Ideally your storage place for linens should be roomy enough that they are not packed together too tightly so your linens may be able to “breathe”. You want these storage closets or cupboards to be located in a cool dry area. If the area where you store your linens is warm and humid you run the risk of mildewed and damaged linens and who wants to dry off with a mildewed towel? If you are using a canvas hanging shelf bag as storage don’t stuff these shelves and be sure to rotate them every few months or so. If you do suspect the area where you are storing your linens to be a bit more damp than to your liking try using a product such as “Damp Rid” to keep back some of that moisture until you can locate a more suitable place.
If you don’t have sufficient space to store all of your linens at once try storing the off season ones in a trunk or chest. Be innovative about where you keep this storage. For example using a chest for a small table in a guest room or the living room.
Now on to your cleaning.
The Spring Cleaning and Fall Cleaning seasons are great times to give your linen closets a good cleaning but of course no time like the present if the mood strikes you.
- Remove all of your linens from your cupboard, closet or other such storage and check them for bugs and/or damage.
- Wash and dry as much of the linen as you can, especially the items that you are going to be storing away for the next season.
- For the cleaning of your closet wipe down the shelves and walls of your linen closet with a damp cloth that has been dipped in a mild cleaning solution of a teaspoon of dishsoap to a gallon of warm water. If you are cleaning a canvas shelf bag dust may be your problem. Vacuum first and then wipe it down with plain water. If it has stains (who knows where these things come from) spot treat them with stain solutions particular to the type of stain or use diluted laundry detergent (this is a perfect way to use up those last residual drops of laundry detergent).
- When you are done wiping down your shelves dry them with a dry cloth or let them air dry completely.
- When it’s time for you to store your now clean linens back on the shelves consider hanging small potpourri bags of herbs or placing small bars of deliciously scented soaps (my weakness) in and around your linens and towels. You can find ready made herb potpourri bags or make your own using herbs such as lavender and rosemary. Hang these in your closet around but not between your linens as you may stain them.
- Use different shelves for different kinds of linens. Such as one shelf devoted to bed linens and another for kitchen towels. Top shelf for blankets and lower level for towels so that everyone can reach them.
- Next get out your label maker and make cute little labels for the shelves so you know what you have stored there.
Taking these special cleaning measures for your linen closet once or twice a year will mean that your chances of an unpleasant surprise in the linen closet will be few and far between.