Home Healthy Home Do the EC3 Products Actually Work? Do I REALLY Use Them as Much as I Say That I Do?

Do the EC3 Products Actually Work? Do I REALLY Use Them as Much as I Say That I Do?

by Catherine

The Science and Testing Behind My Favorite Mold Products

I am excited about this post. Today, I am finally going to take a deep, technical and scientific dive into your questions about the EC3 Products that I love so much and write about frequently on this blog. I hope to answer questions, like,

Why do I use the EC3 Products?

Do they really work?

Is there actual science and testing behind the ingredients in the products?

Has a lab tested the products and their efficacy against mold and mycotoxins?

What other products, if any, do I use and recommend for mold?

What products do I stay away from?

Lots of questions, I know. I do intend to answer each one, so that you can see why I have decided to place such trust in one line of products.

You see, even though I have recommended the EC3 Products from the beginning, I am not sure if I have ever clearly stated my personal reasons for deciding to use them in our home for mold remediation, cleaning for mold, and mold maintenance. I also don’t know if I have ever really gotten into the nitty gritty of how the EC3 Products actually work or why the ingredients contained in the products are so effective against mold. It seems like I should’ve addressed this a long time ago, especially when there are so many other competitor products in this “mold space,” and I don’t write about them. I realize the glaring omission, and want to address that also.

Well, truth be told, I took a while to figure out my cleaning for mold “best practices” and to truly understand why some products worked better than others myself. When I started this journey, I was trusting my doctor and the products he recommended for us, because I needed someone to just TELL me what to do and what to use for remediating our home. At the time, all I cared about was getting better and making our home safe and habitable. The EC3 Products and hydrogen peroxide were recommended above others, so that’s what we used. (Note: Our extreme chemical sensitivities and reactions to most household cleaning agents at the time also contributed to our decision.)

The EC3 Products definitely worked (our remediation company was testing as we went) and using them did not contribute to my symptoms, create other or new symptoms, or increase toxicity in my home or body—all major plus points. Of course, I learned this over time from first continuing to use them in conjunction with other products that were recommended by our professional remediator, and then from switching completely over to the EC3 Products after I saw how much better they worked and how much better my body responded to them.

Later, I even began experimenting with the EC3 Products to create mold-focused solutions for myself and my family that we needed, but that I couldn’t find in stores. To date, I have used the EC3 Laundry Additive, EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate, and the CitriDrops Dietary Supplement to make products and formulations for everything from Mold Wipes, to Antifungal Cream, to Antifungal Foot/Body Wash, to Fruit and Vegetable Rinses, to a Dishwasher Rinse—the list goes on. (For more of my “homemade products,” just check out the Homemade Products section of the blog.)

Each product that I have made is successful against mold, but gentle on our still-healing and very sensitive bodies. I keep trying store-bought products for rivals to the ones I make, but haven’t found a single one that does a better, or even equal job.

I know that the record might have just skipped a bit, because it may seem insane that I wanted to try to use a laundry additive, a dietary supplement, and a cleaning product in creams, washes, and other potions. I get that. I was driven to try, though, because 1) all of the ingredients contained in the products are potent, scientifically-proven antifungals, antimicrobials, and anti-bacterials and 2) all of the ingredients are non-toxic, made of naturally-derived, plant-based constituents, and are not harmful or irritating to the skin or lungs. I don’t know if you know this, but there are very few other mold-specific products on the market that the same can be said for.

So, how in the world can products that are proven to eliminate mold and mycotoxins also be so safe to use?

First, let me just say that I haven’t been intentionally keeping the answers to myself. I have contemplated writing about the actual “mechanism” behind the EC3 products and why they work many times. Previously, I talked myself out of it and shied away from writing anything that seemed sales-y or gimmicky for fear that I would come off as someone merely pitching products. I don’t want this to be that kind of blog. My intention is still and will always be to provide clear, accurate information on all things within the realms of mold and environmental illness. I want you to decide to use products because you understand what they are for, how they work, and because they meet your needs. Most of all, though, I want you to decide to use products because they work.

Then, one of you wrote to me to specially ask about science and proof that the EC3 Products work, so I decided to write this post. I appreciate and understand the skepticism and scrutiny—reminds me of myself, actually. This reader wanted to know all of the information and science behind various product recommendations BEFORE deciding what he is going to use to remediate his possessions after a major mold exposure. In other words, while he likes the information on my blog, and while it seems legit, all I share is anecdotal information and personal stories on using the products. I don’t actually include lab testing and explanations that back those stories up.

Here is a condensed version of his email, so that you know what I mean:

Hi Catherine!

