How To Make Your Closet Smell Amazing With 10 Different Ways

How obnoxious it is when you open your closet or your sliding wardrobe doors to get a freshly washed shirt, and while you expect to smell your favourite fabric softener or any other cleaning product, there’s a musty smell, instead? And that’s not enough! Most of the time, even if you have just placed your washed clothes in the closet, the next day they have a terrible odour.

Why is that happening? Have you ever questioned yourself?

Some clothes hanging in a closet

The reasons why your closet has that foul odour, are plenty. Some of them can be serious enough to affect and create problems for the rest of your house as well. So, is there anything out of that list that you do?

  1. Keeping your stinky shoes or storing your vacuum cleaner in the closet
  2. Storing slightly damp clothes and linens 
  3. Not having aired your blankets enough 
  4. Having leaky pipes that drain in a wall next to your closet 
  5. Having insects that love to live in the dark and damp environment of a closet. They leave droppings that affect the smell of the wardrobe
  6. And the simplest reason, not properly airing your linen closet

Restoring any leaking problems of the washing machine, washing your clothes regularly, drying them very well before placing them in the closet and air ventilate the cabinet often, are some of the things you should start with to make your closet smell amazingly good. But there are other simple and easy ways to do so as well. And we are here to help you find the one that best fits your needs!

1. DIY Air freshener

An air purifier and freshener is one of the simplest ways to follow if you want to give your closet a pleasant smell. Go to the nearest store and buy a spray-type one. Spraying directly into your closet every couple of days should do the job. Or… you can make your own DIY with ingredients you’ve already have and choose the natural way.

Here you can see the supplies that you’re going to need:

  • A spray bottle
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 10-12 drops of essential oil

Now all you need to do is follow these two simple steps:

  1. Mix the vinegar and water in the bottle. Add 10-12 drops of your favourite essential oil.
  2. Shake the bottle very well and kiss bad smells goodbye.

Your DIY natural air freshener is ready. Spray into your closet or even your drawers every couple of days to maintain freshness. You could also spray it with your homemade perfume that perfectly highlights your personality. You won’t believe how fast that closet smell would disappear.

And while we’re talking about air fresheners, we’ve got one more idea that you’ll really love. Check it out! Do you have a car air freshener that doesn’t smell nice anymore? Then please, don’t throw it away! You can reuse it! It might have lost its scent in your car, but if you place it in a small, not ventilated place like your closet, it might have some extra smell to give. Thus, toss it at a self or hang it and let it work!

Ground coffee and beans on wooden background

2. Coffee grounds

It’s well known that coffee grounds can absorb bad smells. And deodorizing a space in a natural way, can’t get any safer for your clothes. And let’s be real! Could you ever imagine that you could make your own closet’s natural deodorizer just by using some coffee? Well, stop imagining it! It’ll absorb any musty odour and will deodorize your closet with its fine aroma!

You’ll need:

Once you get all of them, follow these simple steps:

  1. Poke some small holes on the container’s lid with the screwdriver.
  2. Fill it with the grounds.
  3. Place it in the closet. 

3. Baking soda

1st Option using baking soda:

You know we use baking soda for cleaning, that’s for sure. But did you know that it can also be used to absorb both unpleasant odours and moisture? Let’s see what you need to make an odour absorber: 

  • A breathable container/a bowl/a flowerpot
  • 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda

Easy right? And then…

  1. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the soda to the container.
  2. Place it inside the closet.
  3. Remove the bowl after 24 hours.

2nd Option Using Baking Soda:

The second way requires more tools and ingredients, but it’s still simple.

You’re going to need: 


  1. Start by removing everything from the closet, including hangers and shelves.
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of soda on the closet’s floor.
  3. Let it sit for an hour and then vacuum.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the mixture. Fill the sprayer with equal parts of warm water and vinegar. Shake the bottle very well before use.
  5. After finishing vacuuming, spray all the inside surfaces of the closet and wipe with a soft cloth. 

Now you can put everything back. If you like, place the bowl of the soda in there as well. It’s up to you!

A bottle of white vinegar next to some baking soda

4. White vinegar

Vinegar is a well-known multi-used ingredient, used for cleaning purposes and disinfection. From now on, you can use it to remove all the foul odour since a tiny amount is enough. Let’s find out how to create this natural deodorizer. You’re going to need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

Then follow these steps:

  1. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water in the bottle.
  2. Spritz your clothes.

Note: Spray first a small amount of the mixture on an inconspicuous part of your cloth to check if there isn’t any colour change. Think about what bleach does to colour. If not, then turn your clothes inside out and spray on them. 

Extra tip: When you wash your clothes in the washing machine, you can add a tablespoon of distilled vinegar to your fabric softener to eliminate any foul odour.

a couple of different jars with essential oils

5. Essential oils

Essential oils come from plants, herbs and other natural sources. They have the ability to make us feel better and to maintain a fresh smell in both a room and fabric. There are also some oils with repelling properties like lavender or geranium. So, how can you make an essential oil closet freshener?

You’re going to need:

  • Some cotton balls or tissue papers
  • Your favourite essential oil

And once you get them:

  1. Soak some cotton balls or tissue paper in the oil.
  2. Place them in a corner inside your closet.
  3. Refresh the soaked balls every month

There are a couple of extra tips we’d like to share with you.

  1. Add some drops of the essential oil to the dryer before the last cycle.
  2. Put the soaked cotton balls on sachets and hang them in the closet or put them in your dresser drawers to get rid of every bad odour
Soap bars in a closet

6. Bar soaps

Another easy way to make your own odour eliminator is to use soaps.

You need: 

  • A strongly-scented bar soap
  • A grater
  • Sachets

Simple steps to follow:

  1. Grate the soap bar with the grater and fill the sachets. 
  2. Hang them in the closet or place them on the shelves or in the drawers. 

Extra tip: Use a thin fabric, like organza, to make the sachets. This kind of material will let the soap aroma pass through, and you’ll be sure that your garments won’t come in contact with the soap.

7. Dryer sheets

Do you use dryer sheets? Don’t throw them away! Like a used air freshener, a used dryer sheet can still have enough fragrance, to help remove any bad smell from your closet and drawers. The process is easy. Toss some dryer sheets all over your closet or drawers. Or put some sheets in the pockets of your clothes.

Potpourri mix of dried, naturally plants providing a gentle natural scent

8. DIY potpourri

This is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant flowers, herbs and spices. We use to keep it in jars or decorative bowls to provide a room with a lovely natural scent. You’ll find a potpourri in perfume shops so no need for time-consuming shopping. However, it’s very easy and simple to make your own. So, why don’t you give it a try?

You’ll need:

  • Different scented dried herbs like lavender, lemongrass, rosemary or spearmint, which also have insect-repellent properties
  • Sachets or cotton pouch

Once you have them:

  1. Put a small amount in sachets or a cotton pouch.
  2. Then, hang them on the holder in the closet, or you can hide them in the pockets of your clothes.

You can also find more ideas on how to create your own homemade potpourri in our detailed guide.

9. Vodka

You may drink a glass of vodka in the evenings to relax; you may use it for cooking too. So, now it’s time to use it to protect your clothes from mildew. How are you going to achieve it? Let’s see!

You need:

  • A sprayer
  • Vodka
  • Water

Super easy… and then:

  1. Fill the bottle with equal parts of vodka and water.
  2. Spray every surface and make your closet smell good.

Note: Spritz a little on a small area to check the solution first.

10. Scented wooden hangers

Another easy and simple method to make your closet and your clothes smell good is to use scented wooden clothe holders. Use different scented ones to make a potpourri.  Get some cedar and lavender ones to absorb moisture and repel insects

Block of natural carbon soap and a pile of coal on black wood table background

11. Activated charcoal 

Activated charcoal is another easy-to-apply method, especially if you have dampness problems. Get some activated charcoal blocks and place them in your closet. They’ll absorb any bad odours from it.

Every now and then, they need to be refreshed. However, the good news is that you don’t have to get new ones as they’re reusable. Just place the used block out in the sunlight for a few hours to free out the absorbed odours and put it back in your closet. You can use the same blocks for about 2 years. How cool is that?

The above deodorising methods can help eliminate the bad odours in a closet once and for all.

How to prevent bad odours in your closet

To do so:

  1. Make sure you ventilate your closet regularly to protect your clothes, shoes and anything else you keep in your closet from mildew and mould issues.
  2. Don’t forget to dry your clothes very well before you store them in your closet.
  3. Air out the worn clothes before you put them back in the closet.

And don’t forget that apart from all those natural methods we shared, a dehumidifier can also help with the whole process if it is placed next to the storage space that’s suffering.

So what are you waiting for? Try them and choose the best for your needs!

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