Fitted wardrobes and cupboards can trap moisture, especially if they are up against the external wall. This leads to mould and mildew, which is not only unhealthy and unsightly but can also ruin the contents of your cupboard. Bacteria can grow in dark and damp places and can be the cause of disease in your home.

So how can you prevent dampness in your cupboards? Follow these simple tricks and make sure that your home is mould-free:

Check for External Sources of Water Seepage

Start by cutting off any external sources of moisture. Check to ensure that there is no water seepage from the walls, roof or floor. If there is a bathroom on the floor above that is not adequately waterproofed, there could be seepage through the roof that is making the walls of your cupboard wet. A crack in the wall could lead to rainwater coming in. Unless you solve the root cause of the problem, you cannot find a solution.

Remove Any Mould that is Already Present in Wardrobes

If there is any mould or mildew that is already growing in your closets, you can clean it with a solution of 50:50 water and vinegar. Pour some concentrated vinegar on the surface to kill hidden spores and leave it to dry. Once all the surfaces are clean, wipe down with water and dry it out completely.

Remove Mould in Bathrooms 

Mould in bathrooms can be removed using bleach and disinfectant. Be careful to read the instructions and use it as appropriate on surfaces like wood or marble. Bleach is a potent substance, even when diluted, and could cause damage to the finish.

Make Sure That There is Good Air Flow

Every once in a while, you could leave the shutters open to air out the contents of the cupboards. Do not pack things too tightly, and make sure there is room for air to circulate. The lack of adequate ventilation can contribute to the growth of mould.

Especially in the shoe cabinet, it’s a good idea to have louvres on the shutters as footwear does tend to be damp and can get smelly. Also, consider louvred shutters for the cabinet where you have stored the gas cylinder. 

De-clutter and Deep Clean

Every once in a while, you should de-clutter your wardrobes and throw out anything that is not in use. Wipe off any dust and shake out anything that hasn’t been used in a while.

Line Shelves with Paper

Use lining paper on the shelves; it will serve as the first control of humidity inside a closed space. You can use absorbent paper rolls or newspapers as well. Alternately, you could use plastic liners that can be washed and reused.

Keep Humidity Levels Low

Reduce the moisture level in your home to prevent damp conditions; you can keep air circulating by opening doors and windows and allowing some cross-ventilation to occur. Let sunlight stream in through the windows at least once a day. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and will dry all the surfaces. Remember to keep the exhaust fans running when you have a bath or when you are cooking in the kitchen. Bathroom ventilators should be kept open to let in the fresh air.

Do Not Use Carpets or Rugs in Damp Areas

Remove rugs or mats from the bathroom, foyer, balconies and any other spaces that are likely to get wet. While these mats are drying, they will cause the humidity of the rooms to increase.

Never Store Damp Items

Before hanging any clothes in the cupboard, make sure they are completely dry. Dampness tends to get transferred to other things within a closed space. Shoes must be aired out before storing behind closed shutters. In the rainy season, never hang up wet raincoats or umbrella inside a cabinet. Your kitchen pantry too must contain only dry groceries. If any liquids spill, wipe at once and dry out the shelves completely.

Stock up on Desiccants

How to prevent Dampness in Cupboard
Desiccants for Cupboards

Silica gel packets or charcoal bricks wrapped in muslin cloth can absorb moisture and reduce any incidence of dampness inside your cupboards. Mothballs or naphthalene balls are also good at lowering humidity levels and are known to prevent the formation of mould and mildew. However, some studies have shown that certain chemicals in mothballs have been found to be toxic and cause health disturbances through prolonged contact. So make sure that you use these with caution. Camphor balls are a good alternative for mothballs. Dried neem leaves are also known to be a natural desiccant. Whatever you may use, replace the packets regularly as they will lose their effectiveness over time.

What are your suggestions to keep the dampness out of your cupboards? Do share with our readers in the comments below.

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