How to Keep Stored Clothing Smelling Fresh

Storing clothing during the off-season is a great way to free up valuable real estate in your closet. Unfortunately, storing clothing can cause it to smell musty or mildewy after storage. 

To keep your clothes smelling fresh with no hint of mothballs, try these clever tricks. 

Use Lavender Instead of Moth Balls

Lavender is a natural moth repellent, which means you can use it in place of mothballs to keep your clothes smelling good and moth-free in storage. Added bonus: lavender is also antifungal and antibacterial. 

Dryer Sheets

As you fold your clothes for storage, place a dryer sheet here and there between the layers to keep them smelling fresh all season long. 

Tried and True: Mothballs

Mothballs are a tried and true method for keeping stored clothing bug-free. Unfortunately, they leave behind a noticeable, not-so-pleasant odor. If you use mothballs, place them in old socks and hang them as high as possible in your closet. Their vapor is heavier than air, so it will float down to your clothing. 

Avoid placing mothballs directly on clothing, as inside bins or drawers, because even if they are inside socks, they can damage your clothing. 

A Bar of Soap

Place a bar of scented soap in the bin or drawer with your stored clothes. When you pull them out next season, they’ll smell just like your favorite scent. 

Add Cedar to Keep Pests Away in Storage

When you place your off-season clothes in storage, add a few cedar chips or cedar oil. Cedar is a natural moth and carpet beetle repellent, and it’s safe for pets, too. 

The nice thing about cedar chips is that you can reuse them. Once the scent has faded, simply rub the chips gently with some sandpaper to revive it. 

Got Chalk?

If your clothing smells musty when you take them out of storage, it’s likely there is too much moisture in the air. Fix this problem by hanging a bundle of chalk from the ceiling in your closet. The chalk will absorb moisture from the air, and all you have to do is replace it once it begins to feel damp. You can also add chalk to drawers or bins to keep moisture at bay there, too. 

Mothballs are a great way to keep stored clothing bug and moisture-free, but they aren’t the only solution. If you store your clothing during the off-season and prefer a better smelling but just as effective way to keep it in good condition when you’re not wearing it, try the tricks listed above.