Those precious goods that you so carefully stored away have maintained their condition over the last few years, with one exception: they now have that awful mildew-y smell. Items like baby clothes and holiday décor are only needed periodically and often remain in storage longer than they are in use, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with that pungent smell. Use these tips to get your most commonly stored items back to their original condition.
Clothing fibers make it easy to trap scents, and the more pungent they are, the more difficult it is to wash them out. That moldy aroma comes partly from moisture that seeps into your stored items, so sealing them in a tightly closed box or plastic bag and storing them in a dry area will help to avoid the problem in the future. However, those items that have already been exposed can become as good as new in just a few steps:
- Let the clothes air dry. The sun will dry up any moisture and help release trapped odors.
- Wash in regular cycle with ODOREZE® Laundry Deodorizing Additive. This product is available as a super concentrate so it goes a long way and works great as a general laundry wash booster. Add some to your wash cycle according to the package directions. You can also add ODOREZE® to your regular detergent for the best simultaneous cleaning and deodorizing results.
- Dry thoroughly either outside in direct sunlight or in the dryer.
If the smell persists, try soaking the items overnight in ODOREZE® and then washing them again.
Holiday decorations are among the most commonly stored items, since we really only need them once a year. Keep your holiday decorations clean and smelling fresh by doing some simple upkeep after you unbox your items.
- Vacuum your artificial trees and plants. Use the hand-held attachment to lightly vacuum your Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, etc.
- Wash items with ODOREZE® Bio Based All Purpose Deodorizer, dish soap and water. Fill a bucket with water and a squirt of ODOREZE® and dish soap to wipe off your decorations to eliminate odor, dust and grime.
- Wash your linens with ODOREZE® Laundry Deodorizing Additive. Remove storage odors from those festive blankets and pillows by washing them on a gentle cycle and pouring ODOREZE® in the rinse, as mentioned above.
- Use SMELLEZE® General Purpose Deodorizer Powder on the items that you can’t wash. Pillows and certain tablecloths will get ruined in the wash, so sprinkle dry SMELLEZE® powder on top instead and then vacuum the powder off after a few hours. Alternatively, you can store the items with a SMELLEZE® Reusable Laundry Smell Deodorizer Pouch for a week to draw out the odors and repeat until all the odors are gone. This is also a good product to store your items with to prevent them getting smelly during storage.
Sometimes we end up with more furniture than we can use, and what’s left goes into storage. To freshen up a musty piece of furniture that you are ready to use again, try the following.
- Spray your furniture with an all-purpose bug spray. Let it air out for one day before bringing it in to clean.
- Disinfect the furniture using wood cleaner or disinfectant spray.
- Wipe down furniture with ODOREZE® Bio Based All Purpose Deodorizer. Fill a bucket with water and add an ounce of ODOREZE®. Rub the solution onto the furniture to get rid of that stale odor. ODOREZE® can also be added directly to your wood cleaner or disinfectant for extra deodorizing effectiveness.
Whether you are making a life change like having another baby or moving, it’s likely that you will need to store your items at some point. Now you can box up your precious goods and not have to worry about them smelling sour for long.
Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking. She learns storage tips from Francis Movers.