Did you get a whiff of a strange odor as you opened up your closet door? If so, you are probably wondering why your closet smells musty and what you can do about it. After all, who wants all of their clothes to smell stale?

Why Do My Closet Smell Musty?

There can be many reasons your closet is starting to get a bit smelly. Here are three common culprits of a stinky closet.

Dirty Clothes

If you’re a parent you know that sometimes your kids’ dirty clothes can pile up. If they have hidden gym clothes tucked in the back or you keep your hamper in your closet, that can be the reason for the bad odor.

When dirty clothes are stuffed in a small space not only does it make the closet smell bad but also your clean clothes that are hanging inside.

Poor Ventilation

Most closets are dark and small closed-off spaces. While there is nothing you can do about that, you can add fans to help circulate the air. Additionally, operating your hangers a bit can allow airflow between your clothes.

Excess Moisture

More often than not, your clothes smell musty because of an excess amount of moisture in your closet. High moisture is sometimes due to where you live and the season, but it can also be a sign that you have a problem with your insulation or a crack in the foundation of your home.

While you can try to resolve any issue with insulation, there is nothing you can do about the climate you live in. Here’s the good news: this doesn’t mean you have to live with a musty closet.

Here are 3 clever ways on how to keep your clothes from smelling musty in the closet.

1. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

how to keep clothes from smelling musty in closet - oil diffuser

Here’s a temporary homespun remedy: use an essential oil diffuser to help replace the odor in your closet.

This will help bring a specific, fresh smell to anything you pull out of your closet.

Additional benefits of oil diffusers can vary depending on the scent you choose. For instance, while lavender can help you relax, citrus scents may energize you.

3 Possible Downsides of Essential Oil Diffusers

However, buyer beware –there are a few downsides to essential oil diffusers.

1. Stains

If your closet is quite full, you’re likely to end up with stains from droplets forming from the diffuser. These stains often form as discoloration or dark patches similar to grease patches. This type of damage is usually visible and cannot be repaired.

2. Irritable Skin

If your closet smells musty due to high humidity, you’ll need to run the diffuser more often. This leads to a thin ‘film’ forming on all of the clothes. For some, this can irritate the skin and even require excessive soap during their next wash in order to be cleaned.

3. Deterioration

The third downside is that essential oils can deteriorate synthetic materials and plastic.

If you decide to use an oil diffuser, make sure you clean it routinely. When the diffuser is not cleaned regularly, buildup will occur and lead to overheating.

2. Indulge in Cedar Wood Hangers

closet smells musty - use cedar hangers

Next, if you’d rather avoid essential oils, you can opt for a more expensive remedy: cedar wood hangers.

Cedar wood smells so good because it contains a compound called Thujaplicin. Thujaplicin not only smells great but it also contains natural antioxidants!

As far as hangers go, these aromatic hangers are quite expensive. On the bright side, they’ll keep the room and your clothes smelling fresh for a very long time.

3 Possible Downsides of Cedar Wood Hangers

However, there are a few hidden truths about cedar wood hangers.

1. Snagging

Cedar hangers are often unfinished in order to give off their pleasant aroma. With any unfinished wood, there is a high chance of splintering, even when sanded down. These splinters can snag the fabric and harm your clothes.

2. Lingering Smell

While cedar hangers may keep clothes from smelling musty in your closet, you are left smelling like a tree. Although most love the smell of cedar, many prefer not to walk around smelling like it all day.

3. Moths

Cedar hangers do not protect against moths or other creatures that may harm your fabrics. While many turn to cedar to prevent moths, what they do not understand is that it is only effective in very high concentrations.

Negatives aside, cedar wood hangers are still a viable option for a musty closet.

However, if you want the best solution to remove musty odors in the closet, keep reading to learn about one of the most clever tips on how to keep your clothes from smelling musty in your closet.

3. Get a Dehumidifier

Musty smells usually come from the air having a little too much moisture. Over time, this has the same odorous effect as leaving your clothes in a puddle. Yuck!

Here’s the good news: if you invest in a powerful dehumidifier, your device will suck in all of the excess moisture in the air, preventing any dank smell.

And it gets even better.

3 Reasons To Use A Dehumidifier To Keep Clothes From Smelling Musty in The Closet

closet smells musty - use a dehumidifier

Closet dehumidifiers provide several key benefits:

1. Ease of Use

Modern dehumidifiers are very easy to use. If you don’t have an outlet in your closet, you can use a spill-free renewable mini dehumidifier – these use desiccant technology to absorb water, and easily hang directly in your closet along with your clothes. Once the beads are full, simply plug the unit into a well-ventilated area to dry out overnight. For larger closets or very humid environments, you should definitely opt for a rotary desiccant dehumidifier – these have large water basins and run extremely quiet (they’re even nursery friendly).

2. Reduced Odors

Oftentimes what we use to mask scents only adds to it. This gives you a mix of mustiness and lavender, citrus, or whatever scent you are using. This is not the case with a dehumidifier. Instead of covering a bad odor with another smell, dehumidifiers get rid of the root cause of the odor altogether: excess moisture.

3. Health Benefits

Not only do dehumidifiers help your clothes stay fresh, but they also can keep your lungs healthy and happy! Dehumidifiers can help reduce irritation to your skin and your repository system.

As you can see, a dehumidifier is a great choice if you want to get to the root of the problem and kick musty odors to the curb for good.

Consider Reusable Dehumidifiers (Which are Better for the Environment)

While some dehumidifiers can be disposable and contain toxic calcium chloride, there are several environmentally-friendly dehumidifiers that are reusable (meaning they won’t just end up in landfills).

At Eva-Dry, for example, we take serious measures to ensure our dehumidifiers are eco-friendly, which is why we developed our desiccant technology which absorbs excess moisture and, once full, can be easily dried out and used again. This not only helps the environment but also helps the lifespan of your product, saving you time and money in the long run.

Ready to Get Rid of That Musty Smell in Your Closet?

It is never too late to start taking care of your possessions and protecting them from humidity. If you’re looking for additional information, check out our additional tips for reducing humidity in your home, or browse our powerful, portable dehumidifiers to find one that fits your needs.

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