Storing clothing and household items from season to season can be a rather tedious and time-consuming process. But each year as the seasons change, many customers go through the process of moving garments from one closet to another or packing them up and putting them in attics or basements. Customers store their wardrobe and household items in the offseason for safekeeping, but by not taking the proper precautions they could be putting next year’s wardrobe into jeopardy.
To prevent mildew formation, do not store garments that are soiled or stained. Items should never be stored while damp. Prevent high humidity in the storage areas through good ventilation, air conditioning, and/or a dehumidifier. Correct any causes of excessive dampness in the house.
Wool fabrics are more prone to being attacked by insects such as moths, carpet beetle larvae, cockroaches, beetles, silverfish, and others. Other fibers can also be damaged by insect activity. Insects are usually attracted to the fabric by a food or beverage stain. While feeding on the stains, the insect will also cut or weaken surface fibers. When the item is eventually cleaned, the weakened fibers are flushed away, and the damage becomes more apparent.
In order to prevent moth and other insect infestation, items should be stored in a cool, dry place. Storing items in the attic or basement is not recommended since the heat and humidity are usually not appropriate for fabrics. Moth and insect infestation increases in direct proportion to the rise in temperature in the storage area. Before storing items, they should be cleaned to remove all staining substances, since insects feed on stains.
Mysterious Yellow Stains
Stains from juices, beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee, or other foods or beverages that contain tannin or sugars can cause stains to develop during storage through oxidation. These stains probably dried and became invisible before the garments were put away. Once the stain has been left in the fabric, it oxidizes and becomes apparent as time passes. These stains may be very difficult to remove, especially from wool, silk, and nylon. We do have specialized stain removal agents that may lighten the stain enough to a wearable condition, but prevention works best. Clean garments thoroughly before putting them into storage. Dry cleaning will help eliminate the possibility of having mysterious yellow stains show up on your clothing when you bring them our of storage.
One last point, make sure to point out all stains and potential stains to the counter person when bringing your clothes in to be cleaned.