Aahhh, middle of summertime! Time for family fun, vacations, holiday festivities, and the ever looming “back to school blues”. It is also time to remember to clean those winter items (particularly sweaters; but also coats and jackets) that often get put away soiled.
In the fall, we take them out to discover they have spots, stains, worn linings or torn pockets, and holes that we overlooked in our rush to enjoy the warmer weather. Sugar stains are the most dangerous, damaging (moths love to eat fibers with sugar molecules!); and hardest to get out! Particularly if they are left to the light, heat, and humidity of the summer months.
Time is passing to store away last season’s clothes. Follow these simple rules to keep your fashions looking good season after season.
- Wash and dry clean everything before storage. Some stains that are now invisible may darken with age. Dirt and food are also invitations to insects.
- Make all necessary repairs—sew sagging hemlines, replace missing buttons, and fix split seams— before cleaning and storing for the season.
- Store all items in a cool, well-ventilated area. Hot attics, damp basements, and garages are to be avoided.
- Store away from natural and artificial light. A cool, dark closet is a good location for storage. Store woolens in cedar chests or other airtight containers. Second choices for storage are cloth or canvas bags and cardboard boxes. If you store your garments in a closet, drape a cloth sheet over your clothes to protect them from dust and light. Do not store leathers, furs, and woolens in plastic. Plastic encourages moisture, which can create mildew.
- Pack airtight containers (other than cedar chests) with mothballs suspended above or separate from the clothes—never place mothballs directly on the clothes. Cedar blocks or chips also discourage moths.
- To decrease wrinkles in sweaters, fold them and wrap in white tissue paper before storing. If you hang your sweaters, fold over the cross bar to avoid shoulder stretches. Down, like all winter clothing, should be cleaned (either washed or drycleaned according to the care label) before storage. Down should be stored loosely to allow for air circulation.
- Furs should be stored on a wellpadded hanger in a cool, dark place, ideally with a professional fur storage company or a drycleaner with fur storage capacity.
- If you do not have proper storage space, ask us about box storage. You can get your clothes cleaned and properly stored all at the same time.