Storage Tips for Dry Cleaned Articles

By WeDoLaundry

When you store your dry cleaned articles, you want them to look and smell great when you wear them later. Are you unsure about how to store your freshly laundered or dry-cleaned items? Here are nine useful storage tips for dry cleaned articles.

Storage Tip #1: Make sure Clothes are Clean before Storing Them

When you take your clothes out of storage, you want them to smell and look fresh. That’s why it is important to make sure every item has been cleaned as indicated on the clothing care labels on the items to be stored.

Even if they look clean, sweat and dirt on the items can set and permanently stain your stored items if they are not cleaned before they are stored.

Storage Tip #2: Read the Label

Pay close attention to what the manufacturer says about cleaning and storing the garment. “Dry clean only” means exactly that. This is not a suggestion. Other specific instructions include “store in a dry place”, “do not dry clean” and “hang to dry”.

There is a general rule about some fabrics: if the garment suede or leather, dry clean it. If it is taffeta, silk, wool, velvet, acetate or blends that include rayon, silk, and wool have them professionally dry-cleaned. But, no matter what you think the fabric is, always read the label.

Storage Tip #3: Discard those Plastic Bags

In North America, dry cleaning companies package cleaned items in plastic bags for transport. Sadly, the majority of us leave them in those bags until we use them. This keeps the dust off them and avoids smudges en route.

However, this is not a recommended storage for dry cleaned articles. Here is why: Those bags are a hazard for your kids and your clothes.

Have you ever taken dry cleaned items out of the bags only to discover that they have yellowed or faded? Has the elastic become less flexible?

Those flimsy plastic bags can cause problems. Clothes can change color. Whites can turn yellow. Those elastic waistbands can sag.

A substance called butylated hydroxytoluene is an antioxidant used in the manufacturing of plastic bags. BTU combined with impurities or moisture can cause clothes to turn yellow or stain. Leaving your dry-cleaned clothes in the thin plastic bags provided by your dry cleaner invites moisture to get trapped inside. Your carefully cleaned clothes can get musty smelling. You want your garments to retain that just cleaned aroma. That’s why it is vital to remove them from those bags and store them more appropriately.

Storage inside the bags can also encourage mildew or weaken garment fibres. So dispose of those thin plastic bags as soon as you get your dry cleaning home and do so in a way that keeps them out of reach of children. They are a suffocation hazard.

Storage Tip # 4: Find an Ideal Storage Location

Both temperature extremes and sunlight are bad for dry-cleaned clothing. Look for a spot that is temperature-controlled and out of sunlight. In a closet or under a bed are good choices. Given their high and low-temperature problems and the lack of ventilation, your basement and attic are less than ideal storage locations. But there are lots of places in your home that are dark, temperature-controlled, and well ventilated.

Storage Tip #5: Store Sweaters in Drawers

If you have garments that stretch easily, they need to be folded so they retain their shape while they are being stored.

You need to purchase acid-free tissue paper and a plastic container. Cardboard containers are not ideal because they attract pests that eat cardboard. The acidity that goes into the manufacturing of cardboard can also discolor your stored items.

Instead, choose plastic boxes that can be sealed to prevent water damage to your stored items. Select plastic containers that can be tightly sealed against dust that can you’re your stored items look and smell stale. Choose bins that will fit into the area where you will be keeping them.

Place the heaviest garments at the bottom of the plastic container. Wrap each garment in acid-free tissue paper. Once you have the heaviest garments in the bottom, place the next heaviest items on top. Continue doing this until the container is almost full. Leave a few inches of space for your clothes to breathe.

Storage Tip #6: Storage Bags and Boxes

Stay organized by creating labels for containers and bags. This way, you won’t waste time or disturb other clothes when you are searching for a specific piece of clothing. Tags can be made of cover stock or paper Fasten them to the garment bags with safety pins or clips.

Storage Tip #7: Hang Them

If your clothes are not likely to stretch, hang them on hangers. But don’t leave them on those wire hangers the dry cleaners send them home on. Get wooden or padded hangers. They must be able to provide support. After you hang them, place the garment and its hanger in a cotton garment bag.

Those wire hangers leave pointy places on the sweater. They can also leave rust marks.

Storage Tip # 8: Keep Them Safe

Garment bags and plastic boxes provide protection from pests. Be extra sure by adding cedar blocks. They are a natural pest repellant. Place them next to the clothing. They add protection, warding off pests but they also make your clothes smell fresh.

Storage Tip # 9: Preserve Those Special Moments

Wedding gowns, prom dresses, and special costumes are garments you will want to save and even pass down to a family member. These need special storing.

First, they should be dry cleaned. Companies that specialize in preservation will seal the cleaned garment in a vacuum container sheathed in acid-free paper to prevent yellowing.

Storage Tip # 10: Be Resourceful

Not every house has a lot of space. But you can find cool, dark well-ventilated spaces for your dry cleaned clothes. How about under the bed? In the broom closet? These spaces exist. You just have to be creative about finding them

Storage Tip # 11: Consider Commercial Storage Spaces

You’ve searched for good storage spaces for your dry cleaned out-of-season garments. There just aren’t any available, suitable, storage spaces in your house. If that is a problem then maybe it is time to consider a commercial storage facility for your dry cleaned items.

Now that you know how to store your dry clean garments, consider all the advantages that dry cleaner establishments look for one that provides scheduled pickup and delivery. Look for a dry cleaner that has online scheduling and offers laundry and ironing of clothing. In many cases, your dry cleaner will also add light repairs to the dry cleaning.

When you get your garments dry cleaned, it need not be hard on the environment. Ask about organic dry cleaning and lighten your carbon footprint.

Your clothes have been lovingly dry cleaned by the time they are delivered to you. Using these storage tips for dry cleaned articles, you be assured that your dry cleaned garments are kept in pristine shape.

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