Mold is everywhere, and toxic molds often take root within homes and other buildings. Water leaks and damp environments fuel the fugal growth and the proliferation of mold spores in the environment. Once mold is discovered, a safe and effective treatment is necessary to prevent further damage to building structure and the health of those who are exposed. One common cleaning method, chlorine bleach, is neither a safe nor an effective solution. However, essential oils are becoming known as a harmless and potent method to fight molds.
Cinnamon oil has been shown to be one of the strongest oils for use in battling mold. In a test done on four essential oils, cinnamon showed the best inhibitory effect against mold growing on food. Wax papers with a 6% solution of cinnamon oil used on breads constrained mold growth by 96%. Another study by the International Journal of Food Microbiology showed that a combination of essential oils, including cinnamon oil, suppressed bacterial growth for 60 days. The study suggests that cinnamon oil could be considered an alternative to other food preservatives.
How to Use Cinnamon Oil for Mold
- Diffuse – After you have addressed your water problem, whether it be a leak or dampness, you could then diffuse cinnamon essential oil, or a blend of oils known for reducing mold spores in the air.
- Clean – For small mold contaminations on hard (non-porous) surfaces you may dilute essential oils with water and vinegar to clean. Try a 1/2 gallon of water, 1/3 C vinegar and 10-15 drops of essential oils, including cinnamon oil or a blend of antifungal oils. Always use caution when cleaning mold yourself (the EPA recommends that any mold problem larger than 10 square feet be examined by an expert), and test a small area with the solution first to make sure it wont damage the surface.
I only recommend essential oils that are guaranteed to be pure. Many of the oils available today are diluted and may contain chemicals and pesticides. If you would like more information on essential oils, feel free to contact me.
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Krystle Reeves assists in managing MoldBlogger.com, a website dedicated to providing a place to share and receive information that will better allow individuals to fight and conquer toxic mold and the consequences of mold exposure, and also blogs at Where the Green Things Grow where she shares her adventures and challenges in gardening, parenting, and life.
Cinnamon-based Packaging To Prevent Mold In Bread And Other Baked Goods
Growth inhibition of Aspergillus ochraceus ZMPBF 318 and Penicillium expansum ZMPBF 565 by four essential oils
Antibacterial activity of 11 essential oils against Bacillus cereus in tyndallized carrot broth
We found Cinnamon Oil to be very effective against mold growth after water damage, but we were having a problem with the intense odor of the Cinnamon. Some homeowners reported it lingers for a few days, but they were happy we used natural disinfectants rather then toxic chemicals.
I had a fridge that I left unplugged during two weeks of travel during the Christmas holiday. Black mold coated the interior of the fridge. I cleaned it, 4 or 5 times, with bleach. Then a couple times with lemon and some household disinfectant. But it turned out the mold had spread to the styrofoam interior insulation, where I couldn’t reach out with sprays. We left it open for a couple days, but even with the windows all open in the room, you could smell the mold powerfully from outside our apartment, even with the apartment door closed. My girlfriend insisted that we replace it. I asked her to give me 4 more days.
So, after some research online, I found cinnamon oil. Living in NYC, I could find some pure oil (for $30/oz!), and bought an oz. I put a little into a small ceramic dish, and heated it with a hair dryer on high hot. Once it was good and hot, I’d shut the dish with the oil in the fridge. Did that three times a day. Also sprinkled a little oil in the few places where the styrofoam insulation was exposed.
After three days, the scent of mold was completely gone. I kept up the treatment for a couple more days. Judging by the smell, the mold never came back, even after more than a year. Of course, everything smelled powerfully of cinnamon for a week or so, afterward. But small price to pay.
This stuff really works! I suspect it would work even better with a proper diffuser.