There's nothing better than that first warm day of summer. Yes there's spring but with summer comes the promise of truly warmer (and drier) weather. Each year, I like to celebrate the new season by swapping my sweaters for warm weather gear!
But wait. Before you even think about shoving your long sleeves and sweaters to the back of the closet, you need to prep them a bit. Storing away dusty, slightly worn or dingy clothing is basically asking for Mama Moth to come plant her eggs! If you want to avoid any nasty surprises come next autumn, you need to put in the work to secure your sweaters.
Here's how to do it:
Step One, as always, Clean.
Even if you only wore it once, you need to wash or treat all of your clothes. I know, I know, this sounds like a tedious waste of time, but it's necessary. Pesky moths are attracted to any natural fiber with the slightest trace of dust, lint, sweat, body oil, pet fur or leftover food. There's practically nothing in my closet that doesn't fit that description, so I've had to learn (the hard way) it's better to be safe than sorry.
With that being said, taking everything to the dry-cleaner is going to be expensive. Plus, it's not great for the environment, either.
Rather, we suggest separating your clothing into four categories:
These pieces include anything made from natural fibers like wool, silk, leather or fur. Think dinner suits and formal dresses if you’ve had an occasion to wear those to recently as well.
How to deal with it: Take it to the dry-cleaner (sigh!)
Dry-Clean only items that didn't get worn, but are dusty or you may just be having hesitations about. These include pants, silk ties, scarves, or even dresses. If in doubt, just treat it!
How to treat it: Hang everything outside in direct sunlight, if you can. If not, the freezer will work too; I like to do this a few pieces at a time. This will help to kill off any moth larvae that may be invisible to the naked eye. Once you've hung and/or frozen, you'll want to give each piece a generous spritz of Garment Groom, and let it dry thoroughly before storing. You can also speed up this process by giving them a wipe down with a good, dry cloth.
Fun Fact: Most of your sweaters, as well as some silks and wool garments can actually be washed by hand and then left out to air-dry.
How to deal with it: I like to wash my sweaters in an old, enamel basin in the sink, but if your sink is clean enough and not too big, close-up the drain and use it as your basin!
- Run lukewarm to cool water and opt for a gentle, liquid soap and squeeze it through your garment.
- Rinse under a cool temperature until water runs clear.
- Roll the garment in a thin towel to remove any excess water.
- Lay the garment flat and leave to dry.
- Machine washables.
This category is easy. Follow the inside care label’s instructions and throw it in the machine. Remember to pre-treat, if necessary, and always, use a gentle, liquid soap on the coldest setting. Hang to dry or tumble dry on the lowest heat setting. Once almost dry, I throw in a couple wool dryer balls with a few drops of laundry fragrance and do a quick cycle on low/no heat to infuse my clothes with a gorgeous scent and to further repel moths.
A bit about garment storage: Some people love those airtight, plastic bags. Personally, not my thing. I prefer these cloth ones because I want my textiles to breathe. As long as you wash/treat and thoroughly dry everything, you can store your clothes with confidence.
I usually do my wardrobe changeover routine over the course of a lazy weekend. It’s a good idea to spritz your spring/summer things with Garment Groom to ease the wrinkles out and freshen them if they smell stale from being stored.