Dampness and Mildew in a Closet

I have found mildew on shoes and a leather jacket in 2 of my closets. Many of our coats smell of mildew, too. These closets both are on the wall running through a bedroom and a bathroom. It was an outside wall, but is now inside an unheated garage. Our house is very humid as well.


I hesitate to use a dehumidifier as they use too much electricity. Any suggestions to get rid of the mildew and humidity? Help please.

By EIW from Lancaster, PA


Dampness and Mildew in a Closet

I would start by making sure you have no leaky pipes or roof anywhere. If so, fix them. Then I would get a dehumidifier. While it is running, leave the closet doors open. You may also need to install a exhaust fan in your bathrooms and kitchen as well.

You may also need to install a vapor barrier in your outside walls and floor. (10/27/2009)

By mom-from-missouri

Dampness and Mildew in a Closet

Mom has the right idea. However, if you do not have that kind of money, for now, go to an RV shop or storage unit office. They might sell it elsewhere, but I have not seen it anywhere, but these two places. They have something called "DryZair" and it's a crystal type substance that you can put in a hanger designed for a rod, or just in a bowl.


When the bowl if wet with no more crystals in it, you have dryer closets and storage units. You have to keep replacing it, but it's cheap.

I would also clean all the shoes and clothes, and hang the clothes in see through protective zipper hangers and put your shoes in see through boxes, both of which can be purchased through the dollar stores. Good luck. (10/29/2009)

By Sandi/Poor But Proud

Dampness and Mildew in a Closet

We had this problem, but I found a simple idea you should try. I watched a home repair show that explained that the steam from a shower can travel through the house and will condense in the coldest part of the house, even if the cold part is on the other side of the house.

I replaced the switch on our bathroom fan with a timer switch. Now whenever someone takes a shower, they are under strict instructions to set the timer for at least 20 minutes. This has greatly reduced the overall humidity in the house.


In our case, the coldest part of the house was the back closet. No steam going through the house equals no dampness for the mildew to grow in. The closet no longer feels damp or smells.

The timer switch was $20 and I was able to install it myself. You should either be able to do it yourself or find someone who can be bribed with cookies. (11/05/2009)

By Christine J. B.

Dampness and Mildew in a Closet

Saving those silica packets that come with nearly everything are great to throw back for things like this. Since they do control moisture I always save them for such things, as far as shoes, etc. I place the packet in the box that I will store them in and for the pocketbooks and bags I simply tuck it in the zippered compartment out of site.

Carla (11/08/2009)

By carla

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