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Knowing about mold is an important step that can help protect your home and preserve the health of your family members. There are many ways of eliminating mold that you may want to try. In this post, we shall discuss mold in detail and later find out about essential oils for mold.
Mold are naturally occurring fungal microorganisms that can be found where there is oxygen and moisture. Often, mold thrives on decaying matter and warmer climates. Mold grows faster when indoors and its spores can be released into the air posing a danger to human beings.
There are numerous species of mold with some being more dangerous than the others. Remember, prolonged exposure to mold can be dangerous to your health.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for if you suspect mold exposure.
- Sore throat
- Running nose
- Watery eyes
People who have poor immune systems are more vulnerable to mold exposure.
How can you Prevent Mold from Spreading?
There are various ways of preventing mold from spreading as seen below.
Be on the Lookout for Hidden Leaks
Wet spots at baseboards, ceilings, and floor are telltale signs of a leaking roof or pipe. Pipes in your home are often behind a drywall and this can result in small leaks where mold can easily grow.
Noticing these leaks can be an arduous task. Where possible, have a contractor or plumber inspect and identify possible leaks and weak spots to help you prevent the growth and spread of mold.
Ensure Your Air Conditioner is Always Clean
Do you have an air conditioner in your home? Often, window units trap moisture making them a breeding ground for mold. You can easily prevent this by ensuring that your air conditioner has a humidity control option to avoid the build-up of moisture.
Allowing the gadget to operate at automatic or low level during the day helps maintain the circulation of air to prevent an increase in humidity. According to experts, you should replace the filters every three months.
The humidity in your home should be less than 60% to prevent mold growth. Ensure ducts are dust and dirt free to eradicate organic matter where mold can thrive.
Ventilate rooms that are susceptible to heat
Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas generate excess humidity and heat. Ensure these rooms are properly ventilated to prevent the accumulation of moisture which allows mold to thrive. Once they are produced, mold spores can remain dormant for many years and can start growing later on exposing you to allergens.
To prevent this, experts recommend regular cleaning using specially designed products for eliminating mold. For a more permanent solution, you can opt for professional mold remediation.
Understanding Mold Remediation
Mold remediation starts by diagnosing the source of moisture and leaks and making the required repairs. The next step involves eliminating all the penetrable material in a room and replacing it with sanitized material.
Non – porous surfaces are then cleaned thoroughly using an antifungal detergent and dried thoroughly before the reinstallation of porous materials. For the effective execution of this process, the occupants should exit the house for some days and go return when the home is declared mold-free.
Is there an easy way of killing mold?
While many homeowners are in search of a fast mold elimination solution, it’s worth noting that killing mold isn’t an easy task. One of the best approaches to eliminating mold is to eradicate the mold filled materials, and conducting a thorough cleaning process in your home. Is this case you may want to work with a professional as they have the best equipment and relevant experience.
Essential Oils can Protect Plants from Mold
Essential oils are scented substances found in the glands and cells of certain plants. They contain potent therapeutic properties that help to protect the plant against bacteria and mold.
Sometimes Essential Oils for Mold may not Work
For essential oils to be effective, mold should be visible. Essential oils are incapable of penetrating through flooring and walls and can only function well on non-porous surfaces where mold hardly grows.
However, essential oils work well when it comes to deactivating mold spores. Essential oils are also less effective on porous materials even though they can penetrate through the material.
While research has been conducted on essential oils, there hasn’t been a conclusive report to demonstrate their effectiveness when it comes to fighting mycotoxins.
When can you use Essential Oils for Mold?
When can you effectively use essential oils to remove mold? Some research companies and websites opine that essential oils can help eliminate both long-standing and new mold growth. Other companies are certain that essential oils are more effective when it comes to eliminating fresh mold growth.
One thing all these research sources agree on, however, is the fact that essential oils work best on visible mold. Research is still ongoing to establish whether or not essential oils are capable of eliminating mold in large quantities.
Can you use Essential Oils to Kill Mold?
Essential oils can’t be used to kill mold. However, you can often use them to remove mold spores. Some studies suggest that various types of essential oils can minimize mold spore count and eliminate mold in small areas.
