Ready to swap out your featherweight coverlets and pastel sheets for some toasty duvets and fall-friendly colors? Now’s the perfect time to prep your bedding for storage over the long fall and winter season. Follow Annie’s tips to keep your favorite bedspreads, blankets, sheet sets, throws, and other bedding looking brand-new:
1. Wash and thoroughly dry all items before storing. This step is important, as body oils and other dirt are like catnip for insects, and dampness encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Skip the starch or any other special fabric treatments, which can erode fabric integrity during prolonged storage.
2. Remove any safety pins or straight pins from the fabric. These can rust over time, causing icky brown stains that are almost impossible to completely wash out.
3. Adopt a lights-out policy and choose a dry closet or canvas under-bed containers for bed-linen storage; your bedding will resist fading and will be less attractive to insects, which love to lay eggs and hatch in sunny spots. Never store your linens in the basement or other rooms that are prone to fluctuations in humidity.
4. No matter how convenient they look, avoid storing your bedding in plastic bags of any kind, including the as-seen-on-TV vacuum-seal type. Mold and mildew love to breed in the humid confines of plastic, and it’s not easy to wash out the stains or smells once they’ve set in. Likewise, avoid cardboard containers and storage directly on pressure-treated or painted wood shelves. The volatile gases present in these materials leach out over time, weakening the fabric and turning it an ugly, ahem, dog-accident yellow. Instead, buy a handful of inexpensive cotton king-size pillowcases and store your sheet sets inside (wash and dry the pillowcases first!), and store blankets, duvets, comforters, coverlets, bedspreads, and other large items in canvas storage bins, or on coated wire racks.
5. Fold all items and pack them loosely in their storage cases or containers. Resist the urge to squash them down and create Pisa-like Leaning Tower of Bedsheets; the tighter you pack these items, the less air circulation around and through the fabric.
Got a great tip for storing bed linens? Write it in the comments!