How to Maintain the Freshness of Stored Blankets and Quilts

Learn the proper techniques for keeping precious textiles like blankets, quilts and heirloom bedding clean, fresh, and pest-free while tucked away in storage.

February 8, 2024
min read
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Few sensations exist cozier than snuggling into a familiar beloved blanket straight from the linen closet. Whether wrapped in Grandma’s hand stitched quilt or a childhood security piece, textiles obtain sentimentality through connections comforting across years.

To preserve precious blankets staying soft, fresh and pest-free between uses, proper storage methods prove essential. Ideal conditions prevent musty smells, ward off fabric pests, maintain accessibility, and uphold heirloom integrity so textiles continue warming future generations.

This comprehensive guide covers recommended storage locations, preventing dampness and pests, proper folding techniques, and specialized products for maintaining freshness of tucked away blankets, quilts and coverlets of all kinds.

Why Proper Blanket Storage Matters

Beyond keeping blankets dust-free between beds, sofas and picnics, storage conditions critically impact longevity and usage span through:

Preventing Permanent Odors and Fabric Damage

Tightly packed textiles trapped with no airflow easily succumb to mildew outbreaks or moth larvae infestations literally digesting delicate fibers from the inside out if left unchecked between seasonal rotations or multi-year storage sessions.

Allows Accessibility When Unexpectedly Needed

Ever scramble trying locate an extra throw when chilly guests arrive? Properly catalogued storage systems make retrieving specific blankets for on-demand cozying convenient no matter the season.

Keeps Heirlooms Preserved for Future Generations

Perhaps most importantly, mindful storage gently maintains condition of heirloom quilts as timeless family treasures. Imagine discovering antique coverlets chewed through by pests or tainted by mustiness when you unveil once-vibrantly patchworked history now shadowed under dank odors and unsalvageable holes.

With so much at stake, where do you begin securing beloved blankets? Choose appropriate storage foundations first...

Wash Your Sheets Before Storing

While it may seem obvious to launder sheets and bedding before putting them in storage, this important step actually bears repeating. Don’t simply toss away soiled, sweaty or potentially musty linens – take the time to thoroughly wash first.

Sheets and blankets only accumulate dust, dirt, skin cell residue, body oils, sweat, and spilled liquids during everyday use. Over a season or more of storage, these soils foster bacteria and fungi growth that leads to stains, odors or even pest attraction.

Wash bedding using disinfecting detergent, bleach alternatives and the hottest water safe for the fabric. Then check carefully for any remaining oily spots, juice stains or mildew growth. Retreat as needed to remove all residue before packing away clean.

clean bed linen

Use a Linen Bag or Pillowcase for Extra Protection

For an added layer of separation and coverage, insert folded blankets inside breathable but sealed cotton or linen bags or unused pillowcases before packing into storage containers.

Linen or cotton bags allow air to still pass through unlike plastic while keeping each blanket’s surface protected on all sides from cross contamination by stains, humidity or mildew spores from adjacent items. The sealed pouch also keeps fabric safe from tiny eggs or larvae in case moths sneak inside containers.

Change out used pillowcases periodically if storage extends multiple years. Plus bags and cases keep sets bundled neatly for easy transport as portable blanket kits ready for picnics, camping, or gifting.

Recommended Storage Locations

Evaluate available spaces in your home assessing options balancing protection, accessibility and storage volume needs when designating optimal blanket depot.

Cedar Chests

Elegant cedar chest at the foot of guest beds keep extra quilts close at hand while the aromatic redwood emanates moth confusing camphor. Consider features like:

Keeps Out Moths

Smooth cedar planks surrounding enclosed contents release micro particles of natural pest-confusing oils to safely repel fabric damaging moths.

Maintains Proper Moisture Levels

Cedar wood also gently regulates humidity levels preventing excess condensation that breeds mildew growth. Breathable composition allows needed airflow.

Acid-Free Archival Boxes

For those without spare rooms to devote giant armoires, collapsible acid free cardboard wardrobe boxes offer similar textile protection on a smaller scale.

Protects from Dust and Dirt

Thick layered corrugated design keeps fabric sealed away from light, airborne debris, pet dander and typical household dirt exposure during off-season downtime or long term attic storage sessions.

