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Knowing about winter clothes storage can mean the difference between a well-preserved wardrobe and a mildewed, moth-ridden mess.  Here are a few tips to prolong the lifespan of your garments:

How to Store your Winter Clothing

Keep it Clean

When putting away garments for seasonal storage, an inspection must show cleanliness.  That means either a trip to a Westbank Dry Cleaning location or a spin in the home washer.  Insects become attracted to body oils and dirt and putting a garment away dirty gives them an instant meal.  Also keep in mind that invisible stains, such as clear sodas, perfume, and white wine can oxidize over time and appear yellow the next time you pull the garment out to wear it.  The longer the stain sets, the harder it is to remove it without damage to the fabric.

To Hang or Not to Hang?

Store delicate items like knits and sweaters folded and flat to prevent stretching and distortion. It’s also recommended to store sweaters in sealed storage containers or enclosed in breathable sweater bags.

Heavy coats and jackets should be hung on sturdy hangers, not weak wire hangers,  not suited for heavy items. It’s also better to hang furs in a cloth garment bag because they’re a natural fiber. It should be sealed up. And make sure it’s in the coolest part of your closet.  When possible, store dark and light colors separately.  This prevents any dye transfer.

Clothing storage bag,  about $10.00
Sweater Box, $12.99 at the Container Store

Just Say “No” to Plastic

Don’t store any clothing in poly bags from the dry cleaner or the retailer.  Over time these bags can promote moisture in extremely humid environments.  Closets tend to be very humid.  Plus, plastic doesn’t breathe and garments need air.  Use breathable fabric bags to store clothing long term.

TLC for your Closet

Maintaining a clean, organized closet keeps clothing looking good.  From time to time, it’s a good idea to take everything off the floor of your closet and vacuum thoroughly, dust off shelves and purge your closet of clothing you no longer wear.  If you have a cedar closet in your home, renew the cedar every few years.  Cedar must be re-sanded or fresh cedar oil applied to retain its effectiveness. Lavender sachets provide a nice way to keep sweaters smelling fresh and ready to wear.  Finally, avoid mothballs because of their toxicity to pets and children.  Furthermore, even with dry cleaning garments in order to remove the smell, the odor can permeate the surrounding area.

Sonoma lavender sachets can be purchased for about $22.00 at Amazon 

If you have any questions, just call one of Westbank Dry Cleaning locations for more information about cleaning and storage.