Do Vacuum Seal Storage Bags Ruin Clothes?

Do vacuum seal storage bags ruin your clothes? When vacuum bags came out, they quickly became all the rage. Everyone was using vacuum bags to save space when packing for a trip, a move, or storing their items in a storage unit.

However, there are a few cons to using a vacuum seal storage bag, especially when you plan to store your clothes in storage long term.

Here’s what you need to know before sealing your items in vacuum storage bags.


How to pack clothes in a vacuum bag

When it comes to storing clothes, you want to save space and fit as much as possible into your luggage or box.

Vacuum storage bags are one of the considerable solutions if you want to compress your items to fit in your storage. But before sealing in your clothes, here’s what you need to do before packing your clothes in a vacuum bag.

– Wash all your clothing

For hygienic purposes, make sure to wash all the clothes you’re packing in the vacuum bag.

wash your clothing first

You don’t have to use any fabric conditioner or perfumed detergent; you only need to wash it fresh and clean.


– Fold or roll each item into the bag

Thoroughly dry your laundry, then fold or roll each piece of clothing into the bag.

Be wary of how you fold your clothes. Most prefer to roll their clothes when packing them in a vacuum storage bag because of fewer creases when taken out.


– Stack your items

Depending on the size of your bag, you can stack as much clothing as you think the bag can contain. Although keep your stacks neat and keep the fold or rolls of your clothes intact to avoid unwanted creases.

Tip: It’s better to stack the same type of clothing together or keep clothes made of the same material in the same bag.


– Follow instructions on how to remove air from the bag

Look for the manual or guide of your vacuum sealer machine for instructions on how to remove air from the storage bag.

If you cannot find the manual or guide for your machine, you can watch this helpful tutorial.

Will vacuum sealed storage bags ruin my clothes?

Vacuum sealed storage bags are an efficient solution for packing bulky clothes and fitting heaps of clothes in storage.

However, this solution is not ideal for long-term storage if you want your clothes to remain in mint condition, or at least how you packed them.

Here’s what happens to your clothes when sealed in and why it can damage your clothes if left for a long time.

– Flattens clothes and damages fabric fibers

When you flatten your clothes in a vacuum sealed bag, it also compresses the fibers of your clothing.

If left for a long time, your clothes will develop permanent creases and wrinkle.


– Jeopardizes the framework of your garments

Aside from unwanted lines and creases on your clothing, sealed garments are prone to losing shape and elasticity.

No one wants to end up with stretched-out t-shirt or sweatpants with loosened cuffs.


– Plastic melts and can ruin your clothes

Be mindful of where you store your vacuum sealed bags, especially in the summer.

The storage bags are still made of plastic and will melt when exposed to extreme heat. Avoid damaging your clothes from melted plastic by storing your vacuum sealed bags in a climate controlled storage unit.

Find the nearest Shield Storage in your location here.

Can you use vacuum sealed bags for traveling? Yes!

Can you use vacuum sealed bags for traveling? Yes!

Vacuum sealed storage bags are not only convenient when storing items in storage, but they are perfect for packing clothes for your luggage, too!

Here’s how to pack your items and a few reminders to consider when carrying vacuum sealed bags.

– Fold or roll the clothes and place them inside the bag

Following the same steps as packing clothes for storage, make sure the clothes you’re packing are clean and neatly stack clothes together.

Tip: Check the size of your luggage to know which storage bag size will fit. This will also steer you clear of overpacking.


– Bags can be reused

If you invested in high-quality vacuum sealed storage bags, you can and should reuse your bags. In doing so, you get your money’s worth and reduce waste.

– Security sometimes opens the bags and cannot be easily resealed

The trick to avoiding security opening your vacuum sealed bags is to avoid sealing in items that may trigger the security alarm.

Get to know what you can and can’t bring when traveling. This way, you won’t go through the unfortunate hassle of repacking your items at the airport or station.

– Be mindful of weight limits

Using vacuum sealed bags can only save you storage space but not the weight of the items.

When stacking clothing inside your bag, be mindful of how many items you are packing. You may think you have more space in your luggage, but you may already have gone over the weight limit.


– Clothes will arrive very wrinkled and difficult to get out

What you get out will go back in. While sealing in your clothes is convenient when traveling to your destination, how about when you return home?

Make sure to use storage bags that are easy and convenient to get the air out or bring a hand pump to suck the air out of your bag.


Do vacuum storage bags wrinkle clothes? Yes!

Expect your clothes to come out wrinkly and even shrunk after packing them in a vacuum sealed storage bag.

It’s a good thing you can reduce the damage, so you don’t have to deal with ironing out every piece of clothing you packed. Here’s how to pack for fewer wrinkles and creases and how to deal with them.

– Pack vacuum storage bags made of thick plastic if possible

It’s essential to choose the right material for your storage bag. Opting for thicker plastic bags means the stiff material will crinkle up less compared to thin plastics.

– Tips for getting the wrinkles out

To get rid of the wrinkles in your clothes, gently wash and use a fabric conditioner for your clothes. Then, lay your clothing flat to air it out and dry.

You may also use an iron or steam cleaner to straighten the fabric from wrinkles and creases.

How to avoid ruining clothes stored for a long time in a vacuum storage bag

How to avoid ruining clothes stored for a long time in a vacuum storage bag

Using vacuum sealed storage bags saves you tons of space and protects your items from dust and mildew. It’s the perfect storage solution for anyone.

However, to avoid ruining your clothes, you can’t use this solution for long-term storage. There are items that you can and cannot store with vacuum sealed bags.

