When you take out your clothes for the new season, do you discover moldy skirts, yellowing white shirts, or lingering odors? Knitted garments, especially, are prone to insect damage. It can be heartbreaking! Are you hesitant to use camphor tablets or scented sachets due to health concerns? In Taiwan's humid summer rainy season, it's particularly prone to insect infestations. Did you know that you can protect your clothes from these issues using essential oils? You can simultaneously prevent insects, discoloration, moth damage, and unpleasant odors! Plus, your clothes will carry a natural fragrance.
Beware! The Common "Roommates" of Your Closet!
Carpet beetles, clothes moths, clothes fish, and silverfish are the most common "roommates" found in household closets. These insects thrive in damp, warm, and dark environments. Drawers, closets, and storage boxes are their favorite spots, especially if there are fabric or wool fibers available. They also prefer human skin flakes and oil. The most commonly damaged areas are collars and cuffs. Once you notice traces of insect bites on your clothes, it's essential to quickly identify the pests and their nests to prevent further damage to other garments.
Home Expert Shares the "Four Steps to Preventing Insects During Seasonal Storage"
Step 1: Clean
Clean your clothes thoroughly before storage. Do not mix dirty and clean clothes together. Dirty clothes with food residues, skin flakes, and sweat stains are a favorite for closet pests. Items that can't be washed with water should be sent to professional cleaning services.
Step 2: Sun Exposure
Some insects lay eggs on fabrics. It's recommended to expose items to sunlight or iron them before storage. High temperatures from sunlight or ironing can effectively eliminate hidden insect eggs in clothing crevices.
Step 3: Use Insect-Repelling and Antifungal Essential Oils
Place insect-repelling and antifungal essential oils on cotton balls and put them in the corners of your closet.
Create scented bricks with these essential oils to lock in their fragrances and place them in various spots.
Drop these essential oils onto diffuser stones and hang them in the closet.
Add these essential oils to baking soda and place them inside the closet to deodorize and freshen the air.
Make a spray and apply it around your storage boxes.
These methods will not only prevent insects but also imbue your clothes with a delightful natural aroma, making your experience of opening the closet more pleasant.
Step 4: Maintain Closet Ventilation
Don't forget to regularly organize your closet. Open the closet door periodically or use a dehumidifier to prevent yellowing and mold growth.
Which Essential Oils Are Best for Closet Use?
Using essential oils with scents that pests dislike is the most effective method. There are many essential oils with fragrances that insects detest. You can choose your favorite scent to repel insects while leaving a pleasant fragrance behind. Here are a couple of options:
Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender has a long history of being used as an insect repellent. It's mild and soothing, making it suitable for all family members. The clothes will absorb its soothing aroma.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Eucalyptus is a versatile essential oil for the home. Its fresh scent is disliked by insects, and research also shows that mites detest it. Beyond repelling insects, it helps prevent mold and purifies the air.
Peppermint Essential Oil: Natural peppermint essential oil has a refreshing and invigorating scent with a hint of sweetness. It's a popular fragrance during the summer and is detested by bugs. It's suitable for use when storing summer clothes. When you take out these clothes next year, they'll carry a refreshing aroma that's both soothing and cooling.
Can Camphor Tablets Be Used in Closets to Repel Insects?
There have been news reports about a newborn diagnosed with acute hemolysis due to clothes stored in a closet with camphor tablets. Camphor tablets are classified as agricultural chemicals and are typically used in industrial or agricultural settings for pest prevention. They are not suitable for home use. The World Health Organization has classified them as strongly possible carcinogens. Camphor tablets can be considered as "silent killers" lurking in daily life. Since both camphor tablets and essential oils repel insects using scents, using natural plant essential oils for this purpose is a better choice.
Can Scented Sachets Be Used in Closets to Repel Insects?
Many people fill their closets with scented sachets, but be cautious of long-lasting fragrances. Most commercially available scented sachets use synthetic fragrance chemicals as ingredients, containing trace amounts of chemicals. Prolonged exposure to scents on clothes can cause dizziness and discomfort. Long-term use may also harm your health. Choosing natural essential oils over synthetic fragrances is a better approach.