Your story and battle with mold toxicity are very encouraging and your resources are very informative!

I have a few questions regarding mold cleaning. If you’re able to answer these, it would be extremely helpful!

So, mold was recently found and remediated in my house, but I’ve decided to move out just to be safe. I’m currently trying to determine the best product(s) and methods for cleaning items (to kill mycotoxins) that have been exposed to mold (no visible mold present). I’ve researched dozens of websites and sources that claim everything from ammonia, vinegar, and Borax to hydrogen peroxide and Micro Balance EC3 products are the only substances capable of eliminating mycotoxins. The mold toxicity specialist I’m working with to detox the mycotoxins found in my body says that only hydrogen peroxide can successfully kill mycotoxins.

 I understand you recommend EC3 products, and I’ve called Micro Balance, asking several questions about their products. This was helpful, but I’m still uncertain what to use given the number of claims and options available. Do you have any suggestions on how to move forward? 

 Do you know how citrus seed extracts (the main ingredients in EC3 products) biologically kill mycotoxins?  

 Once again, thank you for your detailed blog posts and mold toxicity information!

 Below is my answer, complete with some independent lab testing on the EC3 Products, and a little history and science behind citrus seed extracts being used to treat molds, fungi, and mycotoxins and prevent further growth or proliferation on foods, items, and, more recently in indoor environments.

Thank you for writing and for all of your questions. They are good ones. I will be as concise as possible, but, as you know, you are asking some difficult questions that require lengthy answers, so that won’t be easy.

 Let’s begin by acknowledging the obvious: There are so many products out there and so many “snake oil salesmen” as they say, when it comes to mold remediation products. You never can be sure that what you are getting is legit and does what it promises. That being said, here is where I stand personally on some of the products you listed for “killing mold and eliminating mycotoxins.” (Note: I am not a scientist or a doctor, so please take this information as advice from a friend who has been there.)

 Ammonia—no. It has been shown to work, but is incredibly toxic and produces fumes that are caustic. Many products also react with it, creating fumes or chemical reactions that are dangerous to your health.  Accidentally combining ammonia with bleach, which can happen, can even be fatal. I do not and will not use it on my things or in my home. Also, as I understand it, from pouring over the testing and articles on ammonia and mold, ammonia cannot penetrate porous surface and will not kill the roots or hyphae that molds produce. Thus, it could only really be used for surface cleaning anyway, and cannot make an unsafe indoor environment or things, like clothing that have been contaminated by mold healthy again.

Vinegar—I am a fan, but only when used in conjunction with other products. Vinegar has been shown to kill about 80-85% of “household” molds, like what you see on your shower tile. This is fine for everyday maintenance, as it is also antibacterial, but it won’t do the trick when we are talking about mycotoxin-producing molds. Thus, it is great to use to cut dirt and grime and on countertops and glass for general cleaning, but it is not great when you are talking about mold remediation. I do use it in my mold wipes as a preservative and it can be a good added antimicrobial when combined with one of the EC3 Products. For example, if you want to combine it in a spray bottle with your EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate to clean your countertops, or your shower, great! 

 Hydrogen Peroxide—I am a fan. It is an oxidizing agent, which means it works against fungus and bacteria at the cellular level. It literally penetrates the mold and destroys it. Since it is comprised of 2 hydrogen and 2 oxygen atoms, when it comes into contact with a fungus or other organic material, the chemical’s 2 oxygen atoms attach to it and oxidize or burn it. It also has the ability to “bleach” mold stains, if used in higher concentrations, because as it oxidizes, it penetrates and lifts the fungus from the material or surface—which is why I prefer to use it in the bathroom and for deep cleaning in my home. It also penetrates fabrics well, but can bleach some fabrics, so use with caution. It can be harsh on some porous surfaces, so it cannot be used on everything. It has been proven in lab testing that hydrogen peroxide can be successfully used to destroy mycotoxins in foods. (Note: Reference Pub Med for many articles relating to hydrogen peroxide and food mycotoxin treatment. Most, if not all actual lab testing of agents to destroy mycotoxins and to deter fungal growth have been done on food, not on objects contaminated by mold and indoor environments. Of the products that have been tested, hydrogen peroxide does perform well, but how well depends upon the thoroughness with which things were cleaned with it.) I also like fogging, but will not use peroxide as my fogging agent, because I don’t like covering all of our things with a mist of peroxide for fear of damage, and I don’t like inhaling it at high concentrations.

 Borax: I like it too. It works well in laundry applications with the EC3 Laundry Additive. I find that it is even more effective in eliminating odors that EC3 alone. I think it is the neutralizing effect it has on the oil in your skin that gets in your clothes. I add one cup of Borax and about 6 ounces of EC3 Laundry Additive to each load. I allow the clothes to soak for about 10 minutes to an hour, and then I finish the wash cycle as normal. Works like a charm.