– Vacuum sealed bags are for the short term, no longer than 6 months

If you’re storing clothing sealed airtight in a storage bag, keep track of your items and remember to take them out after six months.

Anything beyond six months, you risk them getting permanent damages such as creases and wrinkles, among others.


– What not to store

In order to preserve the quality of your belongings, there are specific type of clothing and items that are not advisable to put in a vacuum sealed bag. Such items are those listed below.

– Naturals fibers like wool

Clothing or any item made of natural fibers is best stored in a storage bin or a box. Don’t pack them in vacuum sealed storage bags unless you want them misshapen.

– Sleeping bags, big fluffy coats, and insulated jackets

Garments such as fluffy coats and insulated jackets, and sleeping bags have plenty of air trapped inside to function how it’s supposed to.

If you compress them in a vacuum sealed bag, you risk shrinking them and permanently damaging the loft inside.

Better yet, hang your bulky jackets in a clean and dry closet, or you can find storage to keep your outerwear safe and in good condition.

vacuum seal stuffed animals

– Stuffed animals

While it is convenient to vacuum seal stuffed animals, you risk permanently misshaping them.

– Leather jackets

Compressing a leather jacket or anything made of leather in a vacuum sealed bag will damage the leather leaving your jacket with permanent crease lines and cracks.

Just like fluffy and insulated jackets, it’s better to hang your leather jackets in a closet.


– Cashmere and silk

Fabrics such as cashmere and silk do not respond well to being compressed and shrunk in a sealed bag.

The pressure that pushes the clothing to shrink will damage your precious silk or cashmere clothes.


– What does store well?

If you’re packing your clothes in a vacuum sealed storage bag, consider clothing that are made of:

– Cotton, Spandex, or Polyester

Clothing that is made of cotton, spandex, or polyester can be sealed in a storage bag for a long time without incurring permanent damage.


Can mold grow? Yes!

Mold grows in closed humid spaces. You may think your items are safe because they’re sealed airtight, but it is still possible for mold to manifest and grow inside your storage bags.

Here’s how to make sure you prevent mold and mildew from growing.

Vacuum sealed bags keep the air out

Vacuum sealed bags keep the air out

While vacuum sealed bags keep the air out and reduce the possibility of moisture building up, there is still a possibility of mold and mildew forming inside your bags due to the lack of proper ventilation.

Vacuum sealed bags discourage proper ventilation. Thus, causes:

Mold and mildew

Due to the lack of airflow and compact storage, your clothes inside the storage bag are still prone to mold and mildew.

Traps moisture

When you seal a bag, make sure your item inside is dry to avoid moisture.

Store your bags away from direct sunlight and keep them in a place safe from humidity or extreme fluctuations of temperature.


Plastic does not breathe

Because of the tight seal and pushed-out air, the plastic bag clings to your items, leaving no room for air to circulate.

With the lack of ventilation inside the plastic, it results in the buildup of moisture which causes mold and mildew.

Other reasons not to use a vacuum sealed bag for long term storage

Other reasons not to use a vacuum sealed bag for long term storage

Here are other disadvantages to using vacuum sealed storage bags when storing long term.


Odor absorption and lasting plastic odor

No one likes the smell of plastic.

When using a vacuum sealed bag, due to the tight plastic merged with the fabric, when the odor dissipates, it clings to your clothing.

As a result, your clothes will either temporarily carry a plastic odor or forever smell like plastic.

– Discoloration and fading

If carelessly stored, your clothing may develop discoloration or faded lines over time.

– Color transfer

Another disadvantage in compressing clothes in a vacuum sealed bag is the risk of color transfer from one clothing to another.

You can avoid this by sorting clothing of the same color and packing them in the same bag.


How to mitigate damage

There are a lot of disadvantages to using vacuum sealed storage bags. However, if you’re mindful of where and how you store your belongings, you can avoid damaging them.

Empire Self Storage Indoor Storage

– Get a climate controlled storage unit

One of the mishaps that can be avoided is damaging your clothes due to poor storage.

Invest in a climate controlled storage unit to store your storage bags, so you can ensure they are safe from extreme temperatures.

Find a climate controlled storage unit that best suits your needs here.


– Put acid-free tissue paper between each bag

Provide an extra protective lining to your clothes by placing acid-free tissue paper between each bag when putting them in a box or storage bin.

The acid paper helps in preventing colored clothes from transferring into one another and helps keep moisture away.


– Periodically air your clothes out

For long term storage, practice regularly visiting your storage unit. Be it for a weekly or monthly clean-up and maintenance of your items.

Doing this is also a way for you to take out your clothes from their storage bags and air them out.

   Are vacuum sealed bags bad for the environment?        

Are vacuum sealed bags bad for the environment?

Vacuum sealed bags are bad for the environment. They are non-biodegradable and contain polyethylene. Plus, it takes 450 years to fully decompose one bag.

Despite all that, vacuum sealed bags are still used because of their convenience. If you’re packing your items in vacuum sealed bags, invest in reusable bags that can last for numerous uses.


In conclusion, there are advantages to using a vacuum sealed bag when packing for short term storage or even traveling.

However, the same sentiment can’t be shared if you plan to store your items and clothing long term in a storage unit.

Moreover, take note of the reminders on using a vacuum sealed storage bag. Especially what you can and cannot seal in a storage bag, so you can avoid ruining your clothes.

If you are looking for a storage facility, find the nearest Shield Storage in your location here.

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