Best Essential Oils for Mold and Mildew
Here are some essential oils that can help you manage mold in your home.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Cinnamon is one of the most potent oils you can use in a bid to fight mold. Tests conducted on cinnamon indicate that it contains robust inhibitors to prevent the growth of mold on food. During the study, a wax paper containing a 6% cinnamon oil solution prevented mold growth by 96%.
In another study conducted by the International Journal of Food Microbiology, including cinnamon in an essential oil blend stopped the growth of bacteria for 60 days. The study indicated that cinnamon could be used in place of other food preservatives.
Essential oils derived from cinnamon bark were found to be more effective at preventing Penicillium and Aspergillus mold species as opposed to essential oils derived from cinnamon leaf. Further, it was seen to be effective in preventing the production of aflatoxin, aflatoxin-G1, and aflatoxin-B1.
The essential oil is formulated to bind aflatoxin DNA and this helps prevent their growth. Cinnamon essential oil also reacts with receptive oxygen species generated by aflatoxin which has a protective impact on cells.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil is one of the main oils that experts suggest for mold. It comes with thymol, a component that possesses numerous fungicidal properties. According to studies, this essential oil was effective in eliminating Aspergillus species and preventing the production of aflatoxin.
It was also effective in preventing germination of mold spores. Other studies indicated that thyme essential oil was effective in preventing multiple penicillium species. Thyme is also potent oil that comes with properties that aid both the cleansing and purifying of the skin.
Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil ranks highly in preventing fungal growth. This component is a robust antioxidant that can help prevent free radicals while promoting a healthy immune system. Cloves emanate from a native evergreen tree found in Indonesia.
The flower buds of this plant are used as a spice. Clove essential oil has been used in the medical field in India and China for a long time. It’s also used in the herbal world as a painkiller, helping eliminate dentistry related pain.
Studies indicate that the Aspergillus Niger, in particular, is quite sensitive to clove oil. This makes it ideal for cleaning mold found on nonporous surfaces. Cloves can also be used to eliminate the growth of candida along the intestine and mouth.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano oil is another essential oil used in eradicating mold. Studies indicate that it can also prevent the production of aflatoxin by aspergillus fungus. It’s worth mentioning that oregano oil may be the only essential oil capable of flashing out mycotoxins. The only limitation when it comes to oregano essential oil is the fact that it often works better on food rather than buildings.
Tea tree essential oil is a robust natural anti-fungal option when it comes to preventing small mold problems fabrics and surfaces. Many times, tea tree oil is incorporated in non-toxic solutions and helps eliminate smells caused by mold and mildew. You can utilize tea tree oil to kill mildew or mold on clothing.
If you are looking for the ideal solution to help remove musty odor, all you need is to add a few drops of tea tree oil in your wash cycle. Doing this also helps remove any accumulation of mildew in the washer. You can also use it to rinse and refresh clothes that have been forgotten in the machine for a long time.
To clean a small portion of the mold, you first need to determine the magnitude of the mold contamination. Can you manage it on your own? If yes, mix a teaspoon full of tea tree oil with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Use this formula to directly spray on the contaminated area. Allow it to soak for some time before wiping it clean. If you will be cleaning a porous surface, avoid diluting the tea tree essential oil.
Doing so can worsen the situation. Instead, test a small area just to be sure that the solution doesn’t cause damage. Often, this should be enough to destroy most of the spores and prevent a recurrence. If you’re struggling with leakages in your home, the best way to prevent mold growth is to have the problem fixed immediately.
Lemon Essential Oil
You can use lemon essential oil to eliminate mold in your home. It also acts as a natural disinfectant for surfaces and you can. Lemon essential oil is a robust and versatile antifungal option. Just like other citrus options, this essential oil breaks down mold spores at a molecular level.
Many people prefer using this essential oil because of its sweet smell. If you live in a mold-prone place you can use lemon essential oil to prevent the formation of mold in various places such as bathtub caulking and shower grout.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil comes with menthol content which makes it effective when it comes to eliminating fungal components. According to studies, peppermint oil vapor is a powerful fungi killer. To use this oil to eliminate mold, all you need is to spray the affected area with a peppermint essential oil solution. Subsequent studies have since revealed that all you need to eliminate mold from your home is but a little oil.
