Stored Clothes? Have Them Dry Cleaned Before Wearing

A common rule of thumb is to have clothing dry cleaned after taking it out of storage, but the rationale behind this might not be immediately obvious. Why should you have items professionally cleaned after storing them if they haven’t been worn yet? Here are a few reasons.

First of all, clothes often come out of storage smelling like the container they were in­—usually a stale or plastic-like scent—which isn’t very pleasant. Perfumes and colognes may not be able to mask the scent completely, but a thorough cleaning will have the garment smelling fresh and brand new.

Your clothing may have been clean when you stored it, but containers gather dust. After months of storage, garments can easily come out soiled—even if they’ve had a cleaning beforehand. Regardless of whether the garment is “dry clean only,” your best chance at removing storage stains may be bringing your clothes to the dry cleaner.

A good preemptive measure is to avoid storing clothes in cardboard boxes. In addition to gathering dust and odors, these boxes are a hotbed for bugs. Plastic boxes or vacuum-sealed bags can provide a cleaner alternative. The best option, however, is to have your dry cleaners store your clothing for you to ensure longevity and proper care. Ask your dry cleaners whether they can provide you with this service.

When the seasons change, your wardrobe will change with them. To ensure that everything you wear is stain-free, smells great and doesn’t leave your skin vulnerable to insects and bug bites, try to have every piece of garment cleaned before you wear it again.