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musty smell in built in wardrobe,

(13 Posts)
wfrances Sun 03-Jun-12 11:10:50

what can i do to combat a musty smelling wardrobe(built in closet type)
theres no sign of damp but if dh clothes in the for a while they smell musty.
we have same closet in another room and theres no problem with that.
the back wall is the gable end of the house and next to chimmney but we cant see any damp anywhere-dh thinks its because theres no air circulating but we cant put in a vent,
any advise/ideas ?

terrywoganstrousers Sun 03-Jun-12 11:18:38

I would do the following and see if it makes a difference-
Hang some lavender sachets up in there,
And also get a gel dehumidifier. You can get these from Poundland among other places so not expensive. They are basically plastic boxes filled with silica gel and they absorb any moisture/ condensation. We had a problem in the house we rent out as the tenants were not opening any windows and had heating on full blast, so condensation was forming on outside walls and causing mould buildup behind furniture. It was checked for damp and no sign, these boxes really worked. And were £1 for two in Poundland!

SkinnyVanillaLatte Sun 03-Jun-12 11:23:14

I get this (but sadly also damp too)

I always leave the wardrobe doors open when I'm out, to air.

PigletJohn Sun 03-Jun-12 17:31:47

It is very likely condensation on the cold external wall, especially if it is a nine-inch solid wall, much rarer if it is an insulated cavity. If the wardrobe has a back, you may not be able to see it.

If the back is just hardboard, rip it off and have a look.

To cure condensation, add ventilation (to remove the humidity). A couple of 35mm holes throgh the wall (one high, one low) would ventilate the wardrobe to the outside air. I can explain further how to do it.

To prevent condensation, reduce humidity by adding less water to the air. You are probably determined to carry on breathing in the bedroom, but do you hang wet washing around the house or over radiators? This is a terrible source of moisture, humidity, condensation and damp. Water vapour is lighter than air so will rise inside the house.

There are other options including adding heat to the cold wall, or sealing it behing an insulated moisture barrier, which will be more expensive.

PigletJohn Sun 03-Jun-12 17:33:37

p.s. a chimney gets internal damp and condensation unless it is ventilated top and bottom

likeatonneofbricks Sun 03-Jun-12 17:42:47

*determined to carry on breathing..*grin grin
PJ's advice priceless as usual! though most people do hang damp washing (after a spin) in the house, to avoid dust and rain, but good idea to open windows then.

likeatonneofbricks Sun 03-Jun-12 17:44:58

I found that sometimes musty smells are the result of too much perfume spraying on clothes and hanging them in wardrobes and not ventilating (by previous owners, so it all got old). maybe a fresh coat of paint on the inside wardrobes ? plus cedar wood or lavender stuff. And dehumidifier as advised already.

PigletJohn Sun 03-Jun-12 17:50:12

low-tech solution to domestic damp

high-tech solution to domestic damp

SkinnyVanillaLatte Sun 03-Jun-12 18:36:21

I use a mixture of things to control my condensation/musty smell problem.
As well as airing the wardrobe,I ensure that no washing at all is put on radiators to dry in the bedroom, ever (only in living room if no other option).

Even in the winter we sleep with the window open a crack,and ensure adequate heating.

I ensure nothing (clothes or otherwise) is against the exterior wall,and leave enough air circulation space.

And I have(and use when needed) a de-humidifier.

I find this works.It's a PITA,but better than having to throw a whole black sack of mildewed clothes away,which happened when I first moved in and wasn't aware of the problem.

Eventually I will either get rid of the doors or remove the whole caboodle and use free standing wardrobes.

A good measure if you have solid doors is to perhaps use louvre doors if you want or need to keep the built-in wardrobes.

Last but not least,I hear a bowl of cat litter or charcoal can be very effective at absorbing moisture.

Once measures have been taken,I'd gradually re-wash anything that isn't regularly worn to freshen them up.

Good luck!

wfrances Sun 03-Jun-12 19:02:17

thanks all ,
the window is always open 24/7
i did a bad job of describing closet ,its a door that opens into a long closet/wardrobe-the wall at the far end is the outer wall .we have cavity wall insulation.
no inside drying of clothes, and no signs of damp/condensation
just musty smell
i will repaint it, and add a crystal dehum, and put lavender bags in there.
i will also remember to leave it open to air
i just dont understand that the dc have an identical one and thats fine.

MousyMouse Mon 04-Jun-12 10:59:39

to add to previous posters' excellent points, make sure that clothes are completely dry before putting them away.
I would (and have done) do in this case:
- open doors during the day to allow ventilation
- declutter, so that air gets to the back wall
- leave a bit of a gap so that the clothes don't touch the back wall
- clean the shelves with vinegar/water solution (don't worry, the vinegar smell goes away when dry)

PigletJohn Mon 04-Jun-12 11:18:43

if it is upstairs, a possible source of damp could be a leak in the roof, maybe a missing tile or dripping pipe - could be worth a look.

If there is a gutter or downpipe on the outside of the wall, have a look on a rainy day to see if it is blocked or damaged, and running down the brickwork.

whacko231 Thu 19-Jan-17 12:08:27

I have black dampness in my wardrobe next to my outside wall I have a vent in the wall right next to it to try and get rid of it but that has not worked plz help as I am waisting all my clothes thanks

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