How to Prevent Mold in Closets With 10 Simple Tips

Author: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Last Updated on

It can’t be happening in your home. You keep a neat, clean house, so it just doesn’t make sense. Still, that musty smell in the closet can only mean one thing. Mold is growing in there somewhere, and you have to take care of it.

You don’t want to deal with this mess more than once. Do you know how to prevent mold from growing in the closet?

Our certified cleaning and restoration specialists have years of experience providing mold removal for Chicago homeowners. From attics to basements and even the cleanest closets, we’ve seen it all. We know why it happens, and we know how to prevent it too.

What Causes Mold in Closets?

You don’t think of closets as areas that breed fungus, but mold easily thrives in their dark recesses. These are the most common sources of mold growing in closets.

Leaky Plumbing – Leaks behind adjacent walls can contribute to mold in closets.
Attic Mold – Mold growth up in the attic can migrate down through closet ceilings and into walls.
Humidity – Closets usually stay closed, so they easily retain any moisture in the air.

How to Prevent Mold Growing in Closets: 10 Simple Strategies

damp clothing closet
Clothes should be 100% dry before being set in the closet. Also, avoid tossing damp clothes into the hamper as this could trap moisture and increase the chances of mold developing.

If you’re not sure about how to get rid of mold in your closet, we previously posted a comprehensive DIY mold removal guide outlining the process. It’s a messy job, so we recommend taking simple precautions now to prevent mold from sneaking into closets later.

1. Keep Things Clean and Dry

Mold feeds on dirt in fabric fibers, so resist the temptation to toss soiled clothes back into the closet. Always make sure items just out of the laundry are completely dry before hanging them up.

2. Stay Away From Plastics

Remove clothes from dry-cleaning bags as soon as possible. Their polyethylene composition traps humidity around fibers, and the dampness encourages mold growth.

3. Elevate Things on the Floor

Move things currently stored on the closet floor to shelves. This minimizes the risk of items getting damp and moldy in case of a plumbing leak.

4. Keep the Doors Closed

This tip is especially important when our Chicago weather gets humid. Keep closet doors closed to damp air, and deny mold the moisture it needs to grow.

Power Tip: If humidity is a problem in your home, consider using a dehumidifier specially designed for closets.

5. Clean Closets Regularly

mold growth closet

Make this job more than a part of your spring cleaning routine. Every few months, move things out, dust shelves, and run the vacuum. Let fresh air circulate through the closet for several hours.

6. Don’t Ignore Musty Smells

Trust your nose. If the closet smells musty and moldy, dig around until you locate the source. It may be growing behind the walls, so consider bringing in a certified mold remediation contractor.

7. Set Out Silica Packs

When we’re asked about what absorbs moisture in closets, we recommend silica gel packs. They work very well controlling the damp that breeds mold in dark closets.

8. Leave the Light On

Mold needs moisture to live, but the warmth from a low wattage light bulb can help keep the closet dry. Install an energy-efficient light in the closet, and leave it on 24/7.

Power Tip: Make sure the bulb isn’t near clothing or anything else that could become a fire hazard.

9. Trade Wood for Wire

Replace wood shelves with wire shelving so that closet air can circulate freely. Lightweight wire shelves are also more mold-resistant than traditional wood shelving.

10. Upgrade to Louvered Doors

If you don’t have a humidity problem at the house, consider upgrading to louvered closet doors. They allow fresh air circulation that’s so important to discouraging mold growth.

Share Your Ideas

Mold can show up in the cleanest homes and sneak into the best-kept closets. You’re up against an invasive fungus that spreads quickly, but our tips can make a real difference. We’d like to hear about your best mold-prevention strategies too. Just post your ideas here through our Comments Section.

DIY mold cleanup in closets can turn into a big job, but you don’t have to tackle it by yourself. ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba provides industry certified mold removal and mold remediation to Chicago homeowners, and we serve the suburbs too. Just give us a call, and let us take care of the mold in your closets.