Are you a Spring Cleaning enthusiast? Or do you normally look for excuses to delay this annual chore (maybe until next spring)? Well, these aren’t normal times – and many of us find ourselves filling stay-at-home hours with household tasks that might have been put off for weeks (if they are done at all) in other years.
Among those tasks may be a seasonal “changing of the guard” in your clothes closet. For me, that means pulling all of my clothes out of the closet, assessing which pieces haven’t been worn all season (I’ve been known to find impulse purchases with the tags still on), which ones have somehow “shrunk” and no longer fit, which ones have been damaged beyond repair and should be relegated to the trash bin, and which pieces will be stored to be worn another season. Those that survive the culling process must then be prepared for storage.
Proper preparation and storage are especially important for your fine woolen or cashmere garments. [Disclaimer: Because this is a blog, not “True Confessions” this is where I tell you what you should do – not necessarily what I do. As my mother always told me, “Do what I say, not what I do!”]
Step 1: Carefully wash your woolen or cashmere sweaters and other garments, using a mild detergent formulated for washing wool. Lambspun sells the perfect product: Herbal Magic™ Fine Fiber Wash, a biodegradable, phosphate free formulation that contains herbs chosen for their antibacterial properties. Washing your garments before storage, gets rid of lingering bits of food, body oil, and perfumes or scents that provide a tasty meal for moth larvae or other bugs.
Handwashing in lukewarm water is the ideal way to wash these garments, although machine washing will work if certain precautions are taken. In either case, avoid excess agitation, which can cause the garment to felt or shrink. (If machine washing, use cold water and a delicate or handwashing cycle. Place the garment into a mesh bag before putting it into the machine.) DO NOT wring water out of the garment or dry it in a dryer. After washing and rinsing, roll the garment in a towel to get rid of excess water. Then lay it flat, reshaping as necessary to regain the original size and shape, and air dry.
Step 2: After the garments are completely dry, carefully fold and place them in plastic bags or plastic bins that can be tightly sealed. Do not overpack the bags or bins to avoid crushing the fibers.
Step 3: Store the bags or bins in a place that is cool and dry. In my case, under the bed is the best option – out of sight and out of mind until next season. When Fall comes around again, I am ready to open the bins and bags — and delight in the new-found treasures that herald the coming of the new season.
HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!