How to Keep Clothes from Smelling Musty in Drawers

Keeping clothes from smelling musty in drawers can be a routine demanding discipline, but it’s not impossible. Your drawers might start to smell strangely after a short time of neglect due to spills, chemicals transferred from clothes, bacteria, mildew, molds, fungus, and even insects and rodents.

One easy solution is to store your attire in small containers or bags instead of drawer-fulls. Everything will be more easily accessible and less likely to accumulate moisture and create an unpleasant odor.

Additionally, keeping your closet clean and dry will help prevent mold growth and the development of dampness. The following are more ideas you can implement to help keep apparels fresh and free from that pesky mildew smell:

How to Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh in Drawers

1. Emptying the drawers and washing them 

A cloth cabinet can be a place where things accumulate over time. Maybe there are socks at the bottom that you haven’t seen in years or a forgotten shirt has been crammed at the back for months. So, to avoid this, it’s important to empty the drawers and wash them every so often.

To start, take everything out of your wardrobe. It will give you a good view of what needs to be cleaned and what can be thrown away. If any items are damaged or no longer needed, get rid of them.

Once everything is out of the drawer, give it a good washing with soap and water. Make sure to scrub all the dirt and grime away. Dry it off completely before putting everything back inside. If you do this every other month, your drawers will stay clean and organized!

2. Clean the drawers with an essential oil 

There are many benefits to cleaning with essential oils. They smell great, but they also have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Lavender oil is a great choice for drawer cleaning, as it has a sweet, floral scent, and is known for its calming effects.

To clean your closet with lavender oil, mix some in a spray bottle, and spritz it on the top of each drawer. Let it sit for about five minutes, and then wipe it all away.

3. Dry and air your clothes properly 

Drying your clothes is one of the most important ways to maintain them in good condition for long. Not only will they last longer, but they will also smell fresher. There are a few key things you can do to make sure your outfits dry correctly:

  • Make sure you have enough space to hang them up. If you’re short on space, try using a drying rack or folding them as soon as they come out of the wash.
  • Avoid drying any garment or undergarment in direct sunlight, since this can cause them to fade and shrink.
  • Don’t overstuff the washing machine or dryer – overstuffing could damage the machine as well as your clothes.

4. Get rid of old or unused clothes 

Most people have several outfits in their closets that they never wear. These clothes might be outdated, too small, or simply not your style anymore. Rather than letting them take up valuable space in your closet (while contributing to hideouts for fleas and bedbugs), why not get rid of them? There are different ways to get rid of old clothes. You can donate them to a charity initiative, sell the apparel online, or give them to friends and family.

No matter which method you choose, getting rid of unused clothes is a great way to make room for new ones!

5. Lay scented drawer liner sheets 

There are other options when it comes to keeping your clothes smelling fresh in storage. You can use a scented drawer liner, a thin sheet that you can lay in your drawers to keep your clothes smelling good.

Another option is to use a scented cloth hanger, a hanger with a scent pad on it that you can hang your clothes on to make them smell good.

The last option is to use a scented sachet, a small bag that you can fill with fragrance, and place it in a corner of your closet or dresser.

Elodie Essentials Scented Drawer and Shelf Liners for maintaining a fresh odor in clothing closets, drawers, and dressers

6. Place fragrance beads in the drawers 

When your clothes start to smell a little too musty, it might be time to freshen them up with fragrance beads. You place these tiny beads in the drawers of your closet to keep your clothes smelling perfumed all the time. They come in various scents, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

You can also hang a scented sachet in your closet to help your clothing maintain a fresh odor. These small, portable bags are filled with fragrant essences that you can use to refresh your apparel when it starts getting musty or old.

Yankee Candle Sicilian Lemon Fragrance Spheres, Fruit Scent. One of the best solutions for keeping clothes smelling fresh in drawers

7. Place a scented bar of soap 

The sense of smell is often underrated. It can evoke memories and feelings that make a person happy or sad, calm, or excited. It’s the reason why scented bar soaps are so popular. They can provide a burst of fragrance that can brighten up any day. There are many different scented bar soaps available, from floral fragrances to citrus scents.

