8 Bedding Storage Tips to Keep That Fresh Linen Scent All Year Long

We can all agree there’s nothing better than crawling into a bed with crisp sheets that smell divinely fresh. However, regardless of how pristine your housekeeping may be, keeping that fresh linen scent one they’ve been stored in a closet for a while is a challenge.

During the warmer months, your linen cupboards can be a haven for mold-producing moisture due to lack of ventilation. Then, in the cooler months, the use of heaters coupled with closed-up homes can make it difficult to stop the contents inside your cupboards from going musty. 

So, we’re sharing eight tips to prevent your prized linens from producing a less than desired scent and instead keep them clean and crisp all year round.

8 Storage Tips to Stop Your Linen Sheets From Smelling Musty 

1. Add a scent

You can purchase scented sachets like lavender to give your linen cupboard a subtle aroma — just avoid placing it directly on the sheets. 

Or, a box of soap, a scented candle or even a handkerchief sprayed with essential oil will do the trick. 

2. Try baking soda

If you’re after a long-lasting fresh scent (as opposed to a fragrance), simply place an opened box of baking soda inside your closet, which will help absorb smells for up to a year. Make sure you place it in a safe place, tucked into a corner or hidden at the back, so you don’t run the risk of spilling it all over your sheets. 

3. Wash your sheets before storing

A fresh smell means fresh sheets, yes? So it goes without saying that your sheets need to be tip-top clean before you think about storing them. In an interview with Tech Insider, microbiologist and pathologist at New York University School of Medicine Philip Tierno, said humans produce around 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year, creating a nice, humid environment that allows bacteria to thrive. Tierno recommended washing your sheets at least once a week on a cold temperature setting to ensure you’re saying a final adios to all your little bacteria friends. 

If you need more incentive to wash your linens, 100% flax linen actually becomes softer and cozier with every wash - no fraying, either. It also has moisture-wicking properties, which means those gallons of sweat you produce every year aren’t going to linger in your sheets for long. 

Even if your sheets look fresh, if it’s been longer than a week we strongly recommend popping them in the wash.

4. The drier the better

Even the slightest dampness can cause problems and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow. While air-drying from start to finish is always the best option to not only prolong the life of your linen sheets but also kill bacteria, sometimes tumble drying simply can’t be avoided. If this is the case, dry your sheets on a lower heat setting and for a short period of time, and complete the drying process by hanging up your linen on the line.

Bottom line: make sure your sheets are dry as a bone before storing them.

5. Consider the location

You want a clean, dry space in your cupboard that is cool and receives minimal light exposure. 

This will ensure your bedding will resist fading and be less attractive to insects (even though linen has inbuilt insect-repelling properties). 

If you don’t have a linen closet, don’t stress — any area that is well ventilated, cool, dry, and doesn’t get a lot of light will do the trick. Ottomans and under-bed storage drawers are great options. 

6. Ventilation is key

Once your sheets are washed and thoroughly dried, you want to fold them neatly but not too tightly as they need space to breathe. Consider opening your linen cupboard doors (or drawers) every now and then to create airflow. And if your sheets have been in storage for longer than usual, it’s not a bad idea to air your sheets in the sun before dressing your bed. 

7. Skip plastic tubs

Unless you want your sheets to take on a light brown hue as well as a musty odor, avoid storing them in plastic. Because linen is a natural fiber, it needs to breathe (as mentioned above) – and trapping it in plastic will only create a delightful environment for mildew to grow. If you really must keep your Marie Kondo-inspired airtight containers, take the lid off and keep your items loosely folded in the container. 

8. Use a linen bag or pillowcase protection 

Instead of your plastic containers, most bedding experts would recommend buying additional king-size pillowcases to store your bed linen in. But if you’ve treated yourself to your own Bed Threads set, you’ll know all of our sheets come in a 100% flax linen bag, which makes for the perfect home for your linens when they’re not on your bed.  Simply wash the bag along with your sheets and it’s ready to use.

Need more linen care help? Here's how to wash your linens so they last years (and years).

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