"No cedar hangers, ever!"
Okay, that may not be an exact quote from a certain Faye Dunaway film, but it seems to be the mantra of those in quality clothing care business.
Apparently the oils from cedar can actually damage your garments. Plus, if not sanded down regularly, the moth-repellant properties are gone.
I'll let one of the experts, Stu Bloom, say it in his own words:
Can cedar hangers harm? Absolutely.
The mythical properties of cedar are vastly overrated and often misunderstood. I would go so far as to say that the negative properties of cedar far outweigh any positive properties.
Here's the most important thing to know about cedar: cedar is a highly acidic wood and acids that come in direct physical contact with fabric (a phenomenon known as acid transfer or acid migration) can cause that fabric to become yellow and brittle.
For more information on this subject....
Blog post: Protecting your fine clothes with cedar -- the double edged sword
More on the subject:
Consider 2 issues associated with cedar...
1. Never allow cedar to come into physical contact with garments and fabrics.
2. And if you do use cedar, always ensure that there is a chemically inert, plastic barrier film between your garments and fabrics and the cedar.
Take the cedar chest for example....
The adult female moth is averse to the OILS in cedar. It's the oils that provide the mythical "anti-moth" properties that so many folks (inaccurately) believe will provide protection for their fine wools during the summer months. The problem is that most folks have never reoiled or sanded the inside of their cedar chests in years. So the wood offers NONE of the positive functionality associated with cedar and ALL of the negative issues of cedar.
If you're going to use cedar (cedar blocks, cedar rings, cedar chips, cedar walls, cedar anything), make sure that
* the cedar oils are ALWAYS ACTIVE
* you use thumb tacks to attach a chemically inert, plastic barrier film (such as Mylar D from DuPont...ICI make a similar product but I can't remember the brand name) to the inside walls of your chest so as to provide a physical barrier between your garments and the wood.
PS: If you properly CLEAN your garments BEFORE you store them for the summer (thereby removing all the nutrients in the form of body oils and perspiration that the moth larvae need to feed on in order to survive and grow), you'll never have a moth problem. Which, of course, obviates any necessity for moth balls, herbal sachets, cedar (in all its forms), etc. QED.
I only own cedar shoe trees, but I was ready to purchase some cedar hangers this year. Good thing I didn't yet. Given this information, those nice sized hangers from Kirby Allison's Hanger Project don't seem like such a bad deal. (Plus I heard they're actually a hell of a value for what you pay.)