Mold can be an incredibly persistent and frustrating condition that can haunt any homeowner. It can be even harder to deal with when it starts spreading on your clothes, mainly because once it is spread to even one clothing item, it will inevitably spread into every single one.
If you don’t get rid of it swiftly and ultimately, the mold spores can spread more and more.
What are the Causes Of Mold?
The most prevalent causes of mold in a closet are moisture and lack of ventilation. Putting your clothes in your closet before they are fully dry can cause them to grow mold over time.
Furthermore, putting your clothes back in the closet after wearing them can have a similar effect as the clothing item has soaked up the moisture from your body.
If those aren’t the reasons, living in a high-humidity environment can be the culprit. Humidity can cause dampness, and mold thrives in damp environments.
Additionally, if your closet isn’t well-ventilated, in other words, there is no way for air to get in and out, that is a problem. Because when air can’t get in and out, humidity gets trapped, and mold can easily fester.
This is especially important if there is water damage in an adjacent wall or flooring to your closet, as all the moisture from that water damage gets funneled into your closet with no way to get out. This is aggravated by the lack of sunlight to kill the bacteria and prevent mold growth. If you are dealing with a similar situation, keep reading to find out how to prevent mold on clothes in the closet.
How to Prevent Mold on Clothes in Closet Effectively?
Clean your shelves regularly: Cleaning your shelves regularly is a must when dealing with mold in your clothes. Regular cleaning can help you catch the mold before it becomes widespread. And if you are dealing with mold, you will soon find out that preventing mold is a much better solution than trying to get rid of it.
Related Read: Different Types of Closets (Easily Explained)
Cleaning regularly can help you find the source of it too. If there is mold in one corner of the closet or on one piece of clothing, it is likely the spreader. Then you can investigate the reason. Is there leaking in that corner, or was that one piece of clothing damp before you put it in your closet? Finding the source will help find the reason.
Moreover, similar to humidity, bacteria can be the cause of mold. Therefore, ensure that your shelves are adequately cleaned and that there isn’t an opportunity for bacteria and mold to grow.
Ensure the dryness of the clothes: As mentioned before, humidity and dampness are the reasons your clothes could get moldy. Therefore, ensure your clothes are completely dry before putting them in your closet.
Even if you dry your clothes in the highest setting, sometimes dryers can’t dry the clothes completely. To combat this, thoroughly check every single clothing item for any dampness before folding and putting them in your closet. If you notice any damp clothing, drying them in a well-ventilated area until fully dry is a must.
Similar rules apply to clothes you put in the hamper. The clothes can sit and simmer in their moisture in the hamper, which can be the reason why mold is growing. If you aren’t going to wash them immediately, hang sweaty clothes in the fresh air until they are dry. Then put them in the hamper.
Invest in a dehumidifier: Even if you pay close attention to the rules above, they won’t be enough if you live in a humid environment. In that case, you should seriously consider investing in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifying the most infested areas can enormously help you in combatting this problem.
Moreover, the initial investment will pay for itself in the long run because you won’t have to throw out all your clothes after they have been irreversibly ruined by mold.
If that isn’t possible at the moment, there are still other options. You can open your windows to cause air to circulate, which will allow fresh air to enter the house. This can be beneficial in preventing the spread of excess moisture caused by the humidity trapped in the house.
Leaving your closet doors open is crucial during this step, as that area needs to be dehumidified the most.
Consider an air purifier: Mold can spread easily and quickly because it spreads spores. These spores then spread all over your house, cling onto other damp surfaces, and continue growing there. Moreover, breathing these spores can be extremely harmful to human and animal health.
An air purifier can catch these spores while they are spreading, thus preventing them from growing in other areas too. There are many different types of air purifiers; if you are interested in this option, make sure to get one that states that it can catch spores.
Try wire shelves rather than wooden: As wood is a natural material, it, too, can hold onto moisture. If you already have mold in your closet, chances are some mold has gotten into the wood shelves. Moreover, as it is a single solid piece of wood, it doesn’t allow airflow.
On the other hand, wire shelves, as they have holes, allow a lot of airflow. Moreover, it cannot hold moisture, so mold can’t grow on it. If you find yourself unable to get rid of the mold, it might be because it has seeped into the wood, which means it might be time to change it.
Check your house for leaks: You might be unaware of a leak in your home. This can cause water to accumulate inside the walls or on the closet floors. Water damage can cause damp patches, becoming the biggest breeding ground for mold before you even realize it.
If you’re dealing with mold, check your house for any potential leakage and check it frequently. If you find a leak, even a small one, deal with it immediately.
Pay attention to musty smells: If you ever catch a moldy or musty smell, don’t disregard it. Try and find where the smell is coming from instead. As mentioned before, catching mold before it has a chance to spread even further is crucial. So don’t just cover it with air freshener.
To ensure that the growth doesn’t spread even further, take out all of the clothes in that section and deep clean the area. If you find a mold already too widespread, you might need to take everything out and deep clean the whole closet.
Change to elevated doors: Having doors that go completely from the floor to the ceiling can prevent air circulation and trap moisture in the closet. Therefore, it is better to have a door with some elevation to allow air to enter and exit the closet.
In conclusion, there can be many different reasons why your closet is growing mold. However, there are also many ways to combat this problem to protect your clothes, your home, and, most importantly, your health. If you notice mold in your clothes or closet, we advise you to tend to it as soon as possible and take the issue seriously, as it may affect your health.
If you discover that your efforts weren’t successful in eradicating it, you should consult a professional to get rid of the mold.
- What causes mold on clothes in the closet?
The most likely causes of mold are trapped humidity and lack of air circulation. However, as these factors can have a lot of reasons, it might sometimes be hard to eliminate them.
For example, trapped humidity can be caused by leaks, preexisting water damage, a dryer that fails to dry the clothes fully, or just the environment. It is essential to properly diagnose the root cause so that you can effectively eliminate it, thus disallowing mold to grow.
- What kills mold on clothes?
White vinegar is an excellent option for cleaning clothes that have mold. Mix one cup of white vinegar into a bucket filled with water, then soak your clothes with mold on them.
Moreover, you can add vinegar to the washing machine to eliminate mold residues and unwanted odor, thus achieving mold-free clothes.
- Is mold in the closet dangerous?
Mold in the closet can be hazardous. Depending on the severity, mold can cause allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, general discomfort, and trouble sleeping.
If you are dealing with mold and have started to express one or more of these symptoms, we strongly suggest that you get in touch with a professional so that they can swiftly eliminate the mold.