How To Prevent Mold In Closet (Quick Guide)

Gladys K. Connelly
As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a professional housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.
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Updated May 21, 2023

Be bold and say “no” to mold!

Be bold and say “no” to mold!

Mold In The Closet - Open Closet
Mold and mildew growing in your closets are a sign of moisture intrusion. After cleaning and disinfecting your wardrobe from black fungus, you need to make sure it won’t come back again.

The best solution to eradicate mold is to reduce humidity levels. Since moisture feeds mold, by reducing the dampness, you’ll remove what makes mold grow.

Besides this, there is a list of a few things you can do to prevent mold from growing in your closets.

Why Am I Getting Mold Growth in My Closet?

A damp closet with poor air circulation or bad lighting is more likely to have mold.

In fact, mold is a fungus. They reproduce through spores, which travel naturally through the air and are too small to see. And since mold spores act as the seeds of the fungus, they help mold to grow under the right conditions.

If indoors, the mold spores land on a wet surface indoors, they can begin to grow. There are many types of mold and they all need water or moisture to thrive.

Also, mold spores grow best in still, dark places. And since closets don’t usually have much airflow or permanent lighting, it’s not uncommon to see mold or mildew occur in those places.

10 Tips to Prevent Mold Growth In Your Closet

1. Don’t Store Wet Clothing

If your clothes, shoes, or towels are damp, never store them in your closet. Always make sure they are completely dry first, and then put them away.

If you have a wet bathing suit, rain-soaked socks, or other damp clothes, hang your items on a drying rack or over a banister until they are no longer damp.

2. Remove Clutter From Your Closet

Getting rid of clutter is a really good way to prevent mold. If you get rid of about ⅓ of your things, air will circulate better, making it harder for mold to grow.

Leave the closet doors open for some fresh air. Or, install closet doors with openings or slats, like louvered doors.

3. Get Rid of Excess Moisture With Heat

In small spaces, like closets, heat can kill mold and mildew growth. Try using a small space heater to keep your closets mold-free.

Or try using a low-wattage light bulb. One that’s 60-100 watts can help prevent mold growth in your closets.

4. Use Chemicals That Absorb Moisture

You can also try using a chemical that absorbs moisture. This will help in mold prevention by removing the water in the air that the mold would use to grow.

For example, Silica gel, anhydrous calcium sulfate, activated alumina, and molecular sieves will all work. None of them will damage your clothing. Plus, even if you saturate fabric with one of these chemicals, it will still feel dry.

To use:

  • Put one of these chemicals in a cloth bag, and hang it wherever mold thrives.
  • Or put out an open container. Just place it on a shelf (or the closet floor, if you’re careful) to remove excess moisture.
  • If you have clothes or linens in a trunk or chest, you can also use one of these chemicals there. Simply sprinkle dry granules in between the clothes, or invest in silica gel packs.

Another chemical that works well is anhydrous calcium chloride. You can find it in products like DampRid, and it will help control moisture, too.

DampRid and other products like it are made of crystals. These crystals absorb water from the air and then melt into a liquid. Once all the crystals have transformed, it’s time to replace your product.

5. Treat Your Clothes With Water-Repellent Sprays

Another efficient solution is to use a water-repellent spray to keep your clothes dry.

These sprays create an invisible layer of waterproofing. Since the fabric can’t absorb moisture, mold and mildew won’t be able to grow on that surface.

This will help indirectly to keep your closets mold-free.

6. Store With a Mildew Inhibitor

If you can’t keep your closets dry, try a mildew inhibitor. A mildew inhibitor is a product that releases a chemical vapor into the air. Then the vapor keeps the mold from growing.

However, for some of these products, like paradichlorobenzene, you need to use them in an air-tight place, such as garment bags, plastic dry cleaning bags, or trunks. Otherwise, the vapors won’t be strong enough to prevent moth damage.

This type of chemical is available in many different stores, such as supermarkets or drug stores under several trade names. For example, check out these mothballs.

7. Clean Your Closet Regularly

One of the best ways to get rid of mold in closets and prevent a musty odor is to clean often.

Simply use regular household cleaners to scrub the spots where mold might grow. Clean your closet walls, floor, and shelving. Also, wash your clothes and linens frequently.

8. Improve Airflow

If you have a built-in fan, use it to push your indoor humidity outside.

If not, open the windows to let the air circulate freely. In particular, open the windows along the exterior of your house.

And if you can’t open your windows, just use a regular fan to get the air moving.

As well, when you dry your clothes, make sure that your dryer vents outdoors instead of back into your house. But if you can’t do that, you can always hang-dry your clothing.

Lastly, if you keep your closet doors closed when the temperature is lower there than in the rest of the house, you’ll probably let mold grow. In such case, if your closet is cooler, open the doors to let the fresh air in.

9. Use a Dehumidifier

If you’re struggling with high humidity levels, invest in a dehumidifier. This appliance removes water from the air, so it will lower the relative humidity of your closet.

(And make sure it’s not a humidifier – that will add water back into the air)

If you run your air conditioner, this will also lower the humidity. By removing water and heat, air conditioners cool the air.

Also, if you use your dehumidifier or air conditioner, make sure your outdoor windows are closed. Especially if it’s wet outside.

10. Fix the Water Problem

There is no way to remove mold completely. The spores causing mold to grow are always in the dust and the air, and there’s no way to kill all of them.

However, wet places are an ideal breeding ground for mold. So, if you keep your house dry, the spores won’t grow.

To do this, keep an eye out for damp spots or condensation around your entire house, and try to fix them as soon as possible.

They could come from leaky plumbing or a leaky roof, in addition to high humidity levels.

If you see mold, clean it up and figure out where it’s getting its water from. Then, stop the moisture, or the mold will probably come back.

In conclusion, mold prevention is really just moisture prevention.

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