Skip to content
Yellow clothing on hangers

Damp Smell in Wardrobe?

Follow our guide to how to make your wardrobe smell nice!

Damp smell in the wardrobe? That’s never good news. When you’ve poured time and effort into getting your clothes beautifully clean, you don’t want to store them somewhere that’ll give them unwanted smells. Here’s what to do when clothes in wardrobe smell musty.

How to get rid of the musty smell in the wardrobe

  1. Take everything out of the wardrobe. If the smell’s permeated your clothes, set them aside to be washed.

  2. Grab a torch if necessary and give your wardrobe a thorough search for potential sources of the smell. If you find mould, tackle it with a mould cleaner suitable for whatever your wardrobe is made of. If you find a pet urine stain, there are commercial pet urine neutralisers that can help.

  3. Whether you find a specific cause or not, dust or hoover the wardrobe.

  4. Mix some water with a few drops of washing-up liquid, dip a clean sponge in it, squeeze the sponge out until it’s only slightly damp, and use it to clean the inside of the wardrobe.

  5. Leave the doors completely open and the wardrobe empty for a couple of days. Giving it time to dry is essential, but you’re also letting it air out, which should hopefully help with the smell.

  6. Is the smell still lingering? Try leaving a plate of baking soda (not baking powder!) in the wardrobe overnight to absorb odours. If there’s an improvement, but the smell’s not gone completely, you can repeat this with a fresh batch of baking soda.

Those are a few DIY ideas for clothes, but there are countless other possibilities just waiting for you to come up with them. Once you’re thinking about how to use old clothes to make new outfits, you’ll start seeing projects everywhere. Have fun!

How to keep clothes fresh in wardrobe

Knowing how to get rid of the damp smell in the wardrobe is only the first step. If you don’t want to end up searching for ‘how to stop clothes smelling musty in wardrobe’ again before long, you’ll want to take steps to keep your clothes fresh.

Here’s how to keep wardrobe smelling fresh once you’ve got the freshness back:

  • Don’t cram all your clothes together. If you need to know how to fold clothes to save space in the wardrobe, check out our advice on KonMari folding.

  •  Always make sure your clothes are completely dry before you put them in the wardrobe. If you try to store damp clothes, you’re likely to end up with mildew.

  • A long-lasting scented fabric conditioner, such as Comfort Intense Fresh Sky or Comfort Intense Fuchsia Passion, can leave both your clothes and space they’re stored in smelling nicer.

  • Strategically place some lavender or potpourri bags among your clothes. It’s a classic method for how to make your wardrobe smell nice.

  • If you’d prefer no smell at all to lavender, you can just leave a small open bowl of baking soda in your wardrobe to absorb smells. Make sure you put it somewhere you won’t keep knocking it over.

  • Don’t put shoes in the wardrobe straight after wearing. If your shoes smell, putting them in a confined space will leave the whole space smelling of your shoes.

  • Make sure the door to your wardrobe is secure and your pets can’t get in.

  • With the musty smell in wardrobe gone, you can store your clothes without worries, secure in the knowledge that you’re keeping them somewhere clean and dry.