With the changing of the season comes time for a weather-appropriate wardrobe refresh. Proper preparation and packing techniques are key to preserving your clothing and linens during long-term storage. Follow our tips for preventing staining, yellowing, mildew, and critters.
If you don't store items seasonally, you should do a thorough re-organization once or twice a year. Clean your wardrobe and drawers for the new season - take everything out, wash, vacuum & re-organize your drawers.
Just Wash It
Have you ever thought, "It doesn't look dirty. I don't see any spots. I think I only wore it once and it was just a short time."?
JUST WASH IT. Trust us.
Launder items with the appropriate Laundress detergent according to the fabric. Wash woolens with the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, or use the Signature Detergent for cotton, linens, and durable synthetic. This will prevent perfume, body products, body oil, food and dirt from showing up later, which are much harder to get out. This also is true for starch. Do not store items that are starched. All of the above are the feeding ground for bugs.
We recommend storing items clean (obviously) and folded well. Delicate items and items prone to wrinkling are best when folded with acid free tissue. (Acid free tissue is very important for long term storing - not as important for short term i.e. season to season).
Do not hang knits, silks, and synthetics as you may not recognize it or it may not fit the next season. Fur, leather and outerwear are best stored hung - if these items are not stored properly, they can lose their natural oils by drying out which are the luxurious properties.
Pack clothes and textiles in a breathable fabric, such as cotton or linen, and with a zipper closure. The Large Zip Storage Bag is designed for larger items such as sweater and blankets, while the Hanging Storage Bag is ideal for outerwear, suits, and formal wear.
Never store in plastic or cardboard. Plastic bins, cardboard, and dry cleaner bags may look tidy, but are not suitable for good textile storage as they attract and encourage bugs and bug reproduction. Do not use drawer liners or contact paper as the adhesive can attract bugs as well.
Where to Store:
Items should be stored in a clean, cool, dark and dry area. Where is this? Not usually in an attic or basement as humid/damp areas are optimal environments for moth breeding attacks, mold and mildew. Extreme temperatures will damage textiles and direct sunlight will fade and deteriorate fabrics as well.
Do you have water damage or flooding from storms in your areas this winter? Unfortunate circumstances can cause unfortunate problems. Not to worry though, with some patience, items with mold and mildew usually can be salvaged.
Cotton and linens are the easiest to treat. Click here for our how to.
For washing woolens, treat with our Stain Solution and soak in water with 1 cup of Scented Vinegar. The same should be done for silks. Soak items until stains, mold, mildew are removed. Stain Brush is very helpful for scrubbing the area gently. Once satisfied, proceed with normal laundering.
Silverfish, Moth, Bug Issues:
There are non-toxic moth products out there, avoid moth balls - which are toxic and deadly - and impossible to remove their odor. We also do not recommend cedar wood blocks or chips; direct contact with the textiles can transfer oil to fabric which will create stains.
If you've been attacked by moths, quarantine the scene! The freezer is a good holding spot with air tight bags (throw away after) while you wash everything such as clothes & drawers in the exposed areas. It is imperative to clean your machine after. Do not go to the dry-cleaner or laundromat as you will infest other clothing and the location.
Click here for other moth prevention tips.