How to Clean & Care for Cedar Closets

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Things You'll Need

  • Dust mask

  • Fine-grit sandpaper

  • Electric sander (optional)

  • Clean cloths

  • Vacuum

  • Cedar oil


Dust the cedar wood in your closet just as you would dust your wood furniture in order to keep it clean.

Apply cedar oil to the surface of your closet once or twice a year to keep the wood moist and refresh the cedar aroma.


Even though cedar is non-toxic, the dust can cause temporary breathing problems or skin irritations. Always wear a dust mask and protective clothing.

A cedar closet protects clothing from insects that feed on or nest in fabric.

A cedar closet naturally protects your clothing and textiles from insects while adding a pleasant aroma to the air. If you have an older cedar closet, the fresh, woody aroma may have become less noticeable. While the cedar will continue to repel insects, such as fabric-eating moths, proper cleaning and care of your cedar closet with keep it looking and smelling fresh.


Step 1

Remove all clothing, shoes and accessories from the cedar closet so the closet is completely empty.

Step 2

Wear a dust mask to avoid breathing in any cedar dust. Wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants to keep the cedar dust from irritating your skin.

Step 3

Sand the surface of the cedar closet with fine-grit sandpaper. This can be done by hand, but the job goes much more quickly with an electric sander. Rub the entire surface, including the ceiling if it's made of cedar, in order to freshen the cedar wood scent while removing surface dirt, stains or grime.


Step 4

Wipe the entire surface of the cedar closet, starting at the top and working your way down toward the floor, using a dry cloth. Shake out the cleaning cloth frequently or change to a new cloth as you pick up more cedar dust. Continue to do so until you've removed all cedar dust from the closet surface.

Step 5

Remove cedar dust particles to prevent possible skin irritations or breathing problems.

Vacuum the cedar closet, making sure to vacuum any shelves off to remove remaining dust. Remove cedar dust particles from the closet floor, as well.


Step 6

Pour a quarter-size amount of cedar oil onto a clean, soft cloth. Rub the oil into the surface of the cedar wood, adding more oil as needed. Buff the cedar with a clean, dry cloth so there's no excessive oil that might transfer to clothing.

Step 7

Allow the cedar closet to sit empty for 24 hours so the cedar oil can soak into the wood.



Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.