DIY Moisture Absorbers for Closets

Enclosed closets typically don't have outdoor ventilation. Moisture trapped inside the closet can cause mold and mildew problems that affect both the structure of the closet and the clothing stored within. Manufactured moisture absorbers eliminate the dampness in the closet but they are expensive and require periodic replacement. These absorbers contain a desiccant, which absorbs the moisture present in the air. You can make your own version from purchased desiccants.

Step 1

Lay a 10-inch square of thin fabric, such as cotton muslin, on your work surface.  The fabric must have a loose weave, but not so loose that the moisture-absorber particles can fall through the fabric.

Step 2

Place ½ to ¾ cup of a desiccant in the center of the fabric square.  For the desiccant, use silica crystals, available from craft stores, or activated alumina, available from industrial chemical suppliers.

Step 3

Gather the edges of the fabric together to form a bag securing the desiccant material inside.  Tie the bag closed with a length of twine or a rubber band.

Step 4

Hang the bag from the closet rod.  Alternatively, place the bag on the floor or on a shelf inside the closet.

Step 5

Open the bag and dry the desiccant crystals every two to four weeks, depending on how quickly they absorb moisture.  Place the crystals on a baking sheet and dry them in a 300- to 350-degree F oven for two to three hours.

Place them back in the bag and return them to the closet after drying. 

Things You Will Need

  • Fabric
  • Silica or activated alumina desiccant
  • Twine or rubber band


  • Some varieties of silica gel change color when they become moist, providing an accurate indication of when they must be dried.


  • Don't place wet or damp items, such as bathing suits or towels, in enclosed closets.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.