Smelly closet
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Thread: Smelly closet

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    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
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    Default Smelly closet

    Since we live in the south our house is designed to have interior spaces without windows. In case of a tornado it is important to escape into an interior space. One bathroom and one walk in closet serves this purpose.

    The problem is the walk-in closet smells. I think it is the shoes. The smell transmits to the bedroom if we don't close the door, which we often don't.

    If you have a smelly space, what do you do? I sprayed Febreeze but I'm not sure that is the complete answer.

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    You say you "think" it is shoes but I would think you would want to be positive. I can't imagine shoes smelling so bad the odors would seep through to another room. Have you thought about the possibility of mold?
    I'd take all the shoes out and put them in the sun, air the closet thoroughly and perhaps even with a fan to blow it out. Then see what you have in terms of odor. At least you'll know if it is the shoes causing the problem.

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    white vinegar. 1 part vinegar/5 parts water in a cheapy dollar store spray bottle. It gets mildrew and mold,is non toxic,cheap, and the smell dissipates quickly.
    If that does not work go to a biologic enzyme type cleaner.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Ensure that your shoes are dried/aired out before putting away in a closet. If you wore them today, let them sit out 12-24 hours in the hallway (not pretty I know) then put in closet. I think this is why its recommended to have two pairs of daily wear shoes so you can let one pair properly/completely dry out from foot sweat before you wear again. You could also spray Lysol into the shoe before tossing into the closet if you can't let them sit out.

    For the closet - remove items, re-wash if they have that closet odour then wipe down the walls, shelves, door & floor with a diluted vinegar solution. Let air dry before returning items then hang hm sachets of baking soda (or lil dishes of where they won't get knocked over and make a mess) to help capture odours.

    BTW: don't be afraid to use those odour absorbing sponges (can be found at dollar store) for a while if needed. Place by shoes.

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    Registered User geckoace's Avatar
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    I would empty the closet make sure there is no hidden mold/dampness or a dead mouse or some surprise (we had a bad smell in our coat closet come to find out ds left a HAMBURGER in a raincoat pocket no one knew it liquified we thought it was a stinky shoe) any way if there is carpet I would sprinkle baking soda down let it sit the vacuum it up. I might wash the clothes and dry the shoes out in the sun. newspaper is also old to stuff into shoes to absorb moisture

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    If you live in a damp/humid climate, fabric (especially cotton) will absorb moisture from the air and smell kind of funky in an enclosed space like a closet. We have this problem here with our sheets. Is it the actual space that smells, or does the clothing inside the closet smell, particularly items at the back that aren't used and washed frequently?

    If the space itself smells, even when empty, I would be looking for the mold, mildew, old hamburgers and dead mice mentioned above. If the clothing smells, you probably need to use some kind of moisture absorbers in the back of the closet - try a bowl of salt.

    If it really is the shoes, I would suggest you just keep them somewhere other than your bedroom.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CookieLee View Post

    If you have a smelly space, what do you do? I sprayed Febreeze but I'm not sure that is the complete answer.
    I don't have a really bad space...........I just like my clothes to have a nice scent, and since I can't wear perfume (allergies)........I use Snuggle sheets.
    There is one other brand that will work..........the one in the orange box, that I can't think of the name right now (Bounce??)----a regular brand----not the $ store stuff.

    You can try the sheets from the dollar store---or the cheaper ones---but they don't work very well for me.........nor for very long. All of my sheets are cut in half---so when I refer to 'a sheet'.........it is a half sheet. (only use half sheets in my dryer too)

    Where my clothes "hang"---I stab the hanger through a sheet and just let it hang there. Where my sweaters are-------I GENTLY place it on the shelf. I don't think it would be too good for the clothes to cram it in among them..........the name brand sheets have lots of "stuff" on them and it could discolor/spot the clothes---I thought. Have never had any trouble doing it this way.

    Put an unused sheet ---or multiple ones-------in the closet. Can even tuck some inside the shoes.................I use multiple ones in my coat closet.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I agree with the advice to empty out the closet and wipe down the walls. If it is carpeted put some of that powdered scented carpet freshener stuff down and then vacuum it good.

    Inspect everything that goes back in.

    A hamburger! LOL!
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    use those charcoal odor/damp removers...put two in there along w/ a box of baking soda....that will help eliminate odors and dampness

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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalfranny View Post
    I don't have a really bad space...........I just like my clothes to have a nice scent, and since I can't wear perfume (allergies)........I use Snuggle sheets.
    There is one other brand that will work..........the one in the orange box, that I can't think of the name right now (Bounce??)----a regular brand----not the $ store stuff.

    You can try the sheets from the dollar store---or the cheaper ones---but they don't work very well for me.........nor for very long. All of my sheets are cut in half---so when I refer to 'a sheet'.........it is a half sheet. (only use half sheets in my dryer too)

    Where my clothes "hang"---I stab the hanger through a sheet and just let it hang there. Where my sweaters are-------I GENTLY place it on the shelf. I don't think it would be too good for the clothes to cram it in among them..........the name brand sheets have lots of "stuff" on them and it could discolor/spot the clothes---I thought. Have never had any trouble doing it this way.

    Put an unused sheet ---or multiple ones-------in the closet. Can even tuck some inside the shoes.................I use multiple ones in my coat closet.
    This is what I do also put them into drawers, purses that are unused, into shoes, un used luggage, pillows, and in the zipper part of couch cushions..

    I would clean it out and look for mold and mildew.. then clean it with an enzyme remover or vinegar and water... air it out for awhile and wash what shoes can be washed...

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    Regarding the hamburger thing...funny, but I guess it wasn't to those involved.

    Not long ago, I had a horrible odor in my kitchen. Seemed it was coming from under the sink. Not once but twice, I took almost everything out from under the sink. Nothing. In the interim, I had a garbage disposal issue. At that point, I assumed the odor had to do with poorly functioning disposal. Maintenance came. Not once, but three times. Finally, after deciding to replace it, he started removing everything under the sink. Lo! A very small potato had rolled back and gotten stuck in a corner behind one of the few items I had not removed. Rotten to the core. Embarrassing it was, for sure. Only saving grace was that the disposal was definitely in need of replacement.

    Those pesky odors can be difficult to track down and not always what you're looking for. Hamburgers? Potatoes?

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    Registered User geckoace's Avatar
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    LOL the hamburger is funny NOW

    But i'll tell u what I am a compulsive pocket-checker now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by geckoace View Post
    LOL the hamburger is funny NOW

    But i'll tell u what I am a compulsive pocket-checker now!
    And I keep tabs on my potatoes now!

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    I hate that smell..ick

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    We have the problem of musty smelling closets here. My side of Oregon is the rainy side. We wrap up bars of soap in pieces of an old cotton tshirt that was cut up for rags (in case the soap sweats) and tuck several on a few shelves. We rotate the bars of soap out as we need new bars of soap.

    I agree with everyone about cleaning out the shoes and spraying it down with vinegar. I would then add the dryer sheets or the bars of soap to keep it smelling better.

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