Allows Some Air Circulation

Flip top lids allow occasional fresh air exchange to prevent stagnancy bred mildews over years sealed away. Linens last decades stored gently this way.

Vacuum Storage Bags

Where floor space lies at a premium, vertically stashing blankets using vacuum compressed bags saves massive square footage while preventing seasonal comforters from crushing delicates.

Saves Closet Space

Watch jumbo queen comforters compress into thin envelopes when air sucked out, perfect for elevating storage above hanging rods using cargo net ties.

Reduces Wrinkling

The compression process also neatly smooths out creased folds into pristine presentations ready for company deployment at a moment’s notice.

Now to equip interior defenses keeping bedding fresh...

red cedar chips

Preventing Dampness and Mildew

Without adequate moisture protection, tightly stacked blankets easily grow funky from ambient humidity exposure. Include several drying agents per storage unit:

Silica Gel Packets

Like mini dehumidifiers, silica crystals actively absorb excess moisture from the air helping maintain an evenly dry environment inside boxes and chests to discourage mold growth. Toss packs on top before sealing closed.

Cedar Chips

In addition to moth confusion, aromatic cedar chips or shavings provide breathability between folds to ventilate airflow so oxygen reaches bottom layers.

Lavender Sachets

For additional moisture regulation plus pleasant aroma, include little muslin sachets filled with culinary grade lavender buds renowned for dryness. Plus pretty!

Air and Sunlight Exposure

Prevent stagnancy by removing blankets every few months for a brisk air fluffing in direct sunlight which naturally sanitizes and deodorizes musty smells. Just avoid over-drying delicate antique fibers.

What about nibbling moths and larvae threats? Multiple lines of defense protect precious textiles from infestations...

Deterring Fabric Pests

Without preventative measures, larvae hatching from micro-sized eggs laid directly onto natural textile fibers happily feast away creating expensive destruction. Implement multi-prong tactics thwarting infestations from taking hold.

Cedar Planks and Sachets

Line bottom of storage containers with cedar boards or scatter sachets filled with cedar chips to suffuse protective aroma around surrounding fabrics. Eastern red cedar oil properties naturally confuse pests’ detection pathways.

Herbal Sachets Containing Mints, Thyme

Stuff little gauze herb bundles with pest-repelling plants like peppermint, eucalyptus and thyme to further block scent attraction signals.

Diatomaceous Earth Applications

Sprinkle a thin coating of powdered microscopic diatoms on fabric surfaces acting as microscopic razor blades shredded insects upon contact. Brush off later before using.

Extreme Temperature Treatments

Occasionally expose textiles to temperatures either above 115°F or below 0°F sustained long enough to kill various life cycle moth stages from eggs to larvae. Monitor blankets closely during rapid thaws/reheating to avoid damage.

With protective measures now established fortifying storage spaces, focus shifts to proper folding care preventing creases embedding...

Proper Folding and Refolding

No one desires discovering once straight and smooth comforters now rumpled inside bags harboring engrained wrinkles difficult removing later. Master origami-esque textile folding further prolonging freshness between launderings.

Accordion Folding Method

Gently press major creases using your hands, then repeatedly fold into approx. 18” wide stacked panels so air circulates between each compressed layer. This prevents permanent imprints over time pressed by body weight.

Rolling Technique

For circular pieces like tablecloths, carefully roll fabrics around acid free cardboard tubes or foam tubing to maintain shape between usages rather than harsh diagonal folds. Tie ribbons to hold rolled bundles.

Tissue Paper Layers In Between

Separate stacked blankets using acid-free tissue paper to prevent direct contact. This also absorbs oils or humidity remnants directly on fabric rather than transferring onto adjacent pieces. Check papers periodically for moisture.

Proper storage setups and conscientious folding allow even rarely used formal occasion throws or sentimentally cherished family quilts to re-emerge decades later as soft and sweetly scented as the first winter night they initially sheltered generations gathering fireside.

Follow these tips so one day your own blankets get passed down heirlooms in similarly pristine condition still ready to warm future loved ones.

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About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

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