Mould can cling to furniture and clothing and cause irreversible damage to your belongings. Not only is the sight of green and black spores unpleasant, but the musty smell can seem impossible to remove once it’s on fabric fibres. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Nic Shacklock, a wardrobe expert at Online-Bedrooms.co.uk has revealed everything you need to know about mould growth in wardrobes, including the most common “root cause” of the problem.
According to experts at Love Energy Savings, you should never let the temperature of your home fall below 14C to prevent mould and dampness.
While the “ideal” temperature of a bedroom is 16C, free-standing wardrobes positioned in cold corners of the space can suffer in the winter, when the temperature is often below the recommended level.
Nic Shacklock from Online-Bedrooms.co.uk told Express.co.uk: “Mould develops in wardrobes from moisture and dampness, especially if there’s a lack of ventilation in the wardrobe space. One of the main causes of mould is when the wardrobe doesn’t have a fitted back.”
While many wardrobe spaces with walls as backing or sides show no signs of mould, Nic explained that it is mainly a cause for concern when external walls are used.
He said: “This can become an issue if the wall is damp and cold, encouraging mould to spread from the wall onto items within the wardrobe.”
It’s not just temperature that can stimulate mould growth either. The material used to build a wardrobe can also impact your chances of experiencing this problem.
According to Nic, materials such as wood, cardboard and cotton can attract mould if there is a “significant amount of dampness” present.
This is easy to determine by using your hand to test for any moisture.
Start by removing all clothes from the wardrobe. Next, fill a bowl with equal amounts of distilled white vinegar and water.
Dip a cloth into the liquid and wipe it over any visible spores.
To treat deeper mould growth, use a spray bottle filled with undiluted vinegar and apply it to the clean area after wiping it.
Leave until dry, then rinse with cold water. Finish by patting the surface dry with a towel.
While this simple home remedy should work in most cases, Nick warned that recurring issues could indicate an external issue and may require a professional.
How to prevent mould in wardrobes
In some cases, mould damage on fabrics can be so severe that you may have to throw clothes and shoes out – especially if the musty odour doesn’t disappear after a few washes.
To stop this from becoming a monthly occurence, there are a few simple steps you can take.
Nic said: “Fitted wardrobes are a the best alternative to free-standing wardrobes when it comes to limiting the amount of mould and dampness within.
“Another useful way to stop mould reappearing is to invest in dehumidifiers and place them in the areas where mould has previously been present.”
For a quick fix, spread out clothes inside the wardrobe so they’re not condensed into one area.
To do this, Nic Recommened placing some clothes in airtight containers or drawers and evenly distributing the rest around the wardrobe to improve ventilation.