A COUPLE who lost £460 due to mould infestation have shared the expert tips they were given to prevent future problems from reoccurring.
Rosie, 28, and Nick, 27, from Leeds, felt the financial consequences of damp in their home after going to get dressed for a wedding, only to find that Nick's suits had been ruined by a mould infestation.
Poor ventilation in the home meant that the couple were left £460 down due to dry cleaning and other costs, with Nick even having to turn up for the ceremony in just jeans and a smart shirt – the only items that weren’t covered in mould.
“Usually you don’t think anything of storing away your clothes on a hanger and popping them on whenever you plan to wear," says Rosie, speaking to Fabulous.
"But it really is worth taking the extra time to protect your more expensive garments from problems such as mould or moths – we learned the hard way, for sure!
“With the cost-of-living crisis going on we could have used the £460 elsewhere, with the rising gas and energy bills.
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"But in future we’re definitely going to take extra precautions to protect our clothing, as unfortunately unexpected accidents do happen.”
Here, Nicola Barker – Head of Buying at menswear retailer Suit Direct – and her team have shared their top tips for storing your clothing for protection against mould, moths and other disasters…
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1. Air dry in a cool, dry place
The tailoring expert comments: "Although some shirts and suit trousers can be tumble-dried, the best method to protect your clothing against damp is to air dry them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight.
"Always make sure the area is properly ventilated as damp clothing is a hotbed for mould."
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She advises using a wide, sturdy wooden hanger with rounded edges to hold the shape of your garments, and placing trousers on a clipped wooden hanger.
"When air-drying, never cram clothing together as they won’t ventilate properly and may leave a musty smell," she adds.
2. Spritz your clothing with a water repellent spray
The suiting expert goes on to say that although commonly used by campers and hikers, you can also use a water-repellent spray product to give your clothing a protective moisture-resistant layer.
And the good news is, the miracle product can cost as little as £1.99.
"To use, spray it all over the outside of your clothes before storing them in your wardrobe," she recommends.
"For an added layer of protection, silica gel packets are key; they naturally soak up moisture wherever they’re placed so popping them in pockets of suits and jackets is recommended."
3. Store your garments in a cloth suit cover
According to the tailoring whizz, you can also protect garments from moths and mildew by storing them in a breathable cloth suit cover.
"Always avoid plastic covers as they can trap in moisture and leave your clothes smelling damp," she warns.
The tailoring guru goes on to advise hanging clothing in a cool, dry, clean and dark wardrobe.
"If you have several outfits, ensure that you space them out evenly inside the closet to prevent creasing," she says.
"For extra moth and mould prevention, place a few cedar blocks or sachets of lavender in your wardrobe.
"For those items of clothing you aren’t wearing regularly, use vacuum bags to seal out the moisture while minimising the amount of space they take up in your wardrobe."
4. Brush up well and invest in a suit brush
The suiting expert notes that over time dust and debris can sneak their way into the fibres of suits and shirts, which can cause odour or moths to take advantage.
For that reason, she says the most important investment a suit-wearer can make is a suit brush.
"A wood-handed brush with natural bristles is the best choice," she explains.
"Simply brush the fabric in a downward motion to remove any dust, dead skin, hair, or food particles.
"Follow it up with a lint roller for a spotless clean."
5. Invest in a dehumidifier
Natalie and her team also point out that dehumidifiers are a worthwhile investment if you’re looking to future proof your home from mould issues.
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"A good dehumidifier will draw excess moisture from the air, preventing conditions that favour mould growth," she says.
"As a bonus, a dehumidifier will help to remove any musty smells, commonly found in damp and humid spaces."
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