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The Best Ways to Keep your Closet Smelling Fresh

How to keep closet smelling fresh

When it comes to keeping your closet smelling fresh, proper storage should be your first priority. This means cleaning out your closet on a regular basis, making sure all items are put away properly, and that any moisture or odor-causing items are stored in separate, airtight containers. Additionally, you should ensure that your closet is free from dust, dirt, and other debris to prevent odors from forming.

Read on to learn more about the best ways to keep your closet smelling fresh:

Use airtight containers

Using airtight containers is an essential part of the process to maintain your closet long term. Airtight containers are important in managing odors and maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your closet. Not only do airtight containers help contain odors, but they also prevent moisture and pests from making their way into fabric.

The other advantage of using airtight plastic storage bins is organization; labeling your clothes, furniture or shoes will help you quickly find what you need when needed. You can also group items in bins so they’re easy to pull out without disrupting the rest of the closet items. If you don’t want to purchase bins, you can always use everyday household items like ziplock bags for small items like socks, hats or sparkly jewelry.

When storing your clothing inside airtight containers, make sure not to overfill them because this will reduce airflow and encourage mold growth. You’ll also want to avoid packing up damp clothes that can other create excess moisture which might promote the growth of fungus and bacteria on clothing fibers– another great reason why it’s important to first let clothes completely dry before putting them away in closets or drawers overnight! Additionally, quarterly inspections are recommended for areas where fabrics are stored such as closets in order to spot any possible issues before they become bigger problems.

Store items in drawers and shelves

Storing items in drawers and shelves inside your closet can help ensure they remain organized while preserving a pleasant-smelling environment. Drawers and shelves provide designated spaces for items, making them easier to access and keeping them off the closet floor.

To maintain a neat space in the drawers, use dividers or organizers to keep like items grouped together. When storing items on shelves, use baskets or other storage containers to keep things neat and stylishly arranged. As an added bonus, most baskets are lined with a breathable fabric that will help keep delicate fabrics from becoming stained or musty-smelling.

Avoid storing items in plastic bags

Storing clothing items in plastic bags is not a great idea for your wardrobe. The plastic restricts air circulation, and any moisture caused by spills or condensation in the closet can become trapped leading to a musty odor. Furthermore, airtight closed environments promote mold growth and mildew if humidity levels become too high.

To preserve your clothes for the long run and help keep your closet smelling fresh, you should choose breathable materials such as cotton or cloth bags. Linen is also good option as its natural fibers are breathable and able to absorb excess moisture. You can even use them to make sachets which add some flavor of aroma to otherwise stuffy closets! Clothes should also be spaced out with at least 1-2 inch gaps between items so that air can circulate freely around areas where moisture may accumulate.

When storing items in boxes or bins, make sure they have lids that close securely without trapping air inside. It’s best to use hard containers made out of plastic or metal since these materials resist moisture and will not easily deteriorate over time like cardboard boxes tend to do under certain conditions. To prevent a buildup of odors, sprinkle baking soda inside the container before firmly closing the lid. If possible, leave them open for short periods of time when not in use to allow air flow through the compartments and counteract any unpleasant tastes from becoming permanently fixed into fabrics stored within them. Once sealed shut again make sure it fully clicks close so that no residual odors escape from its interior!


Keeping your closet clean is one of the most important aspects of ensuring it smells fresh. Regularly removing the dust, debris and other dirt around the closet and on the clothes will help to keep your closet smelling fresh. Regularly cleaning your closet and its contents will also help to prolong the life of your clothes and make them look newer for longer.

In this article, we’ll explore the best cleaning practices to keep your closet smelling fresh:

Vacuum closets regularly

Vacuuming your closets on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep your closet smelling fresh. By sucking up any dirt, dust and debris in the closet, you’ll get rid of any unwanted odors that can make your space smell unpleasant. Additionally, it will get rid of any unpleasant pet hair or human hair that accumulates in closets.

Using a vacuum cleaner with an extension hose can make this task easier and more effective since it will allow you to reach high shelves and corners in the closet where dirt and dust tend to get trapped easily.

Go around the entire closet – from floor to ceiling – and make sure to vacuum every surface, including shelving boards and hanger bars. Then use a soft brush attachment to move along the walls, never forgetting hard-to-reach areas like corners or between shelves.

Clean closet surfaces with mild detergent

Keeping your closet smelling fresh and clean requires regular cleaning of surfaces and storage areas. The best places to start are with hard surfaces, like shelving and hanging rods. It is important to keep those materials dust-free and avoid the build-up of debris.

Using a mild detergent or cleaning solution mixed with warm water, gently scrub any shelves or hanging rods in the closet, taking care to avoid any wood finishes that may be present on the surface. If needed, you can use a small paintbrush or cotton swab to get into tight corners. Wipe up any excess liquid with a damp cloth or paper towels. Allow everything to completely dry before putting items back in the closet space.

