Step into your closet and take a deep breath. What do you smell? If your nose detects musty, stale air it’s no surprise. Most closets get little to no air circulation. Lack of airflow combined with damp, humid conditions creates the perfect climate for odors to thrive.
Even the best-looking custom closets can be prone to musty odors. But, there’s no need to fret. These 10 simple tips can help you eliminate odors from your closets.
- Inspect your closet walls and ceilings for signs of mold or mildew
- Keep shelves and floors dust-free and clean
- Only place clean and dry clothes in your closet
- Use a dehumidifier
- Hang potpourri or herb sachets
- Place dryer sheets on closet shelves
- Put a box of baking soda in your closet to absorb excess moisture and odors
- Place activated charcoal around your closet to draw out dampness and unwanted smells
Read on to learn more details about combating closet odors.
Closets can smell bad for many reasons, from mold and mildew to dirty clothes. Begin by following the steps below to eliminate odors.
Empty Your Closets and Start Inspecting
Closets that are packed full of clothes can easily trap odors. As a result, the first thing you need to do is empty out your closets. Then do a thorough visual inspection to find the root of the odor problem. Look for signs of water damage on the ceilings and walls.
If you spot any damage, have it repaired immediately. This is also a good time to declutter and get rid of items you haven’t worn in a while to keep your space organized.
Get Rid of Dust and Use Natural Deodorizers
Dirty or dusty areas of your closet can harbor odors. Start by dusting off the walls and shelves with a soft cloth or dusting tool of your choice. Next, sweep or vacuum the floor. Make sure to reach the corners and baseboard areas as well.
For a deeper clean, wipe off the walls and shelves with a solution of white vinegar and water. Vinegar is one of the best natural odor eliminators. HowToHome.com recommends mixing 1/4 cup vinegar with around 32 ounces of water. Remember to always do a spot test first before spraying this concoction on hard surfaces.
Make Sure All Clothes Are Clean and Dry
Make sure any clothing you place inside your closet is laundered and completely dry. Also, avoid packing items too tightly so air can circulate between hanging clothes.
Use a Dehumidifier
If you are battling closet odors due to excess moisture in the air, opt for a dehumidifier. This simple tool can prevent mold and mildew growth by trapping excess water in the air. Dehumidifiers come in single-use disposable varieties or electric. Either variety can help absorb wetness in the air and prevent mold growth in your closets.
Keep Your Closets Smelling Amazing
By following the steps above, you'll tackle closet odors at their source. Now, it’s time to give it that finishing touch.
Potpourri is an effortless way to give your closets a long-lasting fresh scent. Hang them in your closet, place them on shelves or inside of dresser drawers. Potpourri can be found in a variety of fragrances from Wild Fig to Ocean Breeze.
If you’re looking for a more natural fragrance, try making your own DIY version:
- Fill a small organza bag with dried herbs like lavender, sage, or rosemary
- Add a few drops of essential oil
- Tie the bag shut and place it in your closet
Replace the herbs every 3 to 4 months for lasting freshness.
Scented dryer sheets are a great way to keep your closets smelling fresh. Place them on shelves, between folded clothes, or inside of drawers to prevent unwanted odors. You can also put them inside storage bins that hold seasonal clothing. Remember to replace the dryer sheets every few months.
Bars of soap are another way to add a pleasant scent to your closet. Grab a few new bars of your favorite scented soap. Unpackage them and wrap a thin cloth around each bar. Put the bars on shelves or in drawers. Make sure that they don’t touch any of your clothes.
If you are looking to keep your closets odor-free without adding scent, baking soda is the perfect option. It’s a cost-effective solution that acts as an odor absorber and natural deodorizer. Store an open box of baking soda inside your closet, on a shelf. Replace seasonally to help tackle odors.
Activated charcoal is another fragrance-free way to deodorize your closets. Plus, it naturally absorbs odors and moisture. Place a block of activated charcoal in a breathable canvas or cotton pouch. Put the pouches on shelves, a hanger, or inside of shoes to keep odors at bay.
Bonus Tip: How to Temporarily Mask Odors
Room sprays are a quick way to get a fresh scent into your closets. If you are concerned about chemicals found in these products, try making your own room spray. With only a few ingredients, you can make your own concoction sans harsh chemicals.
OneEssentialCommunity.com has this easy recipe for homemade room spray:
- Grab an “8-ounce glass bottle” with a spray dispenser
- Fill the bottle with ¾ “distilled water”
- Add Essential oils of your choice (about 40 drops)
Then, all that's left is to screw the top on and shake up your spray. Avoid spraying directly on fabrics like silk, satin, or suede.
There's no reason for you to endure musty closet odors anymore. The 10 tips mentioned above will help you eliminate them for good. Your closets will not only look great but smell great as well!