EC3 Products-First, the independent lab testing done on the EC3 Products demonstrates that their products do work. In addition, I prefer to use them over anything else, because they work against the mold and mycotoxins, but not against my health. They were created by a doctor for very sick and compromised mold patients—in other words, those of us in unique, dire, health situations. I have also done my own testing (just search my blog for many examples) using their products and have found that they work in every instance I tried.

This has been the case for me on things from clothing to furnishings to hard surfaces to fogging the air. I don’t know their exact blends, (proprietary information) but the products use combinations of citrus seed extracts, (proven natural antifungals, antimicrobials, and antivirals) as their main ingredients. The science behind using those particular extracts is lots more complicated than this, but they were discovered, because those extracts deterred fungal growth on plants and foods. Their components were also found to be alternative bio preservatives, useful in limiting or preventing the development of harmful fungi and mycotoxins in food, as additives, and as surface protection to prevent things like wheat from picking up airborne fungal spores and molding during storage. Citrus seed extracts were also found to control the growth of food-borne fungi and to prevent mycotoxin biosynthesis. When mycotoxin biosynthesis is halted, molds become inert and much less of a health threat. If you are thinking that this isn’t the same as the “unseen mold spores” you are dealing with, the mycotoxins studied and tested for with this analysis included species of genera Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Geotrichum, Mucor, Sporotrichum, Trichoderma—some common “water-damaged” home molds.

 This information spurred testing of citrus seed extracts as possible solutions for the treatment of indoor molds and mycotoxins. Prior, bleach was the common solution, and as I am sure you know, it is not a good one. (HERE is a link to my post on why I don’t recommend bleach for cleaning mold.)  Anyway, the exact mechanism by which the extracts work assumes that the extract components act on the functionality and the structure of the fungal cell membrane. Low concentrations of citrus extracts, when applied to the tested molds resulted in changes of the cell structure, inhibiting respiration and changing the permeability of the cell membrane, whereas high concentrations lead to severe membrane damage, loss of homeostasis and cell death. Science also shows that the fungitoxic effects of citrus seed extracts is a consequence of hydrogen bonds forming between hydroxyl groups of phenolic compounds and active sites of cellular enzymes. The active components cause loss of integrity of the cell wall, and thus the loss of cytoplasmic constituents from the mold hyphae. This is important, because when the hyphae are damaged, the mold cannot take root, spread, or reproduce.

As to not bore you with more of this minutia, it is important that you know the biggest reason why I trust the EC3 products—I have seen the independent lab testing results. RealTime Labs (independent lab) tested the EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate (this is similar, but not the same mix as the EC3 Laundry Additive—the laundry additive also contains tangerine oil and tea tree oil, which I will go into in a minute) and the EC3 Purification Candles in controlled situations against mold and mycotoxins. Their study found that mycotoxins present in dust particles were no longer detected after the particles were exposed to EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate. This was as long as the concentration of EC3 did not go below a 1:40 ratio of EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate to distilled water. (Note: The instructions on the bottle will guide you for proper dilution, so that this won’t be a problem.) The EC3 Candles whose mechanism is to aerosolize the citrus extracts into the air as they burn, were found to decrease known concentrations of mycotoxins in the air at 500 and 1000 parts per billion by 90% in 3 hours burn time. Mycotoxins in the 250 parts per billion range were completely eliminated in 3 hours. Pretty amazing evidence of efficacy, in my opinion. These results are also promising evidence for the case for cold fogging, as fogging also aerosolizes EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate particles and disperses them into the air or all over contents needing mold and mycotoxin remediation. My plate testing of indoor spaces before and after cold fogging definitely indicates that the product works almost immediately with this application.

 Even though the EC3 Laundry Additive was not officially tested in this analysis, it contains almost the same formulation as the EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate, with the additions of tangerine and tea tree oils. The International Journal of Environmental and Public Health notes, “Tea tree oil demonstrated the greatest inhibitory effect on the growth of fungi when applied in either a liquid or vapor form.” This, to me, speaks to its ability to eliminate molds and mycotoxins at the same or heightened levels from clothing.

 All that being said, as for how to proceed, you should choose which products make sense for you. Then, I would start to sort out what is worth remediating and keeping and what you can let go of. I have a post on staging an area and remediating belongings that you might find helpful HERE.