For painted walls and ceilings, you can use an appropriate wall cleaner for effective results without damaging the finish of your interior walls. Again, be careful not to oversaturate when using water – dry off any excess liquid with a cloth shortly after applying it.

Use baking soda to absorb odors

Baking soda is a great solution to remove odors from your closet. It will help to break down the existing scent molecules and absorb those that are still present. All you need to do is fill an open container with baking soda and place it on a shelf or in a corner of your closet. Let it sit overnight, then discard the baking soda in the morning.

To keep your closet smelling fresh, refresh the baking soda every two weeks or so. If you want more of a perfume scent, add some essential oils to the baking soda before placing it in your closet. Place an open container of white vinegar on another shelf or corner of your closet, as this will also help to absorb any lingering odors.

Air Circulation

One of the best ways to keep your closet smelling fresh is through air circulation. If the closet is sealed off with no airflow, moisture and odors can build up. Allowing fresh air to circulate through your closet will go a long way towards keeping it smelling good.

Here are a few ways to encourage air circulation in your closet:

  • Open your closet doors often to allow fresh air to enter.
  • Install a fan in your closet to pull in fresh air and push out stale air.
  • Use natural air fresheners such as essential oils or potpourri to absorb odors.
  • Place a dehumidifier in your closet to reduce moisture levels.

Keep closet doors open when not in use

When you’re not using the closet, try to keep the doors open. This will allow air to flow freely and reduce any musty odors that can develop when the area is sealed off from air circulation. If possible, leave a window or two open to also help create cross-ventilation within the closet.

When warmer months arrive, even a small fan located in the room or at least pointed toward wardrobe area can help circulate fresh, cooler air. You can also invest in a small dehumidifier, especially during humidity season. This will be beneficial in any room adjacent to a steamy shower stall or bathtub with an attached curtain than enclose moisture and create an uncomfortable environment.

Install a fan in the closet

Installing a fan in your closet may be the most effective way to ensure good air circulation. This can be particularly beneficial if your closet is not well ventilated or if you have areas of standing water, such as near a washer and dryer or any other places that are prone to moisture.

Closet fans come in many shapes and sizes; some are powered by electricity, while others are battery-operated models made for small spaces. Mounting an external fan to the outside of your closet door is also an option if you don’t want to use internal equipment in the already limited space.

Regardless of which type of fan you choose, make sure it will move enough air throughout the closet to keep it fresh and dry. The amount of air circulation needed will vary based on things like size, insulation and material used throughout the space – so use your best judgment – but a good rule of thumb is that one large fan can effectively move plenty of air through a standard-sized room with no additional openings for ventilation other than the door.

Use an air purifier

Using an air purifier is an ideal way to keep your closet smelling fresh and reduce odors. Air purifiers use fans to draw the air into a filter system, where dust, pollen, mold spores, and other particles are removed before being returned to the room. A standard air purifier is suitable for a small closet space, but if you have a particularly large closet that needs ventilation, consider purchasing an industrial-sized model with a powerful motor.

Besides removing odors from the air in your closet, build-up of dust and debris can be another source of unpleasant smells. An air purifier can help eliminate these kinds of smells by capturing dust and other particles in its filter. Make sure to replace the filters on your air purifier regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions—if they become clogged with dirt or other contaminants, they will not be able to capture any new particles from the air. Also be mindful that some clothing fabrics are known for trapping odors and bacteria—these should be laundered or dry-cleaned on a regular basis in order to prevent unwanted smells from accumulating in your closet.

Scented Items

Using scented items is one of the best ways to keep your closet smelling fresh. Putting scented sachets, dryer sheets, or cedar blocks into your closet will help to keep the area smelling fresh. You can even hang essential oil diffusers or wax melts in your closet to provide a pleasant scent. There are many scented options out there that can help you keep your closet smelling nice and fresh.

Place scented sachets in the closet

One of the best ways to keep your closet smelling fresh is to place scented sachets in it. Scented sachets can come in many fragrances including lavender, lemon, rose and more. These small fabric bags can be filled with potpourri and herbs such as juniper berries, eucalyptus or lavender buds to add an extra layer of scent to your closet.

Many people enjoy the soothing qualities of lavender while some appreciate the refreshing scent of lemon essential oil. When choosing scented sachets for your closet, think about what smells you like best and select accordingly. You should also avoid using strong-smelling oils that are known for causing allergic reactions or overpowering fragrances as no one wants their clothing to smell too strong after it’s been hung up for a while!

