linen closet smells dusty
well, this isn't exactly a disaster, but it's driving me nuts!
my linen closet and the hall closet right next to it both smell dusty. i just painted the top half (cabinet) of the linen closet yesterday. i wanted a nice color in there and i figured the paint would seal in any "dusty" smells that were in the walls. the smell is back today, though. i've even put a strongly scented candle in there--candle smell is fading, but dust smell is not. i've even taken the doors off, thinking that maybe the cabinet just needed airing. no such luck.
the smell isn't musty or anything.... it just smells like ancient dust, like maybe a dusty attic. the linen closet is a cabinet above and drawers below. the planks in the "floor" of the cabinet can be removed; i found that out when i painted. there's space all around the drawers, about four inches on all three sides, and i know that space goes right down to the concrete slab of the house. i'm sure there's some dust back there, but i had to pull out an object that fell while i was painting, and it wasn't nearly as dusty as i thought it would be.
the closet next door is closed off from the cabinet and is carpeted. same dusty smell in there, too. there is an access panel to the bathtub plumbing in the back of the cabinet, but the odor doesn't smell like mildew--just dry and dusty again. i tried a candle in there, and left the door open for a while, but it didn't work. i didn't smell it much when i had the door open, but now that i've had it closed, the smell is back. strangely enough, the smell doesn't really seem to affect the clothes that are in the closet or the towels in my cabinet.
i'm not really sure how to combat a dusty smell. before, whenever the house smelled a bit dusty and closed up after winter, we'd just hope for a reasonable day and open the windows for an hour or two. leaving the space open doesn't seem to be working here. should i try to sweep the drawer area out? i think i could do that if i removed all the drawers. would sprinkling some baking soda in there help? i've also thought about spraying febreeze on the carpet in the closet, but since there's no carpet in the cabinet, i didn't know if that was the problem or if it would help.
please tell me if you know of any good fresheners for closed spaces like this, but please don't say cedar or lavendar sachets! i'm allergic to both, as well as to many popular types of dried flowers and herbs, which make it difficult for me to breathe. any alternate suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thanks. :)