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smelly closets Sign In/Join 
posted
I am living in a rental house and everything in the closets smell. I try to keep air fresheners in them but things still smell. Is there anything that I can do about this? I am tired of my clothes smelling and having to run them through the dryer with a dyer sheet before wearing.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: gastonia nc | Registered: Feb 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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Is the odor mildew? Or something else, like dead mice?
Since you say "closets", plural...I am guessing dampness/mildew. If you need to run your heat or air conditioning, this might help a little, do dry the air out. Dehumidifier?

Leave the closets open and do not over pack things in tightly to help keep air circulating. Leaving the closet doors open and a light on in them, may also help.

There are also packets/buckets of moisture absorbing minerals to place in these areas(Damp Rid, I believe is one) might help?
 
Posts: 9428 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Grapefruit
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Is there mold or mildew in the closet? Is there carpet on the floor? Have you washed the walls, woodwork, floors, doors with some cleaning supplies?

I think you need to remove the source of the smell for a permanent solution. Have you enlisted the help of the landlord?
 
Posts: 3030 | Location: central PA | Registered: Jan 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I hate to leave closet doors open. But if you have musty smelling clothes, you may need to. Does the house have central heat/air? That would help pull the moisture out of the air. If not, you might also invest in a dehumidifier in those rooms too.
 
Posts: 16461 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Actually the smell is not a mold or mildew smell, it is more of a dirty smell. Not real sure how to explain it. Even the bathroom closets smell the same way. There is no air vents in any of the closets because the house is an old house. Landlord barely does anything and I feel sure that she will not be any help with this. I am thinking that I need to repaint the closets with some kilz and see if that will help.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: gastonia nc | Registered: Feb 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Repainting and sealing the inside closet walls and ceilings could certainly not hurt.

As Grapefruit mentioned, if there is old carpet in them can it be removed? If it is any type of flooring, cleaning it really well with a strong cleaner should also help.
 
Posts: 9428 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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Was the smell there when you moved in or is this a brand new smell? I certainly would try to find the source of the smell and where it's coming from in the closet. Is there water coming into the closet area anywhere that you are not aware of that could be causing mold? I don't know if this is a brand new smell or not. If it's a new smell, turn the closet upside down (take out everything in closet first) and examine everything closely. I couldn't imagine having a smelly closet and having to put clothes in the dryer with those dryer sheets. Get to the source of the problem. It's only a small closet I am imagining so it should not be impossible to find the problem. Good luck!
 
Posts: 2230 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Waverider, It is a rental, and OP stated that the odor was in "closets" plural. No doubt there is more than likely a correctable cause for the odor, but whether a landlord is willing to tear out drywall, re-insulate, fix any crawl space issues, etc. is unknown. (and in rentals, may often be unlikely)Frown
 
Posts: 9428 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is not mildew smell? Just dirty smell? Have you washed the walls, ceiling, floor? Then I would just leave the doors ajar to allow for air circulation.

I suspect the use of air freshener and dryer sheets are adding to your problem. Try just using fresh air.
 
Posts: 6720 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The carpet in the house was new when we moved in so I feel sure that it is not the carpet and if that were the problem that would not explain the bathroom closets that have no carpet. I am thinking that it is something that previous tents had in the closets on the shelves which are wooden. My hanging clothes do not smell just anything that is put on the shelves in any of the closets. I am going to try painting the shelves in one of the closets to see if that will help.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: gastonia nc | Registered: Feb 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You might have a couple of friends try to identify the actual odor and what it resembles?

As an example? A friend once stored bottles of vitamins in a closet. The ones with either Iron or B vitamins, really stunk the closet up and everything in it. The odor continued until she painted every surface in there with Kilz. It really saturated into the wood and walls.
 
Posts: 9428 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of luvtoflip
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Well, I was going to ask if you keep your shoes on the shelves in the closets, but I'm thinking that there wouldn't be any shoes in the bathroom closet...so that probably isn't the problem.

I've had to use lysol and/or baking soda in some of DH's shoes before to keep lingering odor down.

Agree that painting the shelves with Kilz might just help the situation.


"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
 
Posts: 2867 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: Oct 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Could be a dead rodent in the framing behind the drywall.


I once had a closing on a house and on that day we did the walk through and the house smelled to high hea*ven. No way was I going to let my buyer close, and we immediately called the inspector.

Somehow after our cleared inspection, a cat had
gotten into the attic. The cat was removed the attic, area fumigated and we pressed onto closing.

There were clever builders back in the mid century ...building with slat closet doors. They still build with these doors in the Islands. Just plain common sense. I have them in my house. Clothes and shoes cannot breathe in closed areas.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9179 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, real estate lady, if someone put Decon in the house to kill mice, often the nestlings will be the little stinkers, if not the adults who died in the walls or attic. If there were quite a few mice, then the odor may affect the entire structure. It can be bad for some time, and since it is now fall, more new ones may be looking for winter housing.

Most people who have smelled the dead mouse smell before, can sniff it out and tell you if that is the odor you are experiencing.
 
Posts: 9428 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If it's a rental, then I would M O V E ! (Seriously)
 
Posts: 2230 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would try LOTS of baking soda sprinkled on the floor. Leave it for a couple of days & then vac it up.
That has worked in some old houses I've lived in.
But...if it is just the old house smell...it likely has penetrated the wood in the closets and like you said, painting with kilz and then paint will be about the only thing that will cure it.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4304 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've noticed that thrift stores that handle a lot of clothing have a very stale odor. I think the smell is coming from clothing that hasn't been worn in a while and has a very musty smell. Maybe it's something like this?
 
Posts: 62 | Registered: Dec 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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I would look around for another place to live. If you are renting, then you're free to move when your lease is up (if you have one).
I think life is too short/precious to live in someone else's stinky house....
Find some place that makes you happy with no mystery smells.
 
Posts: 2230 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You could try the Damp Rid with Charcoal. It has helped a closet I have. It removes the moisture and the charcoal helps with the odor.
 
Posts: 301 | Registered: Jun 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Froo Froo
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Lots of sound advice offered, but here's a few links that may help ID the cause and offers solutions too.

http://www.howtocleanstuff.net...dorize-your-closets/

http://tipsfromtia.com/2013/06...-of-the-problem.aspx

http://www.mamapedia.com/artic...can-get-the-odor-out

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-ri...t-5746602.html?cat=6


http://voices.yahoo.com/refres...-baking-2954069.html

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
 
Posts: 18382 | Location: Right here, duh! ;) | Registered: Nov 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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