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Making Scents: 5 Great Closet Storage Air Fresheners

Discover household items that can add a fresh scent to your closet

Posted August 23rd, 2010   |   Tags: Do It Yourself, Closet Accessories, Closet Storage Air Fresheners
Closet Storage Air Fresheners

Additions you make to your closet storage system don't have to be just gadgets, hooks and organizational structures; sometimes, it's little things that can make all the difference - like closet storage air fresheners.

Many closet storage spaces do not have air vents, which leaves the air stale and uncirculated.  As much as we don't want to admit it, this causes musty, stagnate odors where your clean clothes are stored.  Luckily, there are great inexpensive closet storage air fresheners that can solve this problem quickly, easily and at a low cost!

We've done some research of our own to see which common and not so common odor solutions work best as air deodorizers and closet air fresheners for closet storage spaces.  Some can be purchased and others are quick DIY projects, but either way, they'll get the job done.

Here Are 5 Great Low-Cost Closet Storage Air Fresheners

Activated Charcoal

That's right... activated charcoal;  a simple and seldom thought of solution for odors.  Activated charcoal acts as an odor absorbent.  Although, many retail stores sell pre-made activated charcoal air freshener solutions, they can get a little pricey.  If you choose to buy a pre-made charcoal air purifier or freshener, go for the simple, less costly ones, they all work well.  You can even find them in small sizes for pet areas and refrigerators and use them as closet air fresheners too.

You can also make a charcoal closet air freshener by purchasing tubs of activated charcoal at home improvement stores, garden shops or pet supply stores.  Put a cup of the charcoal in a thin cloth bag, place the bag in an inexpensive bowl or Tupperware container without the lid, hide it in the closet storage space and presto!  These closet storage air fresheners work in as little as a day!


Yes, cedar has been a staple in many closets for years, it's a great air freshener for many areas including storage spaces.  You can purchase cedar chips or shavings from a pet supply store and hang them in cloth bags in your closet or purchase cedar closet storage accessories that act as closet air fresheners as well.  Cedar garment hangers, cedar shelf liners, cedar blocks, cedar sprays and cedar drawer liners are just some of the products this air freshener can be bought as.  It also works great at covering pet odors.  The cedar solutions are the most well known closet air fresheners and it's got a great reputation because it works!

Baking Soda

Have that old box of baking soda towards the back of the refrigerator that you often forget about? If you do, you probably know that baking soda absorbs odors and moisture.  Baking soda-filled bowls, pouches and products can help act as closet storage air fresheners.  Baking soda-based air fresheners can be bought in the store, but you can make them at home too!  Fill a porous fabric, filter or dryer sheet with baking soda, tie it up with some string to make a pouch then hang it up in the closet!  This is a simple and inexpensive solution, just be sure to check the baking soda every few weeks as is may need to be replaced a few times a month for best results.

Another closet storage air freshener idea for baking soda is to sprinkle it on the carpet then vacuum it up for odor elimination from the ground up.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain the fragrance of a plants, flowers and other such naturally occurring aromas.  Essential oils are used in soaps, perfumes and candles; why? Because they smell great!  They're a great way to freshen closet storage areas and there are dozens of aromas to choose from.  For closet air fresheners, try just dabbing a few drops on the light bulb in the closet or even soak some cotton balls in the oils and hide them in the storage space.  When the oils are heated with the light from the bulb or room temperature, the fragrance is released and the smell will fill your closet.  So, even if the closet light is only on a few times a day, that's enough to jump start the essential oil closet air fresheners.


White vinegar naturally dissolves odors.  No one particularly likes the smell of vinegar, but vinegar's odor dissipates quickly making it a great air freshener.  Many people will fill a small cup of vinegar and place it in the closet while others will make a vinegar+water combination that can be sprayed in the air, on the carpet or on musty clothing.  An empty spray bottle can be purchased at a local drug store.  Fill the spray bottle with a 1 part vinegar to 1 part water ration and lightly mist the musty areas.  White vinegar not only makes for a great air freshener, but can also be used to clean up around the house or help rid carpets of pet odors.

One More Closet Air Freshener Idea: Plants

Yeah... this article is called "5 Great Closet Storage Air Fresheners" but there is one more that needs to be mentioned: Plants!  Plants take in carbon dioxide, release fresh oxygen and can also filter out other harmful toxins in the air.  Plants can be placed in (naturally) well lit closets, living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and entry ways.  They are great closet storage air fresheners, but will also clean the air in the entire house if taken care of properly.

Tips: Closet Storage Air Fresheners

  • Some of these closet air fresheners eliminate odors while some simply add a fragrant smell.  A combination of solutions will work the best.  Perhaps one that dissolves the odor, then another to add a sweet scent.

  • Never burn candles or incense in small confined places such as closets. 

  • Test any substance or any closet air fresheners on sample carpet or fabric to ensure that no harm will be done to the items in the area.

  • Potpourri can always be used as well in conjunction with other simple household closet air fresheners; citrus and vanilla aromas are most popular.

Over all, the mix of activated charcoal and essential oils was a Closet Pages favorite, but we found each air freshener to be useful.  Closets are tricky places to get rid of odors since burning candles or incense in a small enclosed space, such as a closet, is NOT advised and is a fire hazard.  There is less of a variety of closet storage air fresheners than more open areas of the home with outlets, but these do it yourself simple closet air fresheners will do the trick and make your wallet happy.

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Closet Fresheners

I have also found Lavendar to be an excellent closet freshener. Apparently, it also acts to keep moths at bay.

Posted by Deborah Zechini on Sep 08th, 2010
@Deborah Zechini

Thank you for the comment, Deborah; I'll try that one! I absolutely adore lavender (and anything that will keep moths away sounds great).

Posted by Tabitha Kokoska on Sep 08th, 2010
Fresh Closets

I'm a Certified Professional Organizer and work on many closets.
The best thing I've found for a nice, fresh closet smell is a dryer sheet. Pick any fragrance (lavender is nice) and tuck one or two on a shelf. They last a long time and keep moths out too.

Posted by Holly on Sep 09th, 2010

I love the smell of cedar. It's definitely one of the more "male" scents for a closet. Sadly, the smell doesn't last for that long. Any suggestions on other scents that may last longer?

Posted by Anonymous on Sep 28th, 2010
RE: Cedar

Well, as for a cedar scent - you can also purchase cedar scented essential oils which may last longer than cedar blocks or accessories. For a few extra dollars, I'm a big fan of Febreze products. For the closet, the flame-less luminary and no spill wood diffuser are favorites.

Posted by Tabitha Kokoska on Sep 28th, 2010

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