Essential oils such as eucalyptus oil are extremely popular with Australians for cleaning inside the home and providing a refreshing scent.
The aroma is such an unforgettable part of Australian life. There is a huge range of eucalyptus species and the medicinal properties vary widely across this range.
Eucalyptus oil distilled from the right species (particularly E. globules) and at the right strength does have some medicinal and anti-bacterial properties.
However, as with so many natural remedies they can also be dangerous at the necessary potency levels.
Pharmacy grade eucalyptus oil contains at least 70% of the active ingredient cineole/eucalyptol and at this potency is considered dangerously toxic (potentially fatal).
Your average retail product will be considerably less potent or effective. Eucalyptus oil is also highly flammable.
Most natural remedy experts suggest a mixture of 1 part eucalyptus oil, one part methylated spirits, and two cups of water.
Apply with a cloth or spray bottle and leave it to dry before wiping off any residue. Be careful with using on or near fabrics or wallpaper because it can stain.
Eucalyptus oil can remove mould on non-porous surfaces such as glass and stainless steel but will do nothing to kill mould on porous materials.
Because of this inability to penetrate to where hidden mould lurks, eucalyptus oil will not be effective in dealing with large scale mould infestations and will not kill the spores that lead to mould regrowth.
To sum up:
Eucalyptus oil is a marvellous essential oil to make your home feel fresh but if you need to kill mould permanently you really need professional help.