Once warm weather takes hold, it's time to put those extra winter blankets away for a while. Storing the blankets improperly may lead to a few unpleasant surprises, such as mildew or musty odors. Instead, opt for breathable storage solutions that keep the blankets as fresh as they are after they've just been cleaned.
Washing the blankets first helps ensure they'll be ready to use when you need them months down the road; besides, no one wants to put a dirty blanket back on the bed.
- Follow the washing instructions on the blanket care tags. If the tag is missing, wash the blanket by itself in cold water on a gentle cycle using a gentle detergent.
- Line-dry it, or dry it in a dryer using a low-heat or air-only setting to keep it looking its best.
- Make sure the blanket is completely dry before storing it, otherwise it may develop mildew or a musty odor.
While a plastic bag may seem like the ideal way to keep dust and debris off the blankets while they're stored, in reality, that plastic could be problematic. A completely airtight bag may hold in moisture during humid weather, which means the blankets become damp and potentially mildewy or musty. Instead, opt for blanket-storage bags with breathable cotton sides; the cotton allows fresh air to flow through while keeping the blankets protected from dust and insects.
Storing in Trunks or Drawers
Store those clean blankets in a trunk at the foot of the bed or in a spare drawer if you don't have room in a closet. Fold the blankets neatly and place wrap them in a cotton sheet to help keep them completely clean, even within the chest or drawer.
Avoid storing the winter blankets in a damp, dank place such as a basement, as moisture from the air will find its way onto the blankets, causing potential mold and mildew. Even a closet may be prone to moisture during humid conditions if the door isn't opened frequently. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to keep mildew at bay:
- If you use air conditioning, open the closet door while the air conditioner is on to help dehumidify the closet.
- Otherwise use a dehumidifier during damp weather -- with the closet door open -- to help ensure the closet stays dry too.
- Keep the closet door open slightly during humid conditions if you've ever noticed a musty or damp smell within the closet.