Avoid Musty Odors During Storage

avoid musty odorsRegardless of whether or not you rent a self-storage, you’re certain to pack away clothing and other belongings for later use. Spring will arrive soon in full force, and that means we finally get to put away our heavy sweaters and coats until next winter. If you have lighter wear sealed in a plastic bin, you might be concerned about the stale aroma that comes with temporary neglect. You could launder your clothes before returning them to your closets and drawers, but surely there’s a better way that doesn’t involve washing clothes that were cleaned before you stowed them.

Back in the day, your parents might have described packing away seasonal clothes as “putting them in mothballs.” Some mothballs, while effective in repelling moths and other types of insects that might burrow through cardboard to get to clothes, contain naphthalene, which may cause health risks after prolonged exposure. While trace amounts in storage bins might not pose a threat – if you keep bins at home, make sure they are pet-proof – you can consider these alternatives if you have concerns.

Cedar: This fragrant wood is known to repel moth larvae, though it doesn’t kill eggs or adult moths. Nonetheless, as a freshener it gives off a pleasant aroma and can help your clothes retain freshness while in storage. Cedar chips and disks for closets and drawers are easy to find in stores, but be aware they do lose their fragrance over time.

Lavender: As a moth repellent, lavender may be more effective in that it’s the opposite of cedar – it repels adults but doesn’t kill larvae or eggs. It’s sweet, floral scent makes for a more pleasant unboxing when you retrieve stored clothes. Next time you pack clothing for another season, try adding one sachet of dried lavender to keep it fresh.

Dryer Sheets: Will dryer sheets do the work of mothballs? The answer goes either way, depending on the source. While we won’t say for sure, we will suggest using a dryer sheet in clothing storage to maintain a fresher scent during the off months. If you desire greater protection from critters, use a sealed container instead of a cardboard box.

Whatever you use to keep your stored sweaters, coats, and other winter wear fresh when not in use, take care that it’s allergen free. If you wish to keep your items in a Norfolk self-storage unit, like any of ours, take advantage of a climate-controlled facility to further prevent mold and other issues. If you have questions about the best way to keep your items safe, please call Tidewater Drive Storage Center at 757-333-7800.