The East Coast had an unusually wet and cool year in 2018. We’re definitely tired of gray, rainy days – are you? Everyone scrubbed more mold and mildew – and washed and re-washed more laundry – than ever before! Have you had problems with storing linens and keeping them fresh? We hope that our blog this month can help you with that situation!
Preparing Linens For Storage:
The first and MOST IMPORTANT step is to make sure you are putting away CLEAN, DRY AND WRINKLE FREE LINENS!
If your towels, tablecloths or napkins are spotted, damp or wrinkled when you put them away – GUESS WHAT?
They will STILL be spotted, damp or wrinkled when you pull them out of storage – and will probably be mildewed as well!
Ironing linens BEFORE storage may seem to be a waste, however, with proper storage they should need very little touching up before use. Allow ironed pieces to cool before putting them away, ensuring that ALL moisture is gone!
Whether you are a business that is handling your own linens or a laundromat handling everyone else’s laundry: make sure that you, and your staff, know the ins and outs of getting laundry sorted and clean.
Here’s a thought for those of you doing other people’s laundry! If you have been thinking about expanding your business you may consider adding services that cater to event planners/venues. Services such as prompt laundering of event linens or bundling of same color cloth napkins for easy storage may be a way to grow your business.
While you’re getting your linens clean and dry, look around your facility and think about your storage options.
- The first thing to consider: does your facility also handle food? Yes? Then your soiled/clean linens must be stored in a separate area!
- A second thing to consider is that you need a dry, dark area. Exposing your linens to sunlight/damp conditions will eventually damage them.
Have you found the ideal area? Now you need to organize and actually Store your tablecloths, comforters, sheets…
How to do that? Well, NOT in PLASTIC BINS! Sorry – but they are breeding grounds for dampness which equals mold and mildew!
THE IDEAL STORAGE AREA WOULD HAVE BOTH OPEN SHELVES AND HANGING RACKS.
OPEN SHELVING: Ideal for stacking sheets, pillowcases, and tablecloths.
- If you are storing the items for longer than normal – consider slipping a sheet of acid-free paper between linens (acid – free won’t cause them to yellow!).
- HANGING RACKS: Perfect for tablecloths and runners, duvets, chair covers, and drapery.
- To easily hang these items, use pant hangers – all you have to do is clip them in place and hang!
More Linen Storing Tips:
- Remember that fabric softener will cause your table linens to discolor over time and may also leave them oily and limp looking.
- Bundle like napkins together and tie with a ribbon to make them quick to grab when needed.
- Have some empty wrapping paper tubes? Wrap your table linens around them and place them on your open shelving.
- Find somewhere to set some open boxes of baking soda to help remove humidity and odors, or have a professional controlled environment system installed.
- Hang sachets or fabric softener sheets throughout your storage area but make sure they don’t actually TOUCH your linens: they may cause discoloring.
- Putting fabric in contact with cedar, plastic or cardboard will cause it to yellow and may also weaken fibers over time!
What ingenious ways have you found to store your linens? Feel free to share your knowledge in the comment section!