No, Essential Oils Will NOT Clean Your Air
According to Stratistics MRC, the global essential oil market accounted for $5.91 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $12.85 billion by 2023.
Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy which is a form of alternative medicine. They are compounds derived from plants and users claim that it can "cure" many health problems such as headaches, infections, insomnia and more. There are those who also believe that using essential oils can purify or clean the air to improve your indoor air quality.
There are many producers of essential oils that claim things like a particular Facebook post selling "a child-safe air purifying blend" which they say "has powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and sanitizing properties. It purifies and cleanses the bacteria in the air and neutralizes mildew, smoke and other noxious odours."
So can essential oils really "purify the air"? In a word, no. Jeff Williams, an air pollution specialist with California's Air Resources Board, says that he sees no benefit to using a diffuser. In fact, experts agree that these diffusers can actually add more pollution to your indoor air in the form of volitile organic compounds, or VOCs. For people with respiratory issues that could be dangerous.
He adds, "When you breathe it in you might get a bit of a placebo effect because it smells good and it might make you feel like your air is clean when in fact it is the opposite."
There are those who claim that essential oils can "kill" mold as well. This is also a big falsity. Essential oil particles are not nearly small enough to penetrate through drywall, wood or other organic material where you need to get to in order to eliminate the mold.
The other big issue with trying to use essential oils to remove mold is that there is no conclusive evidence that proves they can tackle mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can survive in the air after mold is removed improperly.
Bottom line, just because something is natural doesn't mean it's safe. The evidence for many of the health claims from essential oils is lacking and their effectiveness is often exaggerated. If you feel like you have an indoor air quality issue or a mold problem in your home you should be talking to a certified mold remediation specialist.