Additionally, make sure to place the sachets in areas that provide enough airflow so that they don’t become overly damp from being too close together:

  • Avoid placing sachets too close together
  • Choose fragrances that you enjoy
  • Avoid strong-smelling oils that may cause allergic reactions

Use scented candles or wax melts

Scented candles and wax melts can fill a room with an inviting aroma you love. Scented candles and wax melts come in nearly limitless varieties, so you can find one that meets your needs.

To use scented candles or wax melts, add them to your closet and light the candle. The scent from a candle can stay in the air for hours after it is lit.

You may want to opt for a soy-based or beeswax candle if you are looking for a natural alternative that doesn’t emit harmful fumes into the air. If you choose to go with wax melts, look for ones made of soy wax for a cleaner burn.

While building up their scent collection, many people prefer purchasing candles or wax melts with favorite fragrances or combinations of fragrances such as lavender and eucalyptus or orange and cinnamon.

Use essential oil diffusers

Essential Oil Diffusers can be a great way to keep closets and drawers fresh. These diffusers are simple to use and require little-to-no setup or cleanup. All that’s needed is a few drops of an essential oil placed onto a pad inside the diffuser, which is then plugged into an outlet for it to start extracting the scent from the oil and dispersing it into the surrounding air. Depending on your preference, there are also multiple colors and designs that come with each product.

These diffusers can last for many days before needing to be replaced, as long as they don’t exceed their recommended usage amount. Additionally, essential oil diffusers are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other methods we will discuss in this article. Some popular scents you might want to consider include:

  • Geranium
  • Lemongrass
  • Orange Blossom
  • Lavender
  • Lilac


Keeping your closet smelling fresh starts with prevention. The best way to do this is to air out your closet periodically. This ensures the air inside your closet is circulated and any musty odor is removed. You can also try eliminating sources of unpleasant smells by avoiding storing moldy items or foods in your closet.

We’ll discuss more ways to keep your closet smelling fresh and preventing odor buildup in the following paragraphs:

Avoid storing items with strong odors

The way items, particularly clothing, are stored can make them prone to odors, especially in cramped and confined spaces like closets. Use airtight storage containers or vacuum-sealed bags whenever possible to keep odor-causing particles trapped. Try to clean and dry items thoroughly before storing: a moist item is much more likely to absorb and retain odors than one that is completely dry. Consider items like leather and fur, which can be even more susceptible to odors. Mouse droppings also attract bad smells through their pheromones; if your closet appears to be infested with rodents or other pests, you should take steps immediately before the odors get too bad.

It’s also important to avoid storing any items that have strong odors. This includes fragrances and other cosmetics as well as food items (whether opened or unopened). The same goes for any fabrics that tend to hold on to smells, like wool or cashmere. If you must store these items in your closet (like sweaters), do so in sealable plastic bags and rotate them on a regular basis so they don’t become saturated with the smell through overexposure. Instead of using moth balls for protection against moths, try non-smelly alternatives such as cedar blocks or bags of lavender buds. Not only will these methods eliminate bothersome closet smells without making them worse but they will also make your garments smell pleasant as well!

Wash clothes regularly

Making sure you regularly wash your clothes using the appropriate detergent is one of the best ways to ensure your closet stays fresh. It’s important to read clothing labels for washing instructions—some items such as delicates may require special care—and choose a detergent that not only cleans well but also eliminates odors. Some products may contain enzymes or solvents specifically designed to odor-proof fabric, while others may carry pungent perfumes that merely mask odors. For some items, such as suit jackets and sweaters, professional dry cleaning can be necessary in removing odors and stains.

You should also consider using fabric softener sheets when laundering items, as these can help absorb moisture and reduce any moisture-related scent problems in the air. Additionally, it’s a good idea to clean your lint filter after each use; built-up lint can attract dust mites and other pests that produce musty smells. If you find yourself constantly battling odors after washing your clothes, adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle can help neutralize lingering scents.

Avoid storing wet items in the closet

One of the best ways to keep your closet smelling fresh and mold-free is by avoiding storing wet items such as wet clothing, damp towels, and even wet shoes. Not only do these items take significantly longer to dry due to the lack of adequate airflow, but they can also cause unpleasant odors and may even contribute to unwanted mold growth. It is important to dry any damp items completely before returning them to your closet for storage.

In addition, you should ensure that all containers in the closet have properly fitting lids so that no moisture or airborne contaminants may enter when the doors are closed. If possible, it may be beneficial to use breathable storage containers such as fabric baskets or bins constructed with cane weave. This will decrease the likelihood of unpleasant odors becoming trapped by airtight seals associated with more traditional plastic containers used in closets.

Finally, make sure any pet bedding stored in the closet is laundered regularly with an effective cleaner approved for use on pets as this will help reduce any odors caused by shedding fur or skin flakes. Regular vacuuming can also help minimize dust and dirt accumulation which can contribute towards smelly closets too!