Seasonal storage is for winter or summer clothing during the off season.
Garments should be cleaned before storage. Many foods and beverages leave yellow stains behind as they age. Stains can also attract insects that may damage the fabric while feeding on the stain.
Either launder or dry clean all clothing prior to storage. Use only appropriate laundry detergents for washing. Avoid using soap, chlorine bleach, starch, garment sizing, or fabric softeners. Rinse all washed garments thoroughly. If some items require the use of a fabric softener before wearing again, wait until the garments are unpacked at the end of seasonal storage. You can put them through a rinse or dry cycle with the added fabric softener prior to returning the items to use.
Avoid storage space where garments can be exposed to potential problems, like the heat of an attic, moisture of a basement, or the grease and fumes of a garage. Any storage area should be cleaned and vacuumed before storing clothes.
Do not allow the stored items exposure to sunlight or artificial light, which can cause some dyes to fade or yellow.
Do not use plastic bags for storing clothes. The plastic prevents air circulation, and allows moisture to collect and mildew may form. Canvas garment bags with cedar tops and bottoms provide great storage protection. These bags are available in a variety of sizes for both hanging and flat storage items.
It´s important to allow all fabrics to breathe. Use packing material that also breathe, like white tissue paper or clean sheets/pillow cases.
Suitcases make great temporary storage containers. By placing folded items inside pillowcases or sheets, they can be easily removed when the suitcases are needed for travel.
For flat storage, fold as little as necessary, and fold on seams as much as possible. Don´t overstuff your storage container.
If storage space at home is insufficient, talk to your local dry cleaner. Some companies offer seasonal garment storage.
The best way to avoid moth or insect damage is to store cleaned items in a clean, well ventilated area. If using moth balls or moth crystals, suspend them in a mesh bag from the top of the storage container, and allow the fumes to filter downward. Never allow the clothes to touch the bag of moth balls. Be sure to carefully read and follow the product instructions on the moth balls or crystals. Avoid inhaling the vapors, which may be toxic to humans.
When items are removed from storage, air out the clothes thoroughly before returning them to you closet or drawers.
Often unwanted wrinkles can easily be removed from stored items made from wool, wool blends, or specialty hair fibers, by hanging them in the bathroom and allowing the steam from a shower to relax the wrinkles. After steaming, allow the items to hang overnight. Any unwanted creases that remain can be gently pressed out.
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