Why would I want a CEDAR closet?

doofusJuly 25, 2009


We are finally putting the walls back together and have an option of finishing (some of) the closets in cedar plank. One of the closets is in the basement, where the air is noticeably cooler and wetter. Its walls are made of bricks, and so we can even put the cedar planks instead of (mold-resistant) sheetrock.

Do we want to do that? What's the advantage of having the cedar planks in the closet? Yes, the smell is nice, but it wears off in under a year, I hear. Does cedar keep the clothes safer (against moth, etc.)? Or does that property wear off as well?

Thanks for opinions! Yours, doofus

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Only you can decide if you want a cedar closet. The aroma does dissipate with time but a light sanding of the surface will bring it back.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:23AM
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Thanks for the feedback, Mike. I'm not into the smell, honestly  I'm concerned about the moth-repelling property... Does it stay for long, or does it wear out along with the smell?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:33AM
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The tightness of the construction has more to do with the repelling moths that the actual cedar small.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:55AM
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plus you get the smell in your clothes and its hard to get out!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 12:45PM
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High concentrations of cedar oil can kill clothes moth larvae, but you're not likely to find levels that high in a cedar closet...not for long, anyway. However, the smell of cedar oil blocks the moths' ability to detect a food source for their potential offspring (that is, your woolens as a place to lay eggs) and also interferes with their pheromone detection, so they can't find mates. Herbs like citronella, peppermint, and rosemary do the same thing. Insect pests tend to stay away because it messes up their natural navigation systems. Not all insects are repelled by cedar (Dermestid/carpet beetles, for example, are not) but most moths with wool-eating caterpillars are.
As Mike said, running a little sandpaper over the cedar planking refreshes the aroma.
Should you have a cedar closet? Well...do you have a lot of good-quality woolens to store-- cashmere blankets, nice wool coats? If so, I think a cedar closet would be a good idea; if not, there's not much point.
You can put your woolens in air-tight bags, but they can come out musty if there's any moisture (even from high humidity when you seal them up). Moths can get into openings one tenth of one mm in size, so most sweater-box storage containers aren't tight enough to exclude them. If you've only got a couple woolens to store, Zip-lock bags in the freezer is one pretty safe option.
If you're so-so on the smell, I wouldn't think it'd be worth putting in more than one cedar closet. Also, you mentioned the cooler, damper basement closet-- you might have problems with cedar planking warping and curling. I'd stick with mold-resistant Sheetrock for that one.

Good luck with your finishing work!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 11:05AM
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