Is your closet smelling musty? Maybe you've discovered mold growing on the walls, floors, shelves, or even your clothes. Mold is an unpleasant discovery, especially in the space where you store your clothes. Removing the visible mold growth and fixing the underlying problems that led to the mold growth helps to solve the issue.
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You can get rid of mold in your closet with bleach or vinegar. To keep mold from coming back, address the source of moisture in the closet, which could include leaks, high humidity, or wet clothes.
What Causes Mold in Closets?
Mold can grow anywhere with the right conditions, including your closet. Moisture is required for mold spores to grow, so mold growth in the closet means you have a source of moisture somewhere in that part of your home. Some causes of mold in closets include:
- Plumbing leaks.
- Ceiling leaks.
- High humidity.
- Wet clothes in the closet.
Identifying the source of the mold in your closet is important. You'll need to correct the issue going forward to keep the mold from coming back once you clean up the existing mold problem.
How to Get Rid of Mold
To clean the mold off closet surfaces, you can use vinegar or bleach but never combine the two or use them one after the other. The combination creates a very dangerous gas. Don't combine bleach with other cleaning products either, especially ammonia. Always ventilate the space well while cleaning up the mold.
Remove all clothes from the closet and inspect all surfaces to find all of the mold. Then, prepare your cleaning solution. If you're using vinegar, place it in a spray bottle. If you're using bleach, dilute 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Wipe down the surfaces where you see mold and scrub tough mold areas. If the mold doesn't come up immediately, apply more of the cleaner and let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing again. Wipe the area with a clean cloth and water and dry all surfaces well. Allow it to air dry longer before putting your clothes back in the closet.
Preventing Future Mold
Removing the existing mold is only a temporary solution if you still have a moisture issue in your closet. Finding and fixing the source of the moisture is essential for long-term closet mold removal.
Some potential fixes for long-term mold control include the following:
- Fix plumbing leaks: If hidden plumbing leaks in the walls are causing mold issues, hire a plumber to find and repair them immediately.
- Fix ceiling and roof leaks: For moisture that's coming from above, you might need to make repairs to your roof to stop the water from entering your closet.
- Run a dehumidifier: Tackle general high humidity in your home with a dehumidifier near your closet.
- Keep clothes dry: Never place wet clothes in your closet. Not only can the clothes mold but the moisture can also cause mold to grow on other surfaces.
- Store clothes properly: Avoid sealing clothes tightly in plastic, which can trap moisture and cause mold growth. Avoid piling clothes on the floor, where moisture can get trapped.
- Air it out: Open up your closet doors periodically to let fresh air in and moisture out of the space.
- Clean regularly: Pulling your clothes out of your closet and cleaning well lets you check for mold regularly.
- Absorb moisture: Place silica packets, baking soda, activated charcoal, and similar moisture-absorbing products in your closet to absorb excess moisture.