Does Storing Clothes on a Hanger Cause Damage?

Hangers are the tried-and-true option for clothing storage, but are not without their drawbacks – it’s possible for them to cause creases, discoloration, or even holes in garments. To avoid damage to your clothes, you need to consider the shape and material of the hanger, and match the type of clothing you hang accordingly. We’ve prepared a list of different types of hangers, and their pros and cons.


Wooden Hangers

Hangers made of wood are solid and ideal for heavy clothing. The sturdy frame is excellent for holding the shape of your thicker coats, jackets, and suits. The curved, sloping design of these hangers facilitates hanging of clothes with adequate spaces between them – allowing for good air circulation, and preventing the build-up of moisture and mildew. It also keeps your clothes from rubbing together, which will make them last longer. Popular choices of wood for hangers include cedar, ash, walnut, and cherry. Cedar is particularly adept at repelling moths, and the material has a pleasant aroma.

Note, though, that all types of wood contain natural acids and oils, which can potentially cause delicate clothing to deteriