Laundry Care: What Are Mothballs For?

Rohan Mathew

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As someone who takes great care of their clothes, you know that storing your clothes properly and protecting them against moths are essential. You turn to mothballs to keep these pests away and keep them from devouring your favourite shirts and sweaters. 

But, mothballs, as effective as they are, have to be recognized as a pesticide. When misused, it can be harmful to you, your family, and the environment. In addition to natural alternatives, there are some practices you can take and habits to develop to ensure proper laundry care and that starts with engaging a laundry service in Singapore

What Can You Use Mothballs For? 

Moths are pests that can damage your clothing. They feed exclusively on natural, animal fibres including wool, fur, silk, felt, feathers, and leather. They also lay their eggs in warm and quiet areas of your homes, where food is abundant for their larvae when they hatch. Unfortunately, these ideal locations are primarily where you store your clothes. 

Some signs that your wardrobe is infested with moths include irregular holes and silky tunnels (furrows) in your clothes. You may also see grains and other dried food in and around the storage. 

Placing mothballs in your storage can help prevent these problems. These insecticides contain chemicals that give off toxic fumes and therefore should be handled with caution. Always read the usage instructions before use. Below are some tips to use mothballs properly. 

  • Use mothballs on clothes you will store for long periods—a month or more. 
  • Store your clothes in airtight containers, such as plastic storage boxes to keep the fumes from escaping. 
  • When it’s time to wear your clothes, air them outside at least for a day to remove any traces of odour. Wash as normal and take them for a professional laundry service
  • Don’t throw your clothes straight into the washer. The small can transfer to your other clothes. 

4 Natural Mothball Alternatives 

There’s a reason why mothballs are so effective at their job: they are made from toxic chemicals that are fatal to moths. But, what makes them effective is also what makes them toxic to human health when exposed for long periods. There are natural alternatives that smell better, are safer, and more importantly, can be just as effective. 

  1. Cedar

The scent of cedar can repel various kinds of insects and pests, making them useful when storing clothes for the long term. They are available in chips and blocks and are kept in bags that you can hang next to your coats and jackets. Change them every once in a while to keep the scent strong and fresh. 

  1. Lavender 

While the scent of lavender is relaxing for us, it’s repugnant to most moths and other insects. Lavender sachets are readily available in stores, but you can make one yourself with a handful of lavender branches. 

  1. Herbs & Spices 

What you store in the pantry to season your food, you can also use to keep bugs and insects away from your clothes. Herbs like rosemary, mint, and thyme and spices like cloves make a great mothball alternative. Mix these dried herbs and spices to make moth-repelling sachet bags for your closet. 

  1. Essential Oils 

You can also get these natural alternatives in the form of potent essential oils. They can be diluted to make a scented spray for your clothes. Alternatively, you can also add a few drops to your dryer balls and toss them in the dryer during your laundry. 

How to Prevent Moth & Other Insects in Your Closet 

Controlling moths in your wardrobe takes more than just the use of moth-repelling solutions. It requires due diligence to keep your clothes in their best possible and ensure that they are stored properly for the long haul. Here, we are concluding with tips on how to care for your clothes. 

  • Wash your clothes before storing 

Stains and dirt set into your clothes and the longer you wait to address them, the harder it will be to remove them. Plus, dirty clothes are more likely to attract insects and pests that may also damage your garments. 

Wash your clothes accordingly and make sure that they are rinsed and dried completely before storing them. A better and safer option is to take your clothes to a laundry service to ensure thorough cleaning and that stains and dirt are removed.

  • Avoid overusing bleach 

White fabrics, particularly those made from natural fibres like cotton and linen, can become yellow when exposed to too much bleach. The yellowing can be worse over time when your clothes are stored for the long term. 

If you cannot avoid using bleach, at least use sparingly or as per washing instructions. Rinse your clothes thoroughly.

  • Use proper storage 

For short-term storage, cardboard boxes should be fine to store your clothes, but make sure that they are clean and without any traces of particles that will attract pests and mould (e.g. food residue). 

Plastic boxes are some of your best options for storage—they keep out pests, dust, water, etc. You may also consider lining them with acid-free tissue paper to absorb moisture. Other options for storage include plastic bags, vacuum bags, etc.

  • Use the right detergent 

The more you wear your clothes, the more prone they are to wear and tear—fading, stretching, pilling, etc. It’s why it’s important to use cleaning solutions that are gentle on your fabrics yet ensure a thorough clean. 

It’s also why getting professional help matters. With top-grade cleaning solutions and advanced equipment, professional laundry cleaners deeply clean and protect your garments from the signs of damage. You can wear your clothes more and keep them for longer. 

Looking for Professional Laundry & Dry Cleaning Services? 

Clean Care is a professional cleaning company in Singapore that offers a comprehensive range of premium cleaning services for carpet, upholstery, leather, etc. in both residential and commercial spaces. It also offers laundry and dry cleaning services for your clothes, bedding, curtains, and anything that requires special care and attention. 

With their services, you can ready your clothes for long-term storage and make sure that they look and smell as good as they were when you first stored them. 

For more information, visit their website today.