You won’t be needing your winter coat anytime soon.

So now’s the time of year when we usually throw all our sweaters and tweedery into a ventilated box under our bed, and bring out the linen shirts and tees. But as you might expect, it can get a little musty in there, so you’ve got some cleaning to do. Don’t worry; it’s simpler than you think. After the fold, we’ve got three places to focus, to make sure you finish off the month as crisp as you started it.

Winter Sweaters
Most of your winter gear can just go through the wash before it goes into storage, but the sweaters are worth cleaning by hand. That means filling up a cold tub (or a large plastic bucket) and going at it just like you would a pair of raw denim jeans—a cold dunk, a sudsy dunk and another cold dunk. The key here is to minimize stretching, so you’ll want to lay it flat on a towel in your closet, and leave it for a full 24 hours. Once it’s dry, it’s ready to pack away.

Canvas Sneakers
Now, for the stuff you’re taking out. As you may have noticed around August last year, those plimsolls can get pretty funky—and six months in a storage container probably didn’t help—so you’ll want to put them through the wash before you wear them. If they’re particularly dirty, get an old toothbrush and scrub them up with a mix of water and baking soda. Don’t stop until they’re gleaming.

Jackets and Suits
Cotton suits have a tendency to show stains and wrinkles a lot more than their wool brethren, and on a sunny day, you can see every last one. Luckily, steaming takes care of both beautifully. For a light, unstained jacket, you might be able to get away with just the steam that comes out of your shower, but anything more serious deserves an inch-by-inch steaming from one of these. For any lingering spots, there’s always dry cleaning.

It’s not glamorous, we know—but the summer will thank you.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom