This came today in a newsletter from Ingrid Naiman at Bioethika:
Last year some time , a friend came by to cut down two trees that were
terminally ill and threatening the house. He noticed at the time that my
roof had a lot of moss. The next time he came, he brought some moss
products but when I read the labels and online MSDS, I nixed his idea and
decided to conjure up something more environmentally friendly. I made a
number of batches right before Christmas and we tried each on a different
section of the roof, including the roof over the garage which is almost as
big at the roof over the house since the house has two levels. He sprayed
the mixtures on a very cold day in the dead of winter and about ten days
later, someone who dropped by commented on the pervasive smell of cloves.
Sensitive as I am, I ceased to notice the aroma after a couple of days, but
this not being Sri Lanka, the scent must have seemed quite in keeping with
Now, it’s summer and we have had a chance to evaluate our results. Dan says
the moss died right away. Over time, the moss blackens and crumbles . . .
and I suppose the handwriting is on the wall about how the gutters are
going to navigate to the top of the to do list.
Here are the finals: all concoctions appeared to work equally well.
Each contained 1-2 oz. of clove oil and a biodegradable detergent with
surfactants (to make the oil adhere) and another carrier. They were diluted
in water and sprayed with the same sort of pump used to spread herbicides.
Since all worked, there is no point in providing brand names, but suffice
it to say, we used one of the eco conscious liquid dishwashing detergents
with natural fragrances and an additional cleaner, also completely natural.
The roof looks great and I am estimating that slightly less than 4 oz. of
clove oil was used with 7 oz. of detergent and 11 oz. of other cleaners. A
fourth bottle that I mixed up was not needed. The cost was less than that
of the commercial products, worked easily and without the need of
additional applications. Since the clove and other essential oils used as
fragrances were completely natural and hexane-free as well as volatile,
they would have been safe for plants even if they managed to make contact
before vaporizing completely. I’m looking into getting a slightly less
expensive clove oil, still pure but not therapeutic grade, for such
external uses. The quality I used was the same as in my diffusing blend for