Closet stink is something that happens to all of us at some point.
I mean- just think off all the things you have crammed in that space….go ahead, I’ll wait.
A lot of it spends a lot of time outdoors getting dirty (ahem- shoes) and most jackets don’t get a washing very often (if ever!)
I mean, I have never “washed” a leather jacket…and my other jackets don’t get washed either…they just get hung back up. My jeans I wash after a few wears because I don’t like to over fuss with them and my nice dress clothes get dry cleaned after a big event, but if I happen to wear a nice dress out I won’t wash it after every wear because it’s too much of a hassle.
And bags!! Ugh- how many times do you put your bag on a public bench, a subway seat….the ground at a cafe you’re eating at? All the time right?? The bottom of your bag(s) are probably not doing too well in the clean department.
Then throw sneakers and all athletic shoes into the mix and your closet is just a space filled with way too much bacteria! And all of that causes stink…that stale, bleh smell that NO ONE wants!
I’ve struggled with how to keep this at bay without making it my full time job…and I have figured out a few tricks that really work for me. They aren’t cure all tips, and every now and then I have to do a good clean out of the closet, but they really help tremendously.
My biggest issue in our closet at home are shoes and jackets. Shoes being the primary offender. The major stink-creators.
Between my gym shoes and Ben’s gym shoes…it can get pretty icky.
Deoderize Those Shoes, Bags and Jackets
First, I try to bang out my shoes before I put them away, to loosen up any dirt stuck in the treads of the shoes (outside of course) and leave them by the front door to air out a bit before putting them away.
I blast the shoes maybe twice a week with this amazing bacteria-killing product that has been a lifesaver: Fresh Fogger. This stuff really works. I use it once or twice a week on all of our athletic shoes, boots and shoes we use daily. For my nice shoes, I leave them out of this spray down, unless I wear them and notice then need a little blast on the inside (I’ll do this to nice shoes maybe once every month or two). It has a strong fresh smell that dissipates.
I also make sure to dust my shoes about once a month- a lot of dust builds up on those shoes you don’t wear very often! So dust them, then do a light spray of Fresh Fogger once a month.
I also use Fresh Fogger on our jackets. I lightly spray the inside lining of the jackets with it once very few weeks (depending on how often we use those jackets!)- specifically in the underarm area and around the arm cuffs (these get a lot of outside wear and tear).
Deep Clean Your Gym Clothes
Another thing I rely on is sports wash for my athletic gear. I wash all of my gym clothes and socks with this sports wash to kill sweat-caused bacteria. Ever notice that an old workout top can start to smell weird even after being washed? That’s because what you’re using isn’t killing all the bacteria…and bacteria causes bad smells. From the very beginning of each athletic gear items life, I wash it with sports wash and continue to do so every time- this prolongs the life of the piece and keeps it smelling fresh. This wash is also very delicate on athletic fabrics, so it’s a win win.
For bags, I wipe down the bottoms of the ones I use a lot with a disinfecting wipe that is safe on leather. I do this maybe once a week or so….or basically whenever I remember!
Keep Clothes Smelling Exactly How You Like
The other thing I love to do is something I read in a magazine YEARSSSS ago but have done ever since. I spritz some cotton balls with my favorite perfume fragrance (the one I use on the daily) and put them on the shelves in my closet under my “normal people clothes”. The cotton lightly infuses the clothes with the scent, without being overpowering. So you’re clothes will always smell like your favorite fragrance, but in the most subtle perfect way. I change them out every few weeks, or when I notice the smell is going away. You don’t even have to use your own personal fragrance for this- you can try something citrus, fruity, or clean scented instead for a different fresh smell.
The last thing I do is put an essential oil diffuser in or near the closet room. I don’t have space in my closet for it (lol) and fear it would get knocked over….BUT I do put one on the dresser right outside the closet and the nice scent delicately wafts into the closet. I like to choose a scent that is similar to the cotton ball fragrance, so you don’t have opposing scents going on…hello headache! This is the one I currently use and I love how light and delicate it is. You can swap out the essential oils depending on you mood, which I love.
So those are my go-to tips for a fresh closet! Keeping your clothes and accessories clean, fresh and ready for use will ensure that they stay your favorite pieces for many years to come.
What are your tips for keeping all your things fresh??