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How to prevent mould in wardrobes

Nobody wants to find mould lurking amongst their clothes. To prevent damage to your clothes, find out how to stop mould in wardrobes here.

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutesBy Cleanipedia Team

Person wearing gloves wiping a wall
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There’s loads of advice for homeowners regarding mould prevention tips and cleaning suggestions, but much of this advice seems to focus on the type of mould that appears in bathrooms and kitchens. There are very few resources out there that look at mould in wardrobes, and many people don’t even realise that this is something they should be keeping an eye out for at home. Mould in wardrobes derives from two main factors: condensation and damp clothing. So how do you get rid of it? Here’s your guide to understanding more about this type of mould and getting rid of it for good.

Why should damp in wardrobe furniture not be ignored?

It’s better to try and follow our tips to prevent damp in your wardrobe in the first instance. However, if you do notice some damp in wardrobe furniture and other places in your home, it shouldn’t be ignored. Damp usually leads to mould, which can lead to, or irritate, health conditions such as chest tightness, coughing, or even asthma in the worst cases. Some age groups are more vulnerable than others, but it’s never worth taking the risk. Other people can even suffer from mould allergies, in which case their reaction could be more serious. With the rainy UK climate, it’s not a surprise that damp and mould might thrive in our wardrobes, but it’s definitely best kept in check.

Why does mould in a wardrobe need special attention?

When dealing with bathroom mould, bleach products such as Domestos, are the best removal methods. However, when it comes to wardrobes, bleach may not be appropriate for a particular material, or for a delicate wood or finish. Even when diluted, bleach is a very strong substance, and it could eat away at the protective gloss on your wardrobe, create damage to the wood, or cause discolouration. For wooden surfaces and vulnerable materials, it’s always best to use as gentle a cleaning solution as possible. This is why preventing mould in wardrobes takes a little extra care.

When treating mould in a wardrobe, always read the directions on the label and test any cleaning product in a small area first.

You will need:

  • Cloth
  • Towel
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Undiluted vinegar
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How to stop mould in a wardrobe

The first step in stopping mould is removing any mould that is already present in your wardrobe. An alternative to using bleach on wooden surfaces is to use white vinegar. Always test any product in a small area first before continuing.

  1. Use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution

    Treat with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. This will remove the very outer layer of the mould, removing any black residue. 

  2. Wipe the solution over the affected surfaces with a cloth

    Dip a cloth into the solution and wipe over the affected surfaces. It may now look as if the mould has completely gone, but there may still be spores remaining deeper down. 

  3. Treat with undiluted vinegar and leave to dry

    This should be treated with undiluted vinegar and left to dry. 

  4. Rinse the surfaces with cold water and then towel-dry

    The surfaces of your wardrobe can then be rinsed with cold water, and towel-dried. This should kill off all mould that’s already growing inside the wardrobe.

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Does mould in wardrobe grow on clothes?

Mould in a wardrobe can indeed grow on clothes. Mould requires a combination of moisture, darkness, and organic material to thrive, and clothing provides an ideal environment for mould growth. If clothes are stored in a damp or poorly ventilated wardrobe, especially if they are made of natural fibres like cotton or wool, they can become a breeding ground for mould. Mould spores can land on the clothes and grow, leading to discoloration, musty odours, and even deterioration of the fabric. To prevent mould growth on clothes, it is important to ensure proper ventilation, control humidity levels, and store clothing in a clean and dry condition.

Now, you’ll want to employ some simple prevention tactics:

  • Move your wardrobe out a few centimetres from the wall to prevent condensation from seeping into the cupboards.

  • Never hang damp clothing in your wardrobe. Always ensure that it is completely dry before putting it away.

  • Don’t overfill your wardrobe. If clothes are tight up against each other, mould can grow from the fibres of one item to another, encouraging the spread of spores.

Originally published