You may well be getting in the mood for a clear-out this spring, and with every spring clean comes the possibility of an unwelcome discovery: that you have an infestation of the dreaded moths.
We know there’s nothing more disheartening than picking out your favourite pieces and finding the tell-tale peppering of little holes, signalling that clothes moths have been, and probably still are, living in them! So that's why we're here to tell you that there's no better time to give your wardrobe some TLC, and say au revoir to your moth problem for good.
Follow our 5-step guide to achieve a moth-free wardrobe in no time:
1. CLEAR OUT
A disorganised and cluttered wardrobe is a key factor in attracting clothes moths; hence the pile of clothes lurking at the back of the wardrobe is a haven for moths to thrive.
As a first step, take everything out from your wardrobe and thoroughly check over each garment for damage. Clothes moths are attracted to natural fibres such as cashmere and silk, but have been known to feast on other fabrics too.
You will be able to identify moth-related damage easily; this tends to appear in a small cluster of holes (generally smaller than a £2 coin), typically on the front or sleeves where debris is more likely to reside. You can check out our guide on How To Start Spring Cleaning Your Wardrobe to find out the best way to kick-start a wardrobe declutter.
Moths are particularly attracted to dirty clothes - the larvae feed off dust, hair (human and pet!), dead skin cells, and any other surface debris before they get started on the clothes themselves. In order to prevent any further or future damage to your clothing, it is important to keep all clothing and your wardrobe space clean. Vacuum and clean all areas inside your wardrobe and drawers to kill off any residual moth larvae.
Next, wash any dirty garments made from natural fibres, to deter the moths from settling in them. We wash our wool, cashmere and silk items by hand with our Wool & Cashmere WashorSilk Wash, and they come out super soft and smelling great. Our products are a natural alternative to dry cleaning and contain essential oils such as sandalwood, patchouli and cedarwood, which will keep clothes moths at bay.
We recommend freezing as an all-natural anti-moth treatment to destroy clothes moths, larvae, and eggs; it's best to avoid using toxic products as these can be transferred onto skin and cause irritation. Freezing is an alternative method that is both odour and chemical-free. Place your garments in air-tight moth-proof bags and tightly seal, pressing out any air from the bag. Freeze garments for at least 48 hours, and up to 2 weeks for full effect.
Repairing any damage as soon as possible is the best way to prevent the holes from increasing in size when worn (especially holes on sleeves). The traditional fix for moth-holes is a darning technique, which involves a delicate weave in a matching fabric to repair the hole.
Correct storage of your items can save you time and money invested in moth-related damage. It's important that you don't reintroduce any clothing back into your wardrobe space until its clean, and any damaged items have been repaired and treated. We recommend lining your drawers with scented paper and adding natural fragrance bags with your clothes, as these are packed full of dried herbs and flowers, which smell delightful to us, but keep the moths away.
It is worth noting that vintage items are more likely to attract moths as they will inherently carry more debris and dirt than newer items; ensure these are kept clean and store separately if necessary. If you are planning on storing items away for a longer period, ziplock air-tight bags are most effective at protecting garments.
So to recap, it's important to keep your wardrobe clean and tidy - pop your knitwear in the freezer for a treatment every six months, and store with Natural Fragrance Bags as extra protection.
Extra bonus tips:
Keep you wardrobe doors open. Moths prefer dark, quiet and non-ventilated spaces - make life hard for them!
For your favourite wool and cashmere coats, store them near a window rather than tucked away in the dark.