and what they are used for:

Tea Tree: This oil is great for treating fungal infections and breakouts when used topically. It can be used for acne prone skin to treat existing blemishes and prevent further breakouts. You’ll see tea tree oil in many skin care products because of its potent antibacterial action.

Lavender: This versatile oil can relax you, but it can also be used on bruises, cuts, and skin irritation too. Research has found that the scent of lavender can help actually reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood. Add a few drops to your bath to help you relax, inhale it from a handkerchief or apply it to your pillow at night to promote a healthy sleep.

Calendula: This oil is perfect for sensitive skin, and it can help to reduce the appearance of scars. Add some to your bath to soothe any skin irritation.

Chamomile: This is a relaxing oil. Either drink the tea or apply the oil to your pillow at night for the best sleep ever.

Peppermint: This oil can increase mental awareness, and if massaged into the abdomen, it can help to ease digestive discomfort. Many people drink peppermint tea for this reason.

Frankincense: Frankincense can help you to relax, and it can also be used on cuts and insect bites to promote healing. Research has shown that this wonder oil can be effective for depression, inflammation, and boosting the immune system.

Oregano: This oil is a natural antibacterial agent and it can help to fight viruses and infections.

Lemon: This oil is a great detoxifier and skin booster. It can also lift the mood and boost alertness and concentration. And if you want to deter insects, apply the oil to cotton wool balls or tissue and leave it near the entrance to your house.

Grapefruit: This is another citrus oil, and like lemon, it’s an uplifting oil. It’s a natural antiseptic, so if you add it to water, you make an effective household cleanser for worktops, showers, and toilets.

Eucalyptus: This oil is great when used in a steam inhalation treatment and it can really help to clear congestion from a cold or sinus infection. It can also be applied topically to ease muscle aches.

Essential Oil Safety

Essential Oil Safety

  • Always dilute oils with a carrier oil to reduce the risk of skin irritation. If you are concerned about how your skin might react, apply a small amount of oil to the skin of your upper arm and check for any reaction.
  • Avoid using oils near the eyes, ears, genitals, and on any areas of broken or sensitive skin.
  • Always follow the instruction for usage and dosage. As oils are very concentrated, start off using a small amount of oil and build up from there if no adverse reactions occur.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor before using oils, as some oils are completely contraindicated during pregnancy, including Clary Sage, Sage, Tansy, Hyssop, and Wintergreen oil.
  • Keep oils away from children and pets, as oils can be very toxic if ingested. Some oils can smell pleasant to children, especially the citrus ones, and they might be tempted to drink them.
  • Some oils can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, so avoid exposure to the sun for up to 48 hours after you have applied the oils to the skin.
  • If you have a medical condition, or you are on any medication, speak to your doctor before using oils. Oils may be natural, but they contain active compounds that can act like drugs in the body and they might affect the way your medication works.

Mold

Mold

Mold is a fungus that can be found indoors and outdoors. It is estimated the more than 300,000 species of fungus exist, and they thrive in warm, damp, and humid conditions. Mold spreads by reproducing and developing spores.

Some of the most commonly found molds include:

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

How can mold affect you?

How can mold affect you?

Some people are sensitive to mold, and they can experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin irritation. People who have an allergy to mold can have a severe reaction to exposure, such as shortness of breath and fever. Exposure to mold in the course of your job can cause mold infection in the lungs, which is much more serious if you have a respiratory illness already.

Research found that exposure to indoor mold was linked to coughing and wheezing in healthy people, and increased asthma symptoms in asthma sufferers. The same research also found that children who were exposed to mold had higher rates of respiratory illness. Other studies have since linked mold exposure to the development of asthma in children, and that housing should be in adequate condition to reduce the rate of illness and even infant death in some cases from respiratory illness caused by mold.

Where does mold grow?

Where does mold grow?

Mold can grow almost anywhere, indoors or outdoors, all year round. It thrives in warm and damp conditions, and outdoors, it can be found in shady, damp areas, especially where leaves and other vegetation are rotting. Indoors, poorly ventilated and damp areas like basements and showers can be susceptible to mold.

How can people decrease their exposure to mold?

How can people decrease their exposure to mold?

People who are sensitive to molds, like compost piles, cut grass, and woods. In the home, you can slow down the growth of mold by ventilating areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

If you have mold in your home, it should be cleaned up, and any problems with damp should be remedied. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with soap and water, or a solution of 1 cup of bleach and a gallon of water.

How to use bleach to clean up mold:

How to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Ensure you don’t mix bleach and other cleaning products, as it can produce toxic fumes.
  • Ensure the area you’re working in is well-ventilated
  • Always wear gloves, and even consider eye protection when you are cleaning up the affected areas.
  • For particularly large areas of mold, it might be worth calling in removal specialists, which often happens in school buildings.
  • Dilute 1 cup of bleach with a gallon of water, and use a cloth to scrub away the mold.

