Cedar Chests Are a Never-Ending Phenomenon!
Cedar chests are a historically continuing phenomenon. You might have memories of grandma’s beautiful cedar chest sitting at the foot of her bed. Do you remember the awe and the mystery this rustic beauty teased your childhood intrigue with? Cedar chests appear to hold valuable treasures or at least something worthy of being stowed away under lock and key. Now as an adult you don’t wonder anymore what kind of treasures grandma hid in her cedar chest. You are the one putting your own treasures or valuables into this beautiful wooden box.
Which is what begs this sensible question… “What is safe to store in a cedar chest?”
Before we answer this question, take a moment to understand what incredible storage you find inside your cedar chest.
Why Cedar Chests Offer Excellent Storage
Cedar chests have withstood the test of time and are still charming people’s homes all over the world. It is no small accident that these aromatic wooden chests have held their ground (or should I say space) for centuries.
So, what is the secret to this chest’s seeming immortality? The secret ingredient is Cedar wood. Cedar chests proved to provide excellent storage because it is built with solid cedar wood. Cedar wooden chests offer lasting, reliable, and resilient storage for the following reasons:
- Water Resistant – Cedar wood is naturally designed to withstand harsh environmental elements such as rain or snow. No need to worry about occasional water spills or a leaking roof damaging your cedar. Thanks to cedar wood’s amazing water resistance properties you don’t need to fear mold growing inside of your chest.
- Decay resistant – Your cedar chest will not rot away with age. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to decay.
- Insect Repellant – The natural oils within cedar creates a fragrant smell that delights our noses but repels insects such as moths or termites.
- Fire resistant – Cedar wood makes excellent kindling because it doesn’t disappear quickly. There are testimonies of cedar chests surviving house fires and leaving its stored items intact.
Bottom of the line. Cedar is the best material used for creating a space for long term storage of valuables.
Now on to answering the questions of what is safe to store in a cedar chest!
What is Safe to Store in a Cedar Chest?
Although cedar chests provide great safety and durability (as we noted earlier in this blog) for your personal items, not all items are preserved best by simply setting inside one of these chests and left for months or years. While you may enjoy the good-smelling gases emitted by the cedar wood, these gases over time can also cause deterioration and discoloration on the edges of some of your favorite fabric pieces. Also, because of the acidic environment, there is the possibility for your quilts or linens to become brittle.
Good news! Even though you can’t just throw anything as it is into your cedar chest and close the lid, you can store pretty much anything in your chest. In this blog, we are going to discover not only what is safe to store in a cedar chest, but also how to prepare your more delicate items prior to storage, so that they too, can enjoy the protection of your beautiful, wooden chest.
Can I store Blankets or Quilts in my cedar chest?
Yes. Ornate quilts or blankets are often inherited heirlooms or special gifts and your cedar chest makes a wonderful host. But to ensure optimal preservation during their long-term stay in your chest, a little prep work is necessary.
Preparation Tip: Prior to storage just slip them into some cotton pillowcases. And/or you can line the inside of your cedar chest with a bedsheet. You must make sure though, that your bed sheet is rinsed of any detergent, bleach, or softener residue. You want to ensure the cleaning chemicals don’t interfere with the natural make-up of your cedar wood.
Can I store photos in my cedar chest?
Yes, with proper preparation you can store photos in your cedar chest. Your pictures capture moments in history that would sadly disappear in your memory over time. Keeping your photos in your cedar chest will ensure their continuing preservation for the familial generations to come.
Preparation Tip: First, it is best to avoid storing your photos in an old photo album. Unfortunately, the plastic sleeves in old photo albums usually aren’t acid free or their plastics are damaging and contain adhesives. For the best storage of your photos use polyester sleeves ( buy sleeves that are polyh vinyl chloride free) or archival boxes.
Can I store glass or china in my cedar chest?
Absolutely. This item has the green light, so go ahead and set right in your chest. If you might want to provide some cushion in between the glass, avoid using newspaper or plastic bags, especially if you play to store other items, like textiles, in the same space. Try cotton fabric or acid free tissue paper instead.
Can I store Leather handbags in my cedar chest?
