A reader asks:
I have an old leather trunk with a shelf inside, all covered in cloth. I’d like to store baby clothes in this. We live in a low humidity area. I’m wondering what else I can do to preserve the clothes.
Thank you very much for your service!
Start by cleaning each item of clothing that you wish to store. Moths and carpet beetles are attracted to organic stains in fibers especially natural fibers like wool and cotton so make sure these items are free of stains and odors.
For long-term storage, I would consider using an insecticide within the trunk to ward off silverfish and kill anything that happens to be living there now.
There is a new variety of insecticide made with Para-Dichlorobenzene rather than the naphthalene found in old-fashioned mothballs. Para-Dichlorobene takes ¼ of the vapors to work and also leaves no stain or odor on your clothes like mothballs. If you choose to use this alternative, place it high within the trunk, under the top of the lid, if possible, as the vapors will drift downward.
Place your clothing into plastic bins with lids or vacuum seal them into space bags. Add some cedar, which will give off an aromatic scent that will repel adult moths and carpet beetles. As the years progress and the cedar scent fades, simply sandpaper each piece to renew the potency. Use enough cedar to smell it when you open the lid, if you can’t smell it, the pests won’t mind it. This should keep your clothes well preserved for years to come.
Thanks for your question.
Kathi is a Professional Organizer, image Consultant based in San Diego California.
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