Cedar: The pros and cons of protecting your fine wools through cedar

By: Stu Bloom

Every few weeks or so a customer drops off an armful the sweaters and knits that occurred “moth holes”.

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The client is often perplexed. How can those wools and also knits have arisen moth holes when they’d to be faithfully save in the cedar chest she’s had for years?

Almost on cue, we ask “why cedar?”

Typically, the typical an answer is the cedar has “special anti-moth” properties. So it protects good wools and also knits when they’re not in use.

The follow up concern is obvious: if cedar has actually “special anti-moth” properties, how did those fine wools and knits build moth holes while save on computer in that cedar chest?

Cedar isn’t the solution


The reality is the cedar is no the solution to moth damage.

Here’s why…

Many think that cedar is the appropriate moth repellant. But that’s only true in limited details circumstances.

You see, cedar itself doesn’t loss or death insects.

It’s the aroma the the oils in the wood that’s highly irritating come insects and also it’s the aroma in the oils that provides those insects much less likely to continue to be in that vicinity for a an extensive period of time.

Here’s the problem: Cedar looses it’s confident repellant properties once the lumber dries out, leaving her cedar chest functionally useless.

And the trouble gets worse…

Not only is dried out cedar wood functionally useless, but dried out cedar wood offers negative protection.

Why negative protection?

Because cedar hardwood (and numerous other wood assets for the matter) is extremely acidic.

As the wood ages, it turn off gasses acids. And when those acids come into physical contact with her garments, the acids can possibly yellow her garments and also deteriorate the fibers.

So what to do?

Sand her cedar

Make sure the internal of your cedar chests and also closets is sanded every few years. Sanding the wood will bring out the aroma that the oils listed below the surface of the wood. If the wood is really dry, take into consideration sanding and also applying some cedar oil.

Line cedar v a obstacle film

Line the within of her cedar chest or the outside of her cedar closets v an archival, chemically insert obstacle film (such together Mylar D or Mellinex 516). You deserve to use thumb tacks to affix the obstacle film come the wood.

This will administer a barrier between your garments and the wood. You get the hopeful protection the the aroma that the oil in the cedar and also avoid the negative issues linked with physical contact between the wood and also your good garments.

Avoid physical contact

Never enable any that your garments to come into physical contact with cedar blocks, cedar ring or cedar chips. Stop cedar hangers entirely. If you have actually them, consider storing lock in her garage or in her recycling bin!

By the way, here’s an additional reason to protect against cedar (or moth balls or natural sachets): The aroma the cedar is complicated to remove also after multiple dry cleanings.

There’s a better solution

There is, that course, a far much better way to protect your good wools during brief or lengthy term storage: 

Every wool or wool-trimmed garment have to be to wash and/or dried cleaned prior to storage, also if you only wore the garment for a few hours before storage.

Here’s why….

The female adult moth deserve to lay approximately 200 egg in a cycle, approximately 5 cycles a year. As soon as the woman adult moth is trying to find the “ideal” egg laying location, she’s searching for a resource of nutrition because that the larvae to feeding on once they hatch. Those larvae need to feed in order to survive and grow. Otherwise they die.

Unfortunately, apparel stored without very first being cleaned contain every the nutrients essential to sustain life for those larvae. This nutrients encompass proteins, mineral salts, vitamin B complex and cholesterol the accumulate on your apparel from perspiration, human body oil, food or beverage simply by virtue that the truth that the garment has actually been worn.

If friend clean her fine wools before you store, you’ll never have “moth damage”. Since clean way no nutrition. And no nutrition way no an ext “moth damage”.

Always clean clothes before storage. Clean clothes means no nutrition because that the moth larvae. No nutrition method no moth damage.
Now, the only thing it is left because that you to do is to gather up every those pseudo moth protecting gadgets (cedar blocks, cedar chests, organic sachets, moth balls, polypropylene boxes, zip lock bags, nylon and vinyl zip up garment bags) and store lock in her garage or in your recycling bin.

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Stu Bloom

Stu Bloom is Founder and also President that RAVE FabriCARE. RAVE FabriCARE, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, cares because that fine garments, family members textiles and accessories and serves client throughout the USA and also Canada. Stu is the author of various ebooks on these subjects, every one of which are obtainable from www.julianum.net/freestuff. He is an evangelist because that true top quality cleaning and is a contributor to and also editor the True high quality Cleaning, RAVE FabriCARE’s blog. Friend can find Stu ~ above Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.