Yes, leathers can be stored in your cedar chest. The most common concern is that your leather might start smelling like cedar. So, if you want to avoid any possibility of cedar smelling leather, you might want to store elsewhere.
Preparation Tip: Slip your leather bags into some clean, cotton pillowcases. Keep in mind that cedar does reduce moisture in your chest, so keep an eye on them to ensure they aren’t drying out.
Can I store old wedding, vintage, or antique clothing in my cedar chest?
Yes. Cedar chests are a great choice for collectors of antique textiles.
Preparation Tip: Make sure there is a separation from the bottom and sides of the cedar chest and your clothing. Wrap your textiles in unbleached muslin (available at your local fabric stores). Avoid plastic or paper bagging of your textiles. Remember that only certain plastics (Polypropylene, polyethylene or polyester) are safe to store items in a cedar chest.
Can I store silk or wool in my cedar chest?
You might be more familiar with this question and its answer. Yes. Wool is the most well-known stored item inside these moth repellant cedar chests.
Preparation Tip: Even though wool is commonly stored in cedar chest, you still should prep your chest by lining the inside with a sheet or acid free tissue paper and/or wrapping them with the tissue paper. Same advice goes with silk.
Now to “Wrap” this Up
Hopefully, we’ve answered your questions on What Is Safe to Store in a Cedar Chest? In conclusion, cedar chests offer you fantastic storage and you can be confident that your thoughtfully prepared heirlooms, antiques, or valuables will be safe and sound, preserved and protected for generations to come.
Check out our beautiful, Amish handcrafted solid cedar chests and begin preserving the items that are meaningful to you today!
can you store food safely in your cedar chest?
Sorry for the slow reply. Our chests are not specifically built for food storage. However, there would be no harm non perishable food items in your chest. Just be sure that any food items you place inside are first put into a sealed package or container with a sealed lid.
My cedar chest is dated 10-09-1929, and has only one tiny flaw in the veneer on the front. It’s a Lane and stunning in it’s art deco design and sits up high on a pedestal!
Worth every penny I paid for it.
Can I store my father’s WWII blue (wool) navy uniform in a cedar chest? Should I line the chest with linen or acid free paper? Should I clean the uniform with dry cleaning or wet cleaning or leave it alone? Thank you
Yes, woolens are perfect for storing in a cedar chest. For wool clothing it is not necessary to use the acid free paper, the cedar itself will work well to protect the wool from moths that can cause significant damage to woolens.
As far as the cleaning of the uniform prior to storing it in the chest, I don’t have a real good answer for you there. That question would probably be best answered by a cleaning professional.
I hope this helps!
Can I store LP’s in my cedar chest?Beverly
Yes, you can certainly store LP’s in your cedar chest. However, I would definitely suggest placing them inside a sealed bag first. A ziplock bag should do the trick.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Can you use ziplock bags to seal small items to put in the chest??
I want to make a box for a Bible out of Cedar, will it affect the paper?
I would not suggest placing a Bible in a cedar chest without placing inside something else first. printed paper can react to the cedar and cause the cedar to “bleed” a gooey substance that can be very damaging.
Mary Jane Garner
Can I store picture albums and lots of snapshots in a cedar chest?
I would not suggest storing photos in a cedar chest. Cedar chests work the best for blankets and clothing type materials. Cedar can react to printed photos or papers causing the same to drip for the cedar wood. We’ve seen this happen on rare occasions when photos were stored and a cedar chest.
I hope this helps, feel free to ask if you have any further questions.
Can I keep my cedar chest in the basement. It has a dehumidifier and lots of windows for air & sunlight.
I have blankets and other linens. Also knit items I have made for grandchildren.
Thank you. Pat Marselle
That sounds great. Highly recommended to keep the dehumidifier running, good job! – Josh
I enjoyed reading all about cedar chest storage. I have over 20 Barbie dolls that my granddaughters want to save for their children which may not happen for 15 years. My cedar chest is in my garage. Is that okay? Do mice find a way in?
It all depends what your garage is like. Typically a garage is not the best location for furniture considering that there is a higher risk for temperature extremes and moisture being brought in by vehicles that have been driven in inclement weather and then parked in the garage.
Mice should not be able to get into the cedar chest as long as the lid is kept closed.
I hope this helps! – Josh