Have you been opening your closet door lately to a musty, unpleasant smell? The smell of old clothes that have been left in the same space for too long can be off-putting and embarrassing. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce and eliminate those odors without throwing out all of your favorite apparel pieces. In this post, we will discuss some practical tactics for how to prevent the clothes in your closet from smelling musty so that you can confidently open up that space knowing it smells fresh and clean.
1. Find the source
If you have noticed a musty smell coming from your closet but can’t seem to pinpoint where it’s coming from, it’s important to know what could be causing it. While a buildup of dust and sweat-soaked clothes can contribute to the unpleasant odor, mold or mildew are likely culprits since they both thrive when moisture is trapped in enclosed spaces. To identify the source of this moisture, look for any water leaks around walls and ceilings. If the closet is often humid due to its location beside a bathroom or your basement, investing in a dehumidifier may help improve air flow and reduce the odor. Eliminating the musty smell requires identifying where it’s coming from and finding mold removal solutions that work best for your home.
2. Treat mold and mildew growth
Removing mold and mildew from your closets is essential for maintaining a healthy living space. Identifying these issues can be as simple as spotting discolorations of green, black, red, blue or white in the furnishing and walls — all potential signs of mildew or mold growth. To tackle mold and mildew head-on, use a mixture of bleach and hot water to spray the affected area and let sit until it’s gone. In order to prevent future growth, maintain proper moisture levels in your closets by using custom closets with breathable finishes and adjusting your heating and cooling systems year-round as necessary.
3. Use baking soda
Baking soda makes for a great cleaning agent, both inside and outside the kitchen. Not only does it remove tough stains from clothes, it also effectively absorbs unwanted odors. To take full advantage of its odor-eliminating capabilities, pour three tablespoons of baking soda into a container — add a lid with holes for extra protection — and place it inside your closet. This will not only prevent the moldy smells associated with moisture, but it will also extend the life of your items of clothing by keeping them fresher for longer periods of time.
4. Remove and reorganize
Having a clean and well-organized closet is key for any wardrobe. One often-overlooked factor in proper closet organization is ensuring that items are not packed too closely together, as this can prevent air from circulating. To make sure your closet is organized in the most effective way possible, it’s recommended to begin by taking everything out of it to get a better view of all the items. Then, separate all unused or unwanted clothing pieces so they can be removed from the space; ideally, donate them to someone or someplace in need. Once complete, replace the clothing and arrange them in an orderly manner that allows air to easily flow within the closet – it’s also prudent not to store any items on the flooring that might impede its accessibility.
5. Use wooden hangers
Swap your wire or plastic hangers for wood if you want to keep your clothing in pristine condition. Wood is a much better option for preserving clothes because it absorbs moisture, preventing your items from developing dampness and bad odors. In addition, many wooden hangers are available in various scents such as cedar or lavender, which not only give your garments a pleasant smell but also defends them against moths. If you’re serious about protecting your wardrobe, wood should be the material of choice for all your hangers.
6. Try vinegar
White distilled vinegar has the potential to be used as an effective and natural deodorizer in small spaces. Adding one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar to your fabric softener can help reduce bad smells in your freshly washed clothes. Additionally, creating a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle is a great way to control odors inside your closet. Before you spray the solution onto clothes, make sure to turn them inside out for optimal effect. With the correct usage, distilling vinegar could be an ideal solution for getting rid of unwanted and pungent scents in the home.
7. Use activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is an amazing asset when it comes to purifying air and deodorizing spaces. It works simply, as the tiny particles of activated charcoal naturally absorb surrounding odors. To use this method effectively in your closet, place a block of activated charcoal in a breathable wrapper such as cheesecloth and place it inside your closet. If the block ever begins to lose its effectiveness, you can put it out in the sun for an hour or two to restore its properties and then place it back in your closet.
Controlling musty smells in your closet can be an easy fix if you’re equipped with the right knowledge. Simple changes like swapping wire hangers for wood and creating more open space for airflow can go a long way and using everyday household materials like baking soda and vinegar further help to freshen up the space. If the source of your closet odor is mold and mildew, contacting a mold remediation expert at (415) 584-6100 like ServiceMaster of San Francisco is the best option for properly removing it.