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The cleanliness and organization of your closet play an important role in the life of your clothes. Here are 10 tips to be sure your closet is working for you:
- Clean your closet. Dust mites, including moth sacs, are in many closets. You can’t see them but moths like to lay eggs in wool, silk and fur garments that have not been disturbed for awhile.
- Don’t put wet or damp clothes or shoes in the closet, as this promotes mildew.
- After wearing, air clothing overnight before hanging in the closet. This minimizes moisture, which adds to wrinkling and attracts insects.
- Clothing that will not be worn for a few months should be stored in tight containers or sealed garment bags to protect from insects.
- Avoid wire hangers. They are weak, can bend and do not provide the necessary support for many items. Try our free hanger caddy to keep the wire hangers organized before you return for recycling.
- Avoid hanging knits and heavy items that can stretch.
- Don’t jam too many clothes into the closet as this leads to wrinkling and crushing.
- Do not leave closet lights on and avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Many dyes are sensitive to light and may fade quickly.
- Periodically, and when away on a trip, open your closet doors to allow air to circulate and reduce the moisture in your closet.
- Use cedar, eucalyptus, or lavender products. Remember, such products have a limited life, should be replaced regularly and are not guaranteed. If you have a cedar chest or closet and the pungent smell disappears, it’s time to re-sand and renew.
Direct exposure to sunlight or artificial lighting is dangerous to fabrics. Since many dyes are sensitive to prolonged exposure to light, colors can fade to lighter shades and even white clothing can fade to yellow.
In some cases, light fading occurs on only one side of the fabric or where an edge is exposed to a light source. On some fabrics, such as silk, fading can occur in a relatively short time.
While clothes should be removed from the poly bags from the drycleaner, it’s a good idea to keep the paper dust covers on the shoulders for protection, since the shoulder area can experience the most dramatic fading.
Fading cannot be corrected, so remember do not store items in direct sunlight, use low wattage bulbs in closets and turn off closet lights when not needed.
Give your holiday clothes more new years
There’s no need to buy new clothing every holiday season. Proper care will keep festive garments looking new, year after year.
Care: Thick and lustrous, satin clothing is elegant for the holidays. Once satin was only made of silk, but now it’s available in acetate, rayon, cotton, nylon and polyester. Always read the care label. Acetate and silk should be drycleaned; other fibers may be washable.
Tip: Satin is easily damaged so be careful of anything that can catch the fabric and snag it such as jewelry, fingernails, ornate purses, etc. Never rub a stain as this will result in permanent loss of sheen and color.
Care: Cashmere garments are luxurious and can last for many years. Care instructions usually are to dry clean or carefully hand wash in cool water using a mild detergent. If hand washed, rinse well and never wring the garment. The item should be dried flat and reshaped during drying. If pressing is needed, it should be done while the garment is still damp and always on the wrong side using a press cloth between the iron and the cashmere.
Tip: Buy a brand you can trust. Lower quality cashmere will have more pilling and shape problems. When storing cashmere be sure it is clean; moths may go after any food particles that are on the garment.
Care: Fancy adornments such as beads, sequins and pearls are great for holiday festivities, but can be a challenge to care for. They can lose their color, break, fall off or bleed onto other parts of the garment. Often, the care label does not apply to these decorative items or may say, “Exclusive of beads and trims.” Drycleaners usually test before cleaning. If you are confident the garment can be washed, proceed carefully. Use mild detergent and cool water and rinse gently. Never put in the dryer. Knits should be dried flat.
Tip: Before purchasing, carefully examine the beads or sequins to be sure they are securely attached. Inquire about the availability of extra beads or sequins. Always buy from a reputable store.
Care: Stunning and luxurious, velvet is woven from silk, rayon, acetate, while velveteen, a lower grade, is made from cotton. Most require drycleaning, only cotton velvet can be washed without changing the direction of the pile. Always read the care instructions.
Tip: Moisture is deadly on velvet. Water, perspiration and liquid spills can damage the pile fabric permanently. For children’s wear especially, it can be a real challenge to keep it clean. Do not iron, since a hot iron can leave permanent dents in the pile.