Cleaning Up After a Flood

house mold

cleaning up after a flood

There have been many weather conditions around the world lately that cause flooding and water damage. Initially, time is spent sorting through possessions and assessing the situation. What you may not realize is that water seeps into the surfaces of a home and can cause mold. It’s not obvious at first but, if left untreated, mold can cause structural and health damage. For major mold removal, or toxic black mold, please consult an expert. But for minor damage you can use essential oils to help purify and clean up.

Amy Kreydin, of The Barefoot Dragonfly, has written an article explaining how to use a fogger machine for mold remediation because she has seen the problems first-hand in Texas where she lives. If your only concern is minor cleaning and mold issues, then you can use her recommendations for antifungal essential oils to get your house back to a livable condition. These oils can be used to clean some types of floors, cabinets and counters, and also used for laundering linens in a washing machine. Her recommended oils “include aldehyde-rich oils like Cinnamon Bark, Lemongrass, May Chang, Lemon Tea Tree, and Lemon Eucalyptus. I’d pair them up with some phenolic essential oils like Oregano, Thyme Chemotype Thymol, and Cinnamon Leaf.”

The essential oils listed are heavy hitters so that they can eradicate germs and fungus. The flip side is that “these essential oils are respiratory irritants, mucous membrane irritants, and skin irritants. Wear eye safety glasses, gloves, a face mask, and allow proper ventilation when using them to clean. … Don’t get sick from your mold cleanup. … Your integumentary (skin) and respiratory systems are already challenged by exposure to stagnant water, airborne molds and bacteria, you do not want to risk further assaults to your person in the cleanup process.”

Here is a recipe for a cleaning product that can be sprayed on surfaces to remove a wide variety of germs, including mold. You may want to test it in an inconspicuous spot before using on all surfaces.

Potent Germ Killing Cleaner
1 ml Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum) essential oil
1 ml Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil
8 ml Eucalyptus citriodora (Eucalyptus citriodora) essential oil
4 ml Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil
1 ml Oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil
2.75 oz vodka or everclear
.75 oz water
15 ml dropper top bottle
4 oz sprayer bottle
Add the essential oils to a dropper top bottle. Roll the bottle in your hand to blend the oils. Add the alcohol and water to a sprayer bottle, then pour in the essential oils. Shake prior to use.