Mold spores thrive when it finds the right conditions to breed. When the closet provides an ideal environment for the mold spores like excess moisture and food source, they can multiply inside it.
Mold spores can travel from the closest to your garments. Wearing a cloth exposed to mold spores can cause serious health hazards like allergies and respiratory issues. Inhaling the mold spores can also trigger asthma and lung cancer. Therefore, it is recommended to eradicate the existence of mold in the closet before it wreaks havoc in your family.
Causes of Mold Build-Up in the Closet
When your closet is exposed to excess humidity, it can show symptoms of mold growth. Some of the main causes of mold growth in the closet include:
- Excess humidity: As the closest doors always close, moisture builds up inside. The excess moisture is the perfect source for mold spores to grow.
- Putting wet clothes inside the closet: Placing wet clothes in any area for a long duration can trigger mold build-up. When you put wet clothes inside your closet, the mold spores find a perfect source to grow.
- Attic mold: Mold build-up in the attic can also transfer to the closet. It is important to keep the attic free from the mold for this issue.
- Mold on clothes: when you keep clothes exposed to mold spores inside the closet. Then, it can also trigger mold growth inside your closet.
- Dirty clothes: The sweat and dirt are the perfect food source for mold. When you put your dirty clothes inside your closet for a long time, it can create mold.
Signs of Mold Infestation in the Closet
Many people are unaware of the mold and mildew build-up in the closet until they are exposed to serious side effects. It is important to realize the subtle signs of mold growth in the closets. Here are the main signs:
- There is a musty, earthy smell coming out from the wardrobe.
- The closet’s white, black, green, and brown spots are soft and fluffy to touch.
- There are sudden allergic reactions when putting on clothes or opening the closet door, including a runny nose, coughing, and red eyes.
- The humidity level has increased inside the closet.
How To Get Rid of Mold in Closet
Hopefully, there are many effective ways to eradicate mold inside the closet. Here are some of the useful methods to do it.
Preparing the Closet Before Starting the Cleaning Process
It is important to gear yourself with a protective mask, gloves, and goggles to prevent inhaling the mold spores. After gearing up, prepare the closet for further cleaning.
- Ventilate the room by opening the windows.
- Take out all the clothes inside the wardrobe and put them in the laundry basket. It would be best if you treated the clothes later as they are also exposed to mold spores.
- Place a plastic sheet on the surface and furniture so the mold spores would not transfer.
Vinegar is a non-toxic cleaning agent. It is a safe and environmentally friendly cleaning agent you can use on porous and non-porous surfaces. You can dilute the white distilled vinegar with water and create an effective cleaning agent.
- Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray it on the mold-affected surfaces.
- Leave the vinegar to dry.
- Scrub the mold with a soft bristle brush.
- Wipe it with a clean cloth.
Using Baking Soda and Vinegar Paste
Vinegar and baking soda are the perfect combinations to eradicate the mold. The acetic acid content can kill mold, and the beautiful fragrance of baking soda will abolish the musty mold smell.
- Make a paste by combining vinegar, baking soda, and water.
- Apply the paste to the affected area.
- Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Wipe it clean using a clean cloth.
You can also put 2-3 tablespoons of baking powder in a bowl or a breathable container and put it in the closet. It helps make the closet aromatic and acts as a moisture absorber.
Apply Bleach To Wipe Off Mold
Bleach is an effective cleaning agent to wipe out mold from closet surfaces. But, it does not kill the mold that penetrates the closet. It means there is a high chance of mold growing back. You can apply this method if the mold is not penetrated too deeply into the closet.
Also, chlorine bleach produces toxic fumes that are dangerous to inhale. It is suggested to wear a protective mask, goggles, and hard gloves before applying bleach to the mold.
- Mix 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
- Spray it into the affected surfaces.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Scrub it with a soft bristle brush.
- Wipe the residue with a clean cloth.
- Let it air dry completely before putting back the clothes.
Spray Commercial Anti-Mold Spray
You can clean the closet with commercial mold spray. Read the manufacturer’s label before buying the spray. Make sure it is usable for your closet or not.
- Spray the product on the affected area.
- Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub the mold.
- Wipe it with a clean rag.
Wash the Mold-Exposed Clothes With Vinegar
Finally, clean and disinfect the clothes in the closet. The shoes and clothes exposed to the mold can transfer mold spores to another housing area. Therefore, it is recommended to sanitize and wash the clothes in the washing machine in a hot setting. Or you can soak it in hot water with mild detergent. You can pour half a cup of vinegar into the washing machine to eliminate mold spores attached to the garments.
Another natural way to wash the mold from clothes is to apply a mixture of 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil and a cup of warm water to the affected area. The anti-fungal property of tea tree oil helps kill the mold and its spores. Additionally, it leaves a beautiful aroma on your clothes.
Preventing Mold Inside the Closet
Even after eliminating mold, there are high chances of mold growth in the closet. The mold spores remain dormant even after cleaning the mold out of your closet. The tiny microscopic spores can germinate when they find a perfect breed. However, you can prevent it from growing inside your wardrobe. Here are effective ways to do it.
Control the Humidity Inside the Wardrobe
You can prevent mold growth by controlling the humidity inside the closet. Moisture is the main reason for mold to grow. To avoid the humidity, you can open the closet door for at least 30 minutes daily. Doing this can circulate fresh air inside the wardrobe and let the moist air head outside.
Proper ventilation inside the room by investing in air conditioning with a HEPA filter and exhaust fan also helps to control the humidity inside the house. You can also install dehumidifiers in areas with high humidity, like the bathroom and kitchen. It is best to keep the humidity level at 50%, not higher than that.
Clean Your Closet at Least Once a Month
Closets are the most overlooked area when it comes to cleaning. Ignoring the dirty closet for a long duration can create mold build-up inside the closet. Therefore, it is advised to dust and vacuum the closet at least once or twice a month. You can remove all the wardrobe clothing and shoes and let the air flow inside them for several hours.
Put Silica Gels in the Closet
Silica gel packets are best known for absorbing moisture in food packaging and leather to avoid mold build-up. You can utilize silica packs and put them in the closet to control the moisture. Plus, it is safe to use. But, please keep it away from the reach of children as it can be a choking hazard.
You can also place activated charcoal inside the closet. Add charcoal to a breathable container and place it inside the closet. Doing this can help your closet remain mold-free. Not only absorbs moisture, but it also draws out the foul odor in the closet.
Invest in an Air Purifier With HEPA Filters
HEPA filters are well known to capture the smallest entities like allergens, dust, and mold spores. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can absorb things as small as 0.3 microns. Investing in quality air purifiers can make your closet and your whole house free from mold.
Avoid Putting Dirty and Wet Clothes Inside the Closet
Placing damp and dirty clothes inside the closets provides the perfect environment for mold spores. It can affect not only clothes but the closet as well. Therefore, washing your dirty clothes and drying them fully before placing them inside the closet is recommended.
Inspect Ceiling and Pipes Leakage
Ceiling, floor, and pipe leaks can lead to mold everywhere in your house, including the closet. It is smart to inspect the leaks and repair them immediately. Leaks can damage the whole foundation of the house. Call a specialist to fix the leakage.