This simple baking soda hack is an easy way to refresh your closet and banish odors

Valued for its simplicity and effectiveness, this ingenious baking soda hack quickly becomes a go-to method for anyone who tries it, so why not give it a go?

Baking soda hack to banish odors in your closet
(Image credit: Future / Getty Images / Go Modern Furniture)

The unfortunate truth with any closet is that they can easily accumulate a musty smell that can make your clothes, and even your bedroom, smell less than pleasant. 

Since closets are usually difficult to clean without a full overhaul – often requiring extensive washing, airing, and wiping to eliminate bad smells – finding a simple and effective solution that can deodorize your closet can keep it smelling fresh without the hassle of deep cleaning. 

It seems that there is an endless list of things you can clean with baking soda, and beyond that, it is a highly effective solution for combating unappealing, musty smells. For this reason, keeping baking soda in the closet is something people with nice-smelling closets always do. By incorporating this simple baking soda hack into your cleaning routine, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling closet year-round.

Refresh your closet and banish odors with this simple baking soda hack

Baking soda in a bowl

(Image credit: Alamy)

Trying this easy method can transform any musty closet into a refreshingly scented space. Here's how:

  • Start with about half a cup to a cup of baking soda and adjust as needed based on the size of your closet and the intensity of the odor.
  • If you also want to add a pleasant scent to your closet, consider adding a few drops of essential oils to the baking soda. Choosing essential oils with natural antibacterial properties, such as tea tree, lavender, or eucalyptus not only boosts its odor-absorbing capabilities but also leaves a fresh, lasting scent.
  • 'Simply place several open containers filled with baking soda on different shelves or corners of the closet. Alternatively, you can also use fabric sachets or old socks filled with baking soda,' recommends cleaning expert and operations manager at Spekless Cleaning, Karina Toner. 
  • Make sure it is placed in a safe spot so it won't spill and create a mess. Consider securing it down with double-sided tape, such as this, from Amazon.
  • If a hamper in your closet is the source of the odors, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your hamper daily or as needed. An added benefit of doing this is that any baking soda that remains on clothes from the hamper will be a helpful addition when they are being washed since it can freshen and deodorize clothes, as well as remove stains.
  • 'Leave the baking soda in the closet overnight or for a few days to allow it to absorb any lingering odors,' says Karina Toner.
  • 'Replace the baking soda every 1-2 months or as needed to maintain its odor-absorbing effectiveness.'

Essential Oils by PURE AROMA | $9.98 from Amazon

This kit includes eucalyptus, lavender, lemon grass, orange, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils. 

Why baking soda is the perfect closet deoderizer

Closet with grey doors

(Image credit: Roundhouse)
  • 'Baking soda neutralizes pH levels, effectively tackling the acidic and basic odor molecules found in closets,' explains Michael Golubev, founder of Mold Busters. 'This not only eliminates the current odors but also prevents them from returning.'
  • Unlike commercial air fresheners that often contain harsh chemicals, baking soda is safe, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.
  • It's versatile, making a great addition to your ultimate cleaning supplies list – you can use it for shoes, drawers, and laundry baskets, too.
  • Baking soda effectively reduces humidity, which can cause musty smells in closets. Since humidity and moisture are often issues in closets due to restricted airflow and the storage of damp clothes, this is a great way to address the root cause of unpleasant odors.
  • It is also an affordable solution that can be purchased in bulk, making it a cost-effective option for odor control.

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 4 lb | $2.73 at Walmart

A bowl of baking soda can become part an integral part of your closet storage.

As well as using baking soda, ensure to also regularly open your closet doors to promote proper ventilation and prevent odors from accumulating. You can also use activated charcoal, especially for closets prone to moisture buildup for enhanced odor absorption.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.