Tips&TricksBanish musty closet odors and insects with this kitchen staple: the bay leaf

Banish musty closet odors and insects with this kitchen staple: the bay leaf

The woman smells the laundry.
The woman smells the laundry.
Images source: © Getty Images | Maryviolet
11:40 AM EST, February 15, 2024

Unpleasant, musty closet odors are an issue that many people deal with. The main culprits behind these distasteful smells are generally bacteria and dust mites, which make their homes in both clothing and closet shelves. Among other factors, the incorrect storage of clothing can aid in their proliferation. If you're prone to stuffing your clothes into the closet, resulting in a stifling pile-up, you're automatically confining your clothing to a place with limited air circulation. This restricted environment contributes to unpleasant odors that can sometimes be quite challenging to remove. However, there's a tried and true method to counteract this issue, and all it involves is placing bay leaves in your closet.

The benefits of using bay leaves as a natural closet freshener

Numerous commercial air freshening products are explicitly designed for closet use, with varying degrees of efficacy. Unfortunately, they require spending money. If you're in search of an inexpensive and straightforward solution to maintain a fresh, pleasant scent in your closet, consider hanging bay leaves in it. The fragrant essential oils in these leaves make them excellent natural air fresheners. But that's not all. Leaving bay leaves in your closet also deters moths, which can damage clothing, creating unsightly holes. Clothing moth larvae primarily feed on woolen fabrics, cotton, and fur.

Best practices for placing bay leaves in the closet

To ensure a fresh aroma in your closet, hang a cloth bag filled with bay leaves on one of the hangers. Ideally, you should put three to four leaves in each bag. However, create more bags filled with bay leaves for a more potent fragrance. You can hang them or position them in various parts of your closet. Notably, this spice provides more than a pleasant, herbal scent for your clothes and closet. It also absorbs moisture. Usually, the primary source of musty clothing smells are deep within the closet.

Bay leaves also double as an effective deterrent against mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects. This can be attributed to the pungent aroma of the plant. So, if you're headed for a trip to warmer climes, make sure to pack a bag filled with a few bay leaves in your suitcase. This way, you won't have to fret about bed bugs hitching a ride on your clothes during travel.

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