Every Fashion Girl Should Know How to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

Admittedly, this isn’t the most alluring article we’ve ever written, but anyone who truly loves their clothes ought to know about the very real risk clothes moths pose. No, they’re not a work of fiction. They really do exist, and they’re ruining wardrobes down the length and breadth of the country. 


(Image credit: @monikh)

Should a lucky little clothes moth find its way into your wardrobe, chances are you'll start finding holes in your favourite garments before long. Even worse, they like to lay their larvae in the sanctuary of cosy closets, meaning that should one appear, more often than not a whole swarm of moths could be about to descend on your new-season wares. 

What can we do to protect our clothing from these pesky wardrobe squatters? Well, you'll be pleased to hear, quite a lot. Keep scrolling to discover how to get rid of clothes moths for good with our Who What Wear UK expert guide.

1. Deep-clean your wardrobe.

Moths don't like to be disturbed when they're wreaking havoc on your new H&M dress or vintage Hermès scarf. In fact, they love nothing more than dark, damp, clammy corners where they can feast uninterrupted. So first thing's first: Throw open your wardrobe doors, take everything out, and go to town with some disinfectant. 

2. Keep your wardrobe cool.

Clothes moths aren't too different from us—they love the heat. As such, you should ensure your wardrobe remains as cool as possible. If you've positioned it next to a radiator, you might want to think about moving it. 

3. Rotate your rails.

One of the best things you can do to prevent clothes moths from getting too comfortable is to take out your clothing on a regular basis, air it out for a while, then reposition it on your rail. In doing so, you'll also hopefully be able to spot any holes in your garments before they get too big to mend. 

4. Cordon off your windows.

On warm days, it's all too tempting to open your windows and let cool air circulate. However, this is practically an open invitation for moths to fly in and make your wardrobe their new home with all-inclusive privileges. In short, avoid opening your bedroom windows when you're not around to monitor what might be flying in. 

5. Bulk-buy cedar wood. 

Clothes moths can't stand the aroma of cedar wood, so use this weakness to your advantage. If you can't commit to a cedar wood wardrobe, try hanging your garments on cedar hangers. 

6. Keep your clothes clean.

This should be a given, but it certainly pays to keep your clothes clean. Clothes moths love nothing more than to guzzle up the food particles and human sweat that's inevitably found on worn clothing, so don't tempt them in by stashing away pieces that should either be washed at home or dry-cleaned. 

7. Invest in garment bags.

One of the easiest ways to stop your clothing from feeling the moths' wrath is to stop them from getting to your clothing at all. Last time we checked, clothes moths can't open the zips on heavy-duty garment bags, so it makes sense to at least stash your most-prized items in them. Clothes moths have good taste and tend to migrate toward the likes of cashmere and wool. If you do but one thing, store these items properly and separately from the rest of your clothing. 

8. Screen any secondhand buys first.

Secondhand and vintage clothing can often be the primary source of a moth infestation, so make sure anything you buy is properly cleaned before you add it to your wardrobe. 

9. Diffuse the situation.

Much like cedar, moths also detest the smell of lavender, rosemary, mint, thyme, cloves, peppercorns, lemon, eucalyptus, and ginseng. By adding sachets or essential oils containing these ingredients into your wardrobe, you're more likely to repel clothes moths. 

10. If all else fails, call in the professionals.

If you have tried your best to deter clothes moths but they still keep coming back for more, it's best to enlist the services of someone who can help rid you of them for good. It might sound drastic, but when our Chanel, Gucci, and Zara pieces are at risk, we're not willing to take any chances.

Up next: Finally, an expert step-by-step on how to clean your finest jewellery.

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.