How to Keep Your Closets Fresh

C. Giles
Clothes will smell better if they are stored in a fresh closet.

Your closet may smell stale for a variety of reasons. Sometimes closets suffer from a lack of ventilation or too much moisture. Unpleasant smells can result from garments being hung with lingering smells of tobacco, pets or food. A few simple steps should keep your closet smelling fresh.

Eliminate Unpleasant Odors

Place a couple of cups of activated charcoal chunks, which are readily available in garden stores, in a cheesecloth bag. Secure it with a piece of yarn and put it in the back of your closet in a plastic bowl. You should find that any nasty odors have disappeared within 24 hours. Replacing this once every 12 months will keep unpleasant smells at bay. Clay cat litter is also very effective as an odor absorber. Fill a plastic container with litter and sit it at the back of your closet.

Soak up Moisture

Sometimes closets smell bad because there is too much moisture. To remedy this, place a couple of cups of rock salt in a cheesecloth bag and hang it in your closet. The salt will soak up any excess moisture. Keep an eye on the bag, and replace the salt when it appears damp.

Create a Natural Scent

If you want your closet to smell sweet, fill a cheesecloth bag with your favorite dried herbs, such as lavender or rose petals, secure it with a ribbon and hang it in your closet. Alternatively, immerse cotton balls in real essential oils, such as cedar or pine, and place them in a plastic food container with several holes punched in the lid. Place the container at the back of your closet and replace the cotton balls every few weeks. A small dish of baking soda mixed with essential oils will replace unpleasant smells with something sweet.

Keep Shoes Smelling Fresh

Oftentimes shoes are the main culprit in a funky smelling closet. Fill old socks or pantyhose with clay cat litter and stuff inside your shoes while they are in the closet. For stubborn odors, sprinkle a little baking powder inside the shoe after each use. Obviously, keeping your feet fresh will help keep your shoes smelling sweet. Take your time when you wash your feet, making sure you don't forget in between your toes and dry them thoroughly. Don't wear the same shoes all the time, and consider wearing trainer socks instead of going barefoot.