Wash and clean everything! 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.
Why? Ever wonder where that big yellow spot came from? Perfume, body products, body oil, food and dirt show up later and 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.
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.
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 Laundress All-Purpose Storage Bag is designed for larger items, the Beckel Storage Cubes come in a variety of sizes to accommodate all your items, big and small. 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 such an attic or basement 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.
*When pulling out vintage items in storage – click here for our antique/vintage washing recipe.
Do you have water damage or flooding from all the storms this winter? Unfortunate circumstances can cause unfortunate problems. Not to worry though, with some patience, items with mold and mildew usually can be salvaged. Treating cotton and linens are the easiest to treat – click here for our recipe. For washing wools, treat with our Stain Solution and soak in water with 1 cup of The Laundress Scented Vinegar. The same should be done for silks. Soak items until stains, mold, mildew are removed. The Laundress 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 do not recommend cedar wood blocks or chips. If you are using cedar wood avoid direct contact with the textiles as they can transfer oil to fabric which will create stains and are hard to remove. Cleaning and storing properly is a great start. Use The Laundress Lavender Scented Sachets or The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray which are natural moth and bug repellants. 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 tips.