Whether you’re storing linen and bedding for a season, after changing the look of your bedroom, during a move or to free up space in your linen cupboard, you want to make sure that when the time comes to pull it out and use it, your linen looks and feels as good as it did when you packed it away.
How to prepare your linen for storage
Start by thoroughly washing your sheets, duvet covers, pillow slips, blankets, table cloths and other linen items – even if they don’t look dirty. This helps to remove any lingering skin cells and body oils that can attract pests, cause unpleasant odours and discolour linens over time.
Give your linen and bedding an additional rinse to remove any chemical and detergent residues that might damage the fabric during storage.
To prevent sheets and linens from smelling musty and being infested by mould, mildew and bacteria, make sure that they are completely dry before packing.
Choose the right storage container
When packing your linen and bedding for long-term storage, avoid anything made from wood pulp, including packing paper, tissue paper and cardboard. Printed paper, coloured tissue paper and newspapers should definitely not be stored in contact with linens as these will permanently stain the fabric.
Regular cardboard boxes are not suitable for storage of linens and bedding as they cause discolouration. Choose acid-free professional-grade boxes instead.
Do not store linen in wooden chests as they give off vapours and release acids, causing damage and discolouration to your linens and bedding.
Also avoid using plastic bags and tubs when storing linen and bedding as they trap moisture, causing mould, mildew and bacteria to invade the fabric.
So, what should you use to store linen and bedding?
The best option is to pack your linen in purpose-built cotton, muslin or canvas linen storage bags that allow air to flow through the linen and protect it from dust.
To further protect your linen while in storage, loosely place these bags into acid-free archive boxes prior to packing it into your storage unit. It is vital to only use acid-free boxes to avoid potential damage, discolouration and deterioration caused by acids which leech out of common cardboard boxes.
If you must use plastic tubs, be sure to choose only tubs made from chemically inert polyethylene as other types of plastic break down over time, releasing gases which can harm your linens. Add a few sachets of silica desiccant to control moisture levels inside the tub, but make sure these do not come into direct contact with your linen and bedding.
Polyethylene vacuum bags are good for keeping moisture out of table cloths,blankets, sheets, duvet covers and pillow slips, but are not recommended for pillows as they cause deep creases and misshape your pillows.
Packing linen and bedding into your storage unit
Make an inventory of all your linen and bedding. Keep matching sets together and be sure to label every box, so that you know which items are stored where. This will make it much easier to find the bedding you’re after when you need it.
Select a clean, modern, well-maintained, powered self storage unit that will protect your linen and bedding from the elements and guard it against pests. It is advisable to add a climate control unit to ensure your linen and bedding is further protected against temperature extremes and humidity.
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