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Mold infestations strike in humid areas or in homes with poor ventilation, often causing extensive damage to plasterboard walls, wood panelling and carpet. As a known respiratory irritant, mould requires immediate removal when it appears. Professional services are costly, however, and commercially prepared mould removal solutions contain noxious fumes that are just as damaging to the lungs. Luckily, an ecologically friendly and inexpensive mould removal solution can easily be made from oil of cloves, an essential oil pressed from clove buds, stems and leaves. Oil of cloves is inexpensive and potent, containing an antiseptic compound called eugenol, which effectively kills mould and mould spores.
Scrub the mouldy area lightly with a scrub brush dipped in hot water. Doing so will remove the visible mould and prepare the surface for effective sanitation. Pat the area dry with a paper towel or dishrag once most of the black material is removed.
Put on your gloves. Prepare a solution of 4 cups water and 1 tsp oil of cloves in a spray bottle. Hot or warm water works best for this task.
Spray the oil of cloves solution on the effected area until saturated. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and wipe it down with a paper towel or rag. By this point, all traces of the visible mould should be gone.
Lightly spray the area again with the oil of cloves solution. Do not wipe it away. Oil of cloves inhibits the growth of mould and effectively kills any remaining spores, so leaving a layer of the solution on areas prone to mould prevents infestations.
Apply the solution periodically, once or twice per month, to prevent further mould growth.
- "Green Housekeeping"; Ellen Sandbeck; 2006
- "The Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly House Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply"; Anne Kocsis; 2009
- Add cinnamon oil to the clove solution, if desired. It contains the same active ingredient and the scents are complementary.
- Avoid mould infestations in the first place by improving air flow in areas prone to mould by cracking a nearby window or installing a ventilation fan.
- Keep oil of cloves out of reach of children.
- Always wear gloves when mixing or using oil of cloves, as it is irritating to skin.
- Do not use undiluted clove oil for cleaning. It will damage surfaces.
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