How to use Essential Oils to Eliminate Mold
Use the following methods to eliminate mold using essential oils.
Using a Spray Bottle
In this method, all you need is to mix approximately 25 drops of your essential oil of choice with alcohol and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly on the mold-infested area and give it time to soak for around 15 minutes.
Proceed to wipe the area clean. If you are working on a porous or an overly mold-contaminated surface, avoid diluting the mixture with water. Use isopropyl instead. Wiping the mold-infested area alone may not be effective.
To eliminate mold and prevent regrowth, you may want to seek the services of a professional mold remediation company. If you’re experienced in removing mold, remember to wear protective gear and use the recommended equipment. This not only guarantees effectiveness, but it also protects you from direct and prolonged exposure to mold.
It’s worth mentioning that essential oils can be potent. Exercise caution to protect wooden and painted surfaces from damage.
While you can use this method to eliminate mold, a debate is still ongoing to establish the effectiveness of this method. For the best results when using this method, you need to purchase a diffuser to help with the circulation of essential oils in the air. Place the diffusers in rooms that are prone to excess moisture and mold damage.
A nebulizing diffuser is the best gadget you can use for this process. The advantage of this gadget is that it doesn’t use water. Remember, water is a contributing factor for mold growth. You want to avoid using water as much as possible. A nebulizing diffuser is a robust gadget that will circulate undiluted natural essential oils in your home.
These function well when it comes to fighting mold and stopping the spread of mold spores. For effective results, diffuse your oil blend nonstop for 24 hours in highly infested areas. Where possible, ensure the room is well closed for an effective diffusing process.
This allows for the utmost penetration and absorption of the essential oil mixture. You may want to repeat this process depending on the magnitude of the mold problem.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Essential Oils
Many people today are realizing the importance of using natural products. As a result, essential oils have become popular and the demand is soaring every day. With the continued influx of essential oil options on the market, choosing the best option can be a daunting task. Here are some factors to help ease the search process.
Producing essential oils isn’t cheap. This is because the process involves complex techniques to obtain highly concentrated forms of the original product. This explains why essential oils are potent, give excellent results, and are pricey.
While you can still find cheaper essential oil options on the market, chances are that they’ve been mixed with carrier oils. While you can still get high-quality essential oils at a reasonable price, you need to be wary of overly cheap options.
Many essential oils in the market come with a “pure” label. However, no industry standard proves what this means. Purchasing such oils isn’t a guarantee that it is ultimately pure. To ensure you’re getting the best quality and pure essential oils, buy from a reliable provider who retails essential oils in large volumes.
Check the Bottle
Nearly all essential oils come in amber or dark-colored glass bottles. This is because essential oils often degenerate fast from being exposed to sunlight. Avoid purchasing essential oils that are packed in plastic or clear bottles.
Assess the Testing Process
A good essential oil retailer will ensure that their products are tested for quality after receiving them from their suppliers. There are two tests used to evaluate the purity and potency of essential oils. These are gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. A reliable retailer will go ahead and display the results on their websites for their visitors to see.
Does the Provider have Essential Oil Experts?
A good provider is careful enough to employ a resident essential oil expert or a licensed aromatherapist. This way, they’re able to address any questions you have about their products such as the distillation process.
Proper labeling is a clear indication that a company is concerned about the quality of its products. Always assess the product’s label before purchasing it. Make sure the product’s Latin name has been included.
This way, you will be assured of what to expect. Further, check the country where the plants used have been sourced from. This is how you can gauge the quality of the products you’re purchasing. Remember, many essential oils come with a shelf life of a few years. Check the expiry dates and buy essential oils with a later expiration date because they are more potent.
Try the Oil
Once you’ve identified your preferred supplier, you want to try their oils before you can finally invest in their oils in bulk. Some of the things you should be looking out for include:
- Does the product have a strong fragrance that lasts long?
- Is the oil effectively executing your desired task?
- How much does it take before you can notice your expected results?
Where possible, consider investing in costlier options as they are bound to be more effective.
Are you struggling to find the best mold eradication solution? Have you tried essential oils? If you haven’t you may want to try the options discussed above. Remember to wear protective gear always and seek professional guidance in case of severe mold infestation.