Jerry Pozniak, owner of Cameo Cleaners in New York City, gives us some great tips for cleaning out our closet and prepping them for storage.
Expert Closet Cleaning Tips
Clothing Preservation 101
· Clean all items thoroughly before packing – if the item is delicate, have it dry cleaned.
· Plastic or cardboard storage containers can be used, but both must be clean and dry to discourage bug larvae from taking up residence. On top of that, all containers should be lined with acid-free tissue to prevent fading.
· Mothballs and cedar blocks offer defense against insects, but are never a complete guarantee – choosing a clean, air-tight container will be a better choice to avoid bugs.
· Knitwear or sweaters should be folded to prevent becoming misshapen from long-term hanging. Putting a piece of acid-free tissue inside knitwear will prevent fading and help keep its shape. All knitwear should be dry cleaned before storing to prevent permanent staining.
· To store dresses and shirts on hangers, utilize extra hanging loops to help clothing keep its shape. Don’t store items in plastic bags – they don’t circulate air or let the clothing “breathe”
· Store all items in a cool, clean, dark and dry place. Above all, avoid wetness since it can attract mildew and insects.
Spring Clean – How to Make Old New Again
If you want to be wowed by your old spring clothes, it’s vital to freshen them up once they’re out of storage. Even if you’ve taken the necessary steps to preserve your clothing during the winter, stains can appear unexpectedly. Jerry explains the different types of stains and how to remove them to make clothing look new again:
* Acid Stains: Acid stains are the result of saliva, sweat, or glue. They might not be visible when clothing is first stored, but can show up months later.
o Solution: Avoid using bleach, which can actually darken the color of an acid stain. Instead choose products with hydrogen peroxide.
* Mildew: Water stains on cotton quickly form mildew when mixed with air.
o Solution: When mildew develops, the only way to eliminate it is with bleach. Try dropping a few drops of very mild bleach in a bucket of water and place the clothing to soak. Gradually increase the strength of the bleach one or two drops at a time and always come back to check the clothing after a few minutes to make sure the color doesn’t fade. Let it sit for up to eight hours depending on the severity of the stain.
* Yellowing: When synthetic materials meet trapped gases, yellowing results. When clothing is in an air-free environment, or one that releases the gases, it is far less likely to discolor.