 My advice on the blog and to you personally is always to see and experiment for yourself. Contain and treat the things that you can’t part with. Use the EC3 Mold Screening Test Plates or other inexpensive mold test plates to test the items before and after treatment. You will soon get into a rhythm and will figure out what product works best, what can be successfully treated, and what is best to throw away for the sake of your health.

 I hope this information is helpful and leads you in the right direction. I wish you the best and hope you get all of this behind you soon.

 Sincerely,

Catherine

 What do you think? Does the lab testing and science enlighten or confuse you more? Do you have any questions about what products I use and why? Comment here or write to me at catherine@moldfreeliving.com. I will always try to answer you openly and honestly.

 

 

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15 comments

Laurie Nathe April 14, 2021 - 2:40 pm

I don’t feel like the mold is in my sinuses but definitely feel something going on with my lungs! Have x-ray couldn’t see much. However I noticed low energy as well as heart racing and no energy to even go for a walk.

Reply
Catherine May 12, 2021 - 2:58 pm

The concentrate is the best band for the buck for sure. It can also be used with laundry. The candles are excellent too. Additionally, if you can get an air purifier, get some concentrate, and submerge an essential oil passive diffuser in CitriDrops Dietary Supplement and have it positioned so that the purified air blowing out of the machine hits it, it will continuously help with mold inside the RV without having to have a candle lit at all times.

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Laurie Nathe April 14, 2021 - 2:38 pm

Hi, love your info. I grew up in a house with mold. Have had several exposures in my life time. Now living in a van in Texas at the moment. The previous owner of the van had put a wood frame in with a plywood top and then a twin mattress! The plywood was not a good choice and I got rid of that and the mattress I bought a new mattress and I’m going to encase it in a plastic protector but definitely smelled a moldy damp smell when I’m remove that! I’m pretty frustrated and disappointed as I have all my belongings in my van! Definitely feels like I’ve been hit! Really low energy. I am interested in buying the product however I spent money on my mattress and no I have very limited funds until the end of the month! So better to buy the concentrate and then put in a spray bottle? I think that candle would be a great idea as well in my van. I have fabric on the ceiling and still have carpet on the floor of the van. It’s all I can afford right now have autoimmune issues and cavitations to deal with. Was hoping to get a full-time position so that I could upgrade to a a nice small RV with laminate floor. I’m not sure if I would see responses on this page if you could email me I would appreciate your suggestions! Can I use the concentrate with my laundry

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Heidi January 20, 2021 - 11:14 am

Hi Catherine, hope this message finds you well. And thank you for the elaborate and very informative article.

I’m currently residing in a warm and humid tropical country, and have recently moved into a mildly moldy rental unit. The mold/mildew were not apparent at first, until after moving in and cleaning in detail did I found some part of the walls appeared blotchy in yellowish/ light greenish colour, some powdery-like patches on some of the wooden doors and a cabinet in the bathroom seriously moldy. Oh, I found mold showing up on the bed frame too, which I’ve mistaken wiped away on my first day moving in, thinking everything was just dusty. After I realised all those were mold, I’ve wiped down the bedroom walls using soap and water, and discard the old bed frame; and the space no longer smell musty as it previously was. I’ve also tried other cleaning products and alcohol (pardon my ignorance) to clean the door, but I’d have to say I honestly do not appreciate the chemical and toxic smell.

While in my search, I found your article (along with others) that vouch for EC3 products. I’m very much looking forward to a solution that truly works plus is burden-free to my health; thus would like to seek your kind advice if you’d be able to share how best may I use EC3 products to resolve my current (or potentially recurring) problems?
– Would the mold solution concentrate come handy in cleaning the walls, doors and other surfaces?
– And would I need the air purification candle to help clean the air as well?

My sincere thanks in advance! And stay safe!

Reply
Catherine January 20, 2021 - 4:06 pm

Hi,
Thank you for reading and for writing. The Spray would be great for cleaning the walls and any surfaces in the rental. I would purchase the Mold Solution and mix it yourself, because you will get more out of one bottle that way. Also, I would purchase some dehumidifiers for your place. You need to keep the indoor humidity below 50% to prevent the mold from growing back after you clean it. The candles are also a great solution for a temporary environment. Cleaning, candles, and keeping humidity as low as you can are the best solutions for right now.

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April December 30, 2020 - 11:36 pm

Hi! Great article. 6oz is a lot for 1 load! Isnt the bottle only 12oz?? It costs me a ton to ship to Canada. I thought it would do 20 or so loads at least. :(. Still less expensive than buying everything new though. Could I use the concentrate in the laundry?