General Tips for Keeping Mold at Bay

General Tips for Keeping Mold at Bay

  • Keep humidity levels down with a dehumidifier or air conditioner if necessary. Humidity should be no higher than 50%. Be sure to keep an eye on this especially during the warmer months.
  • Make sure your home is well-ventilated, especially kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Use mold proof paint in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Clean your bathroom with products that remove mold and mildew.
  • Don’t put carpets in damp areas like bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace damp carpets.

Which areas have the highest amount of mold?

Which areas have the highest amount of mold?

  • Antique shops and vintage stores
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction sites
  • Florists

Extra Tips for Dealing with Mold

Extra Tips for Dealing with Mold

  • If you find mold in your home
  • If you are sensitive to mold, and you can see or smell it, it is a potential health risk, and you should always look to remove it yourself or get it professionally removed.
  • Consider professional removal if you have lung problems or similar.

What should I do if I think I have a mold allergy?

What should I do if I think I have a mold allergy?

Speak to your doctor first who will assess you and decide whether you need a referral to an allergy specialist. If you have lung problems or signs of infection, you might be referred to a lung specialist. If you have been exposed to mold at work, you might be referred to an occupational health doctor.

Essential Oils for Mold

Essential Oils for Mold

There is an increasing interest in how essential oils can benefit health, and many people have experienced the benefits for themselves. People have turned to oils because of concerns about the side effects from medication and the rising cost of prescription drugs. Oils are so versatile, and whether you are diffusing them in your bedroom to promote a restful sleep, or using them in a massage to relieve stress, they can really benefit your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Essential oils can also be very effectively used around the home too, for general cleaning, disinfecting the air, and deterring pests. They can also be used for getting rid of mold.

What problems can mold cause?

What problems can mold cause?

Mold can be a problem in your home when it creates spores and spreads. Spores can be released, especially if the mold is disturbed in any way. The spores are released into the air and then these are breathed in. When this happens, it can cause health problems like respiratory illnesses and infections and impaired immunity. If the mold is toxic, it can even mean cause a building to be condemned.

Measures that may need to be taken to get rid of mold include replacing drywall, getting rid of damp carpets, and fixing any leaks. The measures can be costly, so before the mold gets the chance to cause some real damage to your health, why not try these essential oils for mold?

Essential Oils for Mold

Essential Oils for Mold

Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil is often used for cleaning because of its disinfectant properties. It’s also antimicrobial and an antifungal that can help combat mold growth. The fresh scent can also remove the musty smell of mold. Add a few drops to your laundry or damp clothing if mold and mildew has developed, and the oil will make light work of removing it. You can also dilute the oil with water, and put it in a spray bottle to use on affected areas.

Cinnamon oil: This essential oil has been tested in studies and was found to be very effective at removing mold. It also kills bacteria very effectively, making it a great choice for cleaning surfaces, showers, and toilets. The fresh, invigorating scent can also help to get rid of any unpleasant odours caused by damp.

Thyme oil: Thyme is well known for its use in cooking, but it can also provide you with plenty of health benefits. It is good for the skin, and it can fight mold growth. It can also be used in the treatment of yeast infections like candida.

Clove oil: This oil is a potent antioxidant that can help to boost your immune system. It has also been found to be effective in combatting the mold that is the most prevalent in homes, black mold. Clove oil can be used effectively to remove mold from hard surfaces and prevent further mold from forming.

Grapefruit seed oil: This oil has a high citric acid content that can fight against mold spores. You can make a mold killing solution by mixing 20 drops of the oil with some water. You can also use it as a spray to get rid of mold. Just spray it on and wipe the solution off with a cloth after 10 minutes.

Eucalyptus oil: This essential oil has a fresh and uplifting aroma and it can be used for many different things. Mix eucalyptus with alcohol, and place 1 tablespoon of each in 2 cups of water to make a mold killing solution. The solution can be put into a spray bottle and sprayed on to the mold to remove it.

How to Get Rid of Mold with Essential Oils

How to Get Rid of Mold with Essential Oils

Essential oils are concentrated sources of active compounds, many of which have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, so the oil protects the plant from bacteria, mold, and disease.

Use the Oil in a Diffuser

Use the Oil in a Diffuser

This is a very effective way of dealing with mold. The diffuser doesn’t use water, and moisture can help mold to grow. If you put an oil into a diffuser, the room will be filled with pure essential oils that can both cleanse the air and get to work on killing mold. Even when the mold is gone, a diffuser can be used to prevent it from returning.

Use the Oil in a Spray Bottle

Use the Oil in a Spray Bottle

If you mix essential oils, alcohol, and water in a spray bottle, it makes a great mold removal solution. Mix up 25 drops of the oil, with equal parts of pater and alcohol in a spray bottle and shake it well. Spray the mixture straight onto the mold, and leave it on for up to 15 minutes. Wipe the mold away with a cloth. For any areas that are seriously contaminated with mold, don’t use water, just mix the oil with alcohol. Wiping away the mold does not remove it fully, as there will still be spores in the air. Open windows and try to wear a mask when you are removing mold to avoid getting it into your lungs. Take care when you spray the solution, as it can affect painted surfaces,

 

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.