While mould is inevitable in a household -- there is no way to completely rid your home of every single mould spore -- you should deal with outbreaks immediately and aggressively. This is especially true of mould in wardrobes, which can eat into and permanently scar the wood and ruin your clothing. Stopping mould in wardrobes begins with thorough cleaning that destroys existing mould growth. Preventing new growth requires certain actions to keep the wardrobe and its contents dry and free of moisture-encouraging mould.
Remove all of the clothes and items from the wardrobe and wash them in the washing machine, using the same temperature and washing powder as normal. Use two cycles if the clothes smell strongly of mould.
Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a bucket. Use a cloth dampened with the solution to clean any mould-covered items that cannot be machine washed, such as leather shoes. Colour test the solution first to ensure it doesn't damage the items. If it does, mix a capful or scoop of washing powder with 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water in the bucket and use this instead. Dry the items with a clean cloth and allow them to thoroughly dry in another room.
Mix a solution of 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water and 50 ml (1/4 cup) of household bleach in a bucket. Dip a cloth into the solution and wipe a hidden part of the wardrobe to test for colour fastness. If the wardrobe discolours, use the detergent solution instead. Wipe the wardrobe with a cloth damped in the solution. Remove drawers and wipe the inside of openings. Ensure that you cover every part of the wardrobe, inside and out.
Wait 20 minutes and examine the wardrobe for signs of remaining mould. Repeat the cleaning and waiting period until all the mould is gone.
Keep the drawers out of the wardrobe and the doors open for several hours to allow the furniture to completely dry. Replace the clothing and other items only when they are fully dry.
Avoid putting any damp item into the wardrobe, which can cause future mould growth.
Mould thrives in poorly ventilated areas where moisture is present. Prop open your wardrobe doors when possible to increase ventilation.
Use a dehumidifier if your room is particularly damp.
Consider covering your wardrobe with a mould-resistant sealant if mould growth is a persistent problem that does not disappear after deep cleaning.
Ventilate the room as much as possible before cleaning. If the bleach fumes or mould smells are overpowering, leave the room often to breathe in fresh air.
Tips and warnings
- Mould thrives in poorly ventilated areas where moisture is present. Prop open your wardrobe doors when possible to increase ventilation.
- Use a dehumidifier if your room is particularly damp.
- Consider covering your wardrobe with a mould-resistant sealant if mould growth is a persistent problem that does not disappear after deep cleaning.