8. Place baking soda 

Baking soda is a versatile product that can serve many purposes. It can be used as a cleaner, a deodorizer, and even as a teeth whitener. Baking soda is also a natural abrasive, so it can be used to scrub away dirt and grime. Additionally, baking soda can neutralize acids, which is ideal for removing stains from different surfaces and fabrics.

9. Keep coffee grounds in your closet 

Do you like the aroma of fresh coffee in the morning? If you do, you may want to start keeping coffee grounds in your closet. Believe it or not, this is a great way to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Coffee grounds have a natural odor-absorbing property that will help to keep your clothes smelling great, even when they’re not in their best condition.

And after their aroma is gone, you can always use the coffee beans as compost for your garden.

10. Wash clothes with fragrant fabric softener

Do you love the smell of fresh laundry? If so, you’re lucky because adding a fragrant fabric softener like Downy Intense Scent + Freshness Laundry Liquid Fabric Softener to your wash can make your clothes end up with a delightful scent. The Downy special formula comprises various scents, including linen and cedar that leave your clothes with a long-lasting freshness. Plus, it conditions the garments to help reduce wrinkling, stretching, and/or fading.

Wondering how to keep clothes from smelling musty in drawers? You just need to wash the clothes with Downy Intense Scent + Freshness Laundry Liquid Fabric Softener and Conditioner.

11. Use vinegar when washing clothes or spray its solution on your drawers 

Vinegar is a great natural cleanser, and it can be used to clean clothes, furniture, and even your skin! Vinegar is also a great deodorizer. If you have smelly clothes or drawers, spray some vinegar solution on them, and the stench will disappear.

Vinegar is also great for cleaning your laundry. You can mix it with water to form a solution and then add bleach to the mixture to get a whiter, brighter-looking laundry. The vinegar will help bleach the clothes and keep them from smelling musty in drawers.

12. Organize clothes in your closet properly 


When your closet is cluttered, it can be hard to find what you’re looking for. You may also forget and abandon some of your favorite outfits because you can no longer find them. Follow these tips to help organize your clothes and create a clean and easy-to-use closet:

    1. Group your clothes by type: bras, pants, skirts, shirts, etc. It will help you see and choose what you have at a glance and thus make getting dressed in the morning easier.
    2. Hang clothes that need to be ironed on an ironing board or use fabric-covered hangers to avoid ironing them again.
    3. Use storage containers or shelves to organize folded clothes like sweaters and T-shirts, so they don’t take up too much space in your wardrobe.
    4. Don’t put your favorite outfits at the bottom of your closet where you can easily see them. You’ll always be reaching down to rewind them instead of digging up for something different every day.
    5. Don’t hang all your clothes on the hangers in your closet. You’ll use less space by folding them and putting them back in their original packaging.
    6. Use a different hanger for each article of clothing you have to hang.

How do you preserve fragrance on clothing? 

There are a few tricks to keeping fragrance on clothing. One is to use a fabric softener or dryer sheet in the dryer. Another is to add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. You can also buy scented laundry detergents or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the wash. If you have something really important that you want to keep smelling great, you can even spray it with perfume or cologne. All these tips will also help keep your clothes smelling fresh in the rainy season.

Wrapping Up

Maintaining your apparel in a fresh smell in the wardrobe involves simple DIY ideas and not complex scientific procedures. These include regular washing and drying of the drawers, airing the clothes, using scented air fresheners such as scented drawer liners, fragrance beads, baking soda, essential oils, and vinegar. Organizing your closet properly and getting rid of unused clothes will also save you from molds and dampness in your closet.

If you’ve been wondering how to keep clothes from smelling musty in drawers, you’re not short of a solution now.

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