help! cleaning a remodeled closet surfaces!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by cloudsofviolet, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. cloudsofviolet

    cloudsofviolet Registered Guest


    I want to clean and sanitize my closet surfaces. It's painted wood. Prior to that, the closet had several moths because of dust and there were also old woolens etc. I'm fine with doing a tiny bit of touching up of the wood. Everything will be removed. All the clothing has been washed, aired or frozen (1 week) and I will be washing them again.

    Would using vinegar to wash the walls, and then diatomaceous earth to attract/kill the moths be a good idea. I plan on rinsing everything with water if that's a good idea.
  2. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Diatomaceous earth will kill moths, but not attract them - which is not bad thing. It's less relevant on a smooth surface (it's good for carpets, work it in, leave it, and vacuum it away, Shake-N-Vac style.)

    The key thing is to make sure you get into any tiny crevices, screw holes etc, with whatever you use to clean. I think plain old detergent and hot water will be enough, or vinegar. Piling some diatomaceous earth into any hard-to-reach places is a good plan. You will want to remove it before you put your clothes back, in case it gets on the clothes.

    After you've done your clean up, putting some kind of repeller or killer product in the cupboard is a good insurance policy, though not actual mothballs, which smell so bad. Even lavender bags are helpful. I prefer the killer/repeller products, rather than pheromone attractors. If you've removed the moths with your clean up, you don't need or want an attractor! You don't want moths that might somewhere else in the house, being attracted to your closet.

    I'm not sure where you are based? I've used Rentokill moth killer products before and like them, but I'm not sure if they are available outside the UK. They don't smell like mothballs.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  3. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    The hardest part of this is the actual clothes. Washing followed by airing, or dry cleaning, or freezing (a double-freeze is best), for everything in that closet. Airing on it's own might not be enough, though it certainly helps, especially in strong sunlight. I would want to freeze anything that isn't washable. Then clean the closet as above, before you put anything back.

    Sounds like you are already on the top of this.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
    lkranieri likes this.
  4. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Also be aware that it's not healthy to breathe in lots of diatomaceous earth. It's not poisonous, you can eat it, and people do, and it's used in animal feed and bedding etc. But as a very fine dust it's not good for the lungs. So it's a good idea wear a dust mask, especially if you are using lots of it. Breathing in a small amount is probably not going to do any harm, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
    mags_rags likes this.
  5. I use permanent and tee tree oil as a deterrent. I cannot use any moth killer products or the earth due to lung issue.
    I am always open to natural solutions
    Retro Ruth likes this.

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