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Catherine January 1, 2021 - 6:11 am

Yes you can definitely use the concentrate in the laundry–I do that all the time. You don’t need as much as I stated in the article. You can use 3 ounces and allow the clothing the agitate and then soak in it for a bit before completing the cycle and get excellent results. The Laundry Additive is awesome, but do what you can and use it in an economical way for you. Please use my coupon code CF10 anytime to get 10% off. It may be a one-time use, but would help some. Let me know if you have any other questions. Take care!

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Roman October 29, 2020 - 3:20 am

Hey Catherine,

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. My fiancé and I got out of moldy condo complex a few years ago and parted with 80% of our belongings. My fiancé did save some of her clothes that she wanted to salvage, which we keep in a sealed container in storage. Since the move she has become very sensitive to mold and has developed an underlying auto immune disease.

We have read nothing but wonderful things on EC3 products and recently decided to try it out because since my fiancé’s sensitivity to mold she has become sensitive to most cleaning products with chemicals. After washing a few of her mold contaminated clothes with EC3 Laundry Additive, she seems to still react to the moldy clothes, in addition to whatever is washed in the washer afterwards while using our normal detergent. Again we just moved and the washer is brand new. I don’t know if it could be mold spores breaking up during the wash but we are stumped and I would love to pick your brain if you have heard anyone else have a similar experience.

Thank you,

Roman

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Catherine October 29, 2020 - 11:24 pm

Hi, Roman,

Are you using scented detergent or fabric softener? Both are mold no no’s, unfortunately? If you are, use unscented detergent, I like Tide Free and Clear. Place the clothes in the wash basin, add the detergent, then add the EC3 (I would do 3 ounces) to the basin. Turn the setting the the hottest the clothing can handle. Allow the machine to fill and agitate. Then stop it and let the clothing soak for one hour. Turn the machine back on and put 2 ounces of EC3 in the softener or bleach reservoir. Let cycle complete as normal. You are going to have to do this intense method the first time you wash any of those clothes. After each wash of those clothes, I would mist the inside of the washer with the EC3 and allow to dry before the next one. Washing alone with the “maintenance” dose is not enough for mold contamination. That is my experience.

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Lori Shewbirt September 24, 2020 - 2:18 am

Hello Catherine. Thank you so much for this very informative article. We have been in mold for 3 years, now. My daughter has been very sick. We have remediated all visible mold issues. But we still have mold in our air ducts. We are getting a whole new HVAC system ASAP, including all new duct work. We do have low levels of mycotoxins. My question is, once we get a new HVAC system, could we fog with the EC3 and wipe surfaces and items down that we would like to keep. We will be tossing all mattresses and padded furniture, pillows, comforters, etc. Just wondering if we could possibly stay after all that, since we will have removed all mold sources.?.?

Thank you, again,
Lori Shewbirt

Reply
Catherine September 27, 2020 - 6:20 pm

Hi, Lori,

It is definitely possible that things could be saved with this method. It is worth a shot. Also, anything that can be washed in a washing machine with the EC3 Laundry Additive, I would do that too. I have had much success saving clothing and bedding this way.

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Dr Bob November 19, 2018 - 1:42 am

Do you know if fogging the EC3 will help decrease the mold and mycotoxins enough to give relief of mold sickness symptoms in someone living in a mold contaminated home when they are unable to leave the home?

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Catherine November 24, 2018 - 2:48 am

Hi! This is a great question. The issue here is that it depends on the severity of the situation and how mold toxic the person is. If the mold is mostly confined to one space or room, fogging can be very effective. But, it is only temporary as long as there is a moisture source causing the mold. If mold is circulating throughout their HVAC system or spread throughout a crawlspace underneath the home, fogging will take the counts down, but they will climb right back up very quickly unless the issue is remediated. It is definitely better than not doing anything, but it will be a band-aid. If the person is already very sick, even a small exposure will keep them sick. This is why the first step–getting out of the mold–is the hardest, but most important. Once that step is complete, the person is 80% of the way towards better health. They won’t be able to detoxify their body and kill the fungus if the mold is still present in their living environment. You must think about it like bailing a leaking ship: it is better than just watching it fill with water and sink, and can temporarily keep the boat floating while you get to safety, but isn’t a permanent solution. I hope that makes sense and helps.

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Sheri Mowery November 16, 2018 - 3:01 pm

Catherine,
I have a biology degree so this post was speaking my language. Thanks!

Reply
Catherine November 17, 2018 - 12:00 am

Yay! I certainly was hoping that I wasn’t losing anyone getting so technical. There really is no other way to explain it properly, though. It is so interesting to me that citrus oil and extracts are actually MORE effective at removing molds and fungus than chemical or synthetic products. It just goes to show that nature’s protective mechanisms are designed to perfection!

Reply

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