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BO smell in closet

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've been getting this odor about half the time I've been opening my closet.  I've got a good nose, and have been sniff-testing all I can in there and can't find any particular offending item that needs washing (which would be the obvious cause).

 

Any advice about odor-reducing stuff I can do or put in there to help get rid of the smell that's especially good for a BO-type odor?  I guess I'm getting a bit worried that everything in there will end up stinking too.  (And will keep checking out the clothes I've got in there, trying to find it).

post #2 of 9

Is it a huge closet? If not, I'd suggest removing everything and air them  (check pockets!) and then wash inside the closet and dry thoroughly.

 

Doyou always air your shirts and things for a day after wearing them (if you don't want to wash them) before you put them back in the closet?

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by skreader View Post

Is it a huge closet? If not, I'd suggest removing everything and air them  (check pockets!) and then wash inside the closet and dry thoroughly.

 

Doyou always air your shirts and things for a day after wearing them (if you don't want to wash them) before you put them back in the closet?


This is good advice. I'd also add: don't ever leave a damp towel in the closet, or shoes if you can help it. I have a designated shoe closet (also holds random stuff that won't get smelly like the vacuum cleaner, bike gear, etc) that I spritz pretty frequently with lavender essential oil spray because it gets smelly fast.

 

It sounds like, unless there ends up being an obvious offending article of clothing, that the closet just needs a good airing out!

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Dang!  In the past year, it's actually likely been cleaned out (walls wiped with soapy water) once or twice during some household storage shuffling which is a lot for our place, but yeah -- I'll end up doing that unless I can be really sure about some other culprit.  It's rather large (only in comparison to our other closets, so not huge) and is not something easy for me to get to (of course eyesroll.gif with everything else that needs attention in the house).

 

And the odor just started - came out of nowhere in the past month.  Struck me as kinda weird, but we've had a few really hot days, must've done something. 

 

 

 

I usually don't even put things I've already worn back into the closet - they're hung elsewhere until I wash them.  But I hadn't thought of checking pockets or shoes (It's mostly dressy shoes and stuff like that in there - everyday shoes are elsewhere, but they could still be causing something.)

 

I'll check through some of the stored clothes again too (sweaters in bags & such).

Thanks for the ideas. 

post #5 of 9

Maybe hang all the clothes outside for a day, if you have a clothesline? My problem is my sheets always get a funky musty odor after they are in the closet for a while, no matter how much baking soda and/or vinegar I add to the wash. The smell isn't there when I put them away and the closet itself doesn't smell. 

post #6 of 9

Do you live in a humid place?

 

In Hong Kong, they sell a lot of dessicants that you can put in your closet or wardrobe that absorb the ambient moisture. Things like the image below. Maybe you can find something like that in PA.

 

desiccant-260.jpg

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

Maybe hang all the clothes outside for a day, if you have a clothesline? My problem is my sheets always get a funky musty odor after they are in the closet for a while, no matter how much baking soda and/or vinegar I add to the wash. The smell isn't there when I put them away and the closet itself doesn't smell. 

post #7 of 9

That's a good idea. Thanks! 

post #8 of 9

Do you cook with a lot of onion?  At our last house, our bedroom was close to the kitchen, so anytime we cooked with onion and left our bedroom door open, ALL of our clothes that we out in the open (hanging in the closet, on a hook or a shelf, etc) would smell like BO afterward.  It is the only thing I have found that causes our clothes to smell like that, and it is a HUGE pet peeve of mine now. 

 

Now, I'm OCD about making sure the bedroom door is closed if we cook with onion, and all jackets and such must be somewhere where the odor can't get to them either.  The only way I have found to get rid of the smell is to either wash EVERYTHING, and what can't be washed must be hung out in the sun for a whole day with a much air flow as possible to all part of the article. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I dunno whether it could be the onion - we cook a lot, and use onion, but it's upstairs and away from the kitchen (whoa, but directly above part of the kitchen. . . could be something to that I suppose.)  The door is always closed to keep the cats out, and keep the room cool for us.

 

I think it's something related to humidity & extreme temperatures (the rest of the room has an A/C and the closet seems to retain heat.  I've tried to leave it cracked open, which helps.  Plus when it cools down the smell either isn't there, or just isn't very strong at all (got down to high 70's, and I didn't notice it then).  I also removed a few things that seemed like they might be contributing (clothing item in plastic bag, some other random stuff) and it seemed to help.  

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