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7 Ways to Fight Moths and Musty Smells in Stored Clothes

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Jessica
09.12.12

In with sweaters and out with swimsuits! Whether you’re ready for it or not, cold weather is just a hop, skip and a month or two away. If you’re like us, you’re making room for sweaters, coats and other cold-weather gear in your closet, but out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind with your summer clothes!

When you're storing your summer clothes, try a few of these easy tricks to keep your threads moth- and must-free in their off-season:

1. Lavender

Keep moths at bay by adding a small, breathable cotton or linen bag of dried lavender to your storage containers. Not only is lavender a natural moth repellant, it’s also antibacterial and antifungal.

2. Dryer Sheets

When you fold your clothes, leave a couple of dryer sheets tucked in-between layers to keep them smelling fresh. For more ways to use dryer sheets around the home, read: 7 Unique Uses for Dryer Sheets.

3. Mothballs 

Your grandmother had it right! Mothballs are a tried and true way to keep moths and must from damaging your off-season clothes. Place them in an old sock so that they don’t touch your garments, and hang them as high as possible in your closet —the vapors are heavier than air so they’ll float downwards and protect your clothes. Note: Avoid putting mothballs in drawers or bins (even if they’re wrapped in socks) because they might damage your clothing.

4. Scented Soap 

Place a bar of perfumed soap with your clothes to keep them from smelling musty. When you pull them out from storage next season, they’ll be full of your favorite fragrance.

5. Cedar

Cedar naturally repels moths and carpet beetles and absorbs abrasive odors. Plus, it’s safe for pets! Use cedar blocks or cedar oil to keep pests away from your wardrobe. Tip: You can reuse cedar! When the scent of cedar fades, rub it with sandpaper to bring it back to life.

6. Chalk  

Reduce dampness in your closet by tying a string around a bundle of chalk and attaching it to your ceiling or hanging rack. The chalk will absorb excess moisture from the air that can lead to mustiness. Replace the chalk when it feels damp. Tip: You can also add chalk to a bin or drawer to keep its contents dry!

7. Baking Soda 

Baking soda is not only a great non-toxic, multipurpose cleaner, but it also absorbs odors from mold or mildew. Place a box of it on the floor of your closet or in your drawers to fight even the fiercest funks.

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