Wardrobe Maintenance 101: What Causes Mildew In Closets?

When doing a general cleaning in our private space, we need to know what causes mildew in closets. No matter your method of organizing, you need to make sure that fungus is nowhere to be found. 

Closets are one of the potential breeding grounds of mildew. It has dark recesses, high levels of moisture and humidity, and is not well-ventilated.

what causes mildew in closets

So, whether you organize it by color, clothing, or other category, you must make sure that the space itself is clean. 


Causes Of Mildew In Closets

As a part of your pre-cleaning process, here is the information you need to know so you can skip the ever exhausting mold remediation phase. 


1. Excess moisture

Mildew lives off of water. As a homeowner, you need to spot any signs of excess moisture at home. 

An obvious source of this is leaky plumbing. Be sure to check any water spills behind adjacent walls as this can shift into an organic food source for mildew

Another possible source is any area with stagnant water. This should be easy as it will surely give a musty or earthy smell. 


2. Humidity

Mold can only grow if there is moisture present in some form. A recent storm or flood could also have caused a ceiling leak. 

Excess water is frequently the result of an interior water leak. In seasons of high humidity, closets can be conducive to mold growth.

Excess water vapor collects in the dark, secluded location of closets along external walls, posing the greatest risk. You can enhance air circulation by keeping the closet door open, and you can keep the humidity under check by using a good dehumidifier for closets


3. Attic mold

Mold arises from spores and can quickly propagate to new areas. If you can’t track down the cause of your closet mold, it could have come from somewhere else entirely, such as above the ceiling. 

Mold penetrates wall boards and ceiling tiles, settling in unexpected places like closets. Identify the specific location of the colony in your closet.

See if you can go to the other side to find the source of the mold.


4. Moldy fabrics

Your laundry, which is a popular breeding ground for mold, could be another source of moisture. Cotton feeds mold with “food,” and clothes’ absorbent nature enables them to maintain moisture. 

The spores can readily spread if moldy garments are hanging in your closet. As such, be sure to check every part of your clothing for mold and mildew. 


Prevent Mildew in Closets

Mildew needs moisture to thrive, but the heat provided by a low-wattage light bulb can assist in keeping the closet dry. Install and leave an energy-efficient light in the closet. 

Plastic bags should be discarded. Their polyethylene makeup traps moisture around fibers, allowing mold to thrive.

Maintain everything tidy and dry; mold feeds on dirt trapped in fabric fibers, so don’t put soiled items back in the closet. Move everything out every couple months, dust shelves, and vacuum. 

Allow for the circulation of fresh air. To enhance air movement, move items from the closet floor to shelves. 

To allow closet air to move freely, replace wood shelves with wire shelving. A well-ventilated area keeps the mold away. 

If left untreated, even the tiniest moist patches can turn into a full-blown mold outbreak. It’s all too tempting to push these issues to the side or convince yourself that you’ll take care of them later.

Damp spots must be dealt with as soon as feasible. Keep an eye out for leaks in your living rooms on a regular basis.

The accumulation of microorganisms is another aspect that contributes to mold formation. This isn’t to mean you should store your garments in filthy places; most bacteria are completely undetectable to the naked eye. 

Mold isn’t always characterized by loss of hygiene, and it’s possible that you’ll find mold even if you clean frequently. Closets, on the other hand, aren’t the easiest places to clean, and they’re frequently disregarded. 

You can drastically lessen the probability of mold formation by wiping down your closet space at least once a month. It only takes a few minutes and has a significant long-term impact.

It’s terrible enough when it grows in your kitchen or bathroom, but when it spreads in your closet, it’s a nightmare. For more information on its prevention, read through this guide on what causes mold in a closet

Mold spores can spread to your lovely garments and cause harm if you don’t know how to get rid of them. This 5-step guide on how to get rid of mildew smell in closet can help ease your worries. 

If you’re noticing an unpleasant odor on your clothes or in your closet, it’s a clear sign you may have a mold problem. Don’t ignore it or put air freshener on it. 

Try to locate the source of the strongest odor; you may discover mold growth has already begun. To fix this, either do a complete deep clean or contact mold remediation professionals to examine the situation. 



Whether you are merely knowing what causes mildew in closets or preparing to roll up your sleeves for a deep clean, always keep in mind that you must not put your health at stake for this! Keep the home clean but keep yourself away as well from health dangers.

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