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Wardrobe Care: Guarding Against Moths, Dust, and Humidity

by William Wong

Our clothes tell a lot about us. We invest a lot of money in our wardrobe, and wearing pieces that we love can boost our confidence. Taking the time to curate a wardrobe of pieces that work well for you is a profoundly personal project and it should be a top priority to properly care for your clothes so they last longer, keep their form, and get value for money.

If we’re not mindful about storing our clothes, you might find that they can be susceptible to damage from different dangers. Here, we talk about some ways to make sure your clothes will last longer, as well as look their best.

But first, what are clothes moths? 

Clothes moths are pests that lay their eggs on fabrics that have been left undisturbed, even for a short period of time. But it’s not the adult moth that causes damage, it’s the larvae. Moth larvae eat keratin, a protein found in natural fabrics like wool and cashmere, making these textiles more prone to getting destroyed by these insects. They like humid areas in the house to get hydrated. 

How to guard your clothes against them? 

There are a few relatively simple things you can do to avoid moths feasting on your favourite pieces.

Get rid of infested clothes.

Once you’ve verified that you have moths at home, you must get rid of any pieces that are extremely damaged. It may be heartbreaking, but it will save you from further headaches down the road. 

Store your clothes properly

Dry clean your clothes before storing them away for the season. This is to make sure they’re free of moth eggs. Pieces made of wool, silk, cashmere, and other natural animal fibres must be immaculately cleaned to avoid them from being homes to these pests. Invest in high-quality zippered cotton garment bags. Cotton garment bags serve as a physical barrier for moths as they don’t eat cotton.

Let your clothes breathe

Keeping your clothes in plastic garment bags from the dry cleaners can do more harm than good as they don’t let the pieces breathe. Choosing a cotton garment bag allows our clothes to breathe while still protecting them from moths and humidity, which is a conducive environment for mildew to start building on the seams of our favourite garments.

On top of this, garment bags are also convenient for storing different pieces together. You could opt to put formal wear pieces together in one bag, as it can usually fit up to three hangers. This allows you to store and organise your more delicate garments, especially when you opt for different colours to keep track of what’s inside. Plus, it adds a particular chic element to your closet.

Opt for quality hangers.

If you’ve noticed a dimple in your clothes, especially in the shoulder area from thin metal hangers, you have been storing your clothes wrong. These indentations are hard to remove as the damage has already been made. Opting for thick, rounded wooden hangers that follow the natural shape of the shoulders helps keep the clothes’ integrity.

Wooden hangers are also great for heavier pieces due to their sturdy material. You could hang thick jackets, coats, dresses, or jeans. Unlike its metal wire counterpart, which could easily bend, these hangers will last you longer.

Clean your clothes properly

Each fabric and clothing is unique in how it was meant to be cleaned. Suits, for example, are only intended to be dry cleaned twice a year, and they should be cleaned after every wear with a soft brush. While silk, a luxury material typically used in dresses and shirts, is recommended to be hand-washed in very gentle detergents. Our clothes come with tags showing how to properly care for our clothes, whether they are meant to be dry clean only, hand-washed, or machine-washed. 

Keep your closets clean and dry

Thoroughly clean your wardrobe using a vacuum or carpet steamer. Discard the vacuum bag as soon as you’re done cleaning as it most probably is filled with moth eggs. You could also hire a dry-cleaning service to deep clean your carpets.

Make sure the environment is dry and well-ventilated. This will prevent moisture from building up. Use a dehumidifier during humid months. Dry air is less accommodating for moths.

Painting your closet dark will help you identify the eggs faster and easier. Remember, the eggs damage the clothes, not the adult moths. Eggs are creamy white in colour; hence, if your walls are dark, you can spot them earlier on and prevent another round of infestation.  

We ought to put a lot more care into our clothes as they can bring out the best in us. Caring for them makes sure that we can always be confident in putting our best foot forward.