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Musty stash

Musty stash

Old 11-22-2015, 07:47 AM
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Default Musty stash

Hi Everyone,
This is my first time posting here. I read a recent thread about getting musty smells out of fabric and I'd like to know how to prevent the musty smell in my own stash. I'm thinking about running a fan and using rice filled mesh bags. Any other ideas?
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:00 AM
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Welcome from Ontario, Canada. I keep my stash on mini bolts in a wooden cupboard with doors. It is in my sewing room which is in the main part of my heated and air conditioned house. It will depend on how your stash is stored and where it is.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:40 AM
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If the stash is open to air and away from moisture I wouldn't think it would be a problem. Like Tartan said, it's a matter of how it's stored. Mine is on open shelving, and there's all too little moisture in the air where I live, so I don't worry about it getting musty. If you have a problem with high humidity you might want to use an electric dehumidifier.
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:21 AM
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Welcome from Southern California. I have never in 30 years of storing fabric had any type of musty smell. I would assume that it must have been store in a wet damp basement.
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:42 AM
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Where do you live? I have never had a problem with mustiness in my stash, but a great deal depends on where you are storing the fabric. If it is in a damp basement, then you do need to take extra measures. I have not had to deal with damp basements, so my stash has been fine for many years stored in plastic totes.

For plastic totes, I highly recommend getting the ones with clamping lids, as they keep mice out and also the lids do not distort. Of my totes with lids that do not have clamps, some of the lids have distorted over time and are not really secure anymore. In my opinion, the clamps are worth the extra money. I also think it is worthwhile to get totes that are see-through in the lid as well as the body. Here is a link to the general type of tote I like:
This size tote is good for batting, but filled with fabric it would be way too heavy. Here is my favorite for fabric storage, although it is no longer sold :

If you use rice to absorb moisture, I think you definitely will want clamps on your totes to keep mice and bugs out (assuming rice is attractive to them, which I don't know for sure). Instead of rice, you can purchase silica gel at JoAnn's or Walmarts (usually in the area where the artificial flowers are) and make up your own packets. Youtube has some videos of hunters who make up packets using silica gel and paper towels to place in their ammunition and other metal boxes to keep moisture away.

If you have a damp basement for storage, I do think it's wise to invest in a dehumidifier unit. Moisture in fabric is primarily what causes the musty smell.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:18 AM
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Plastic totes won't keep mice out if they really want the contents. My daughter stored dog food in one in the garage. Mice chewed through the lid on one corner & got inside. So instead of rice, I'd go with the silica gel.
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Old 11-23-2015, 08:53 AM
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Thanks all for your help. The room is on the second floor of my condo and is heated, but it is over an unheated carport. The fabric is in open shelving. I have a sensitive sense of smell, so it may not be noticeable to anyone else and now that the fabric has been out of the stash pile for a couple of days the odor is going away. I found another discussion on this topic from 2012 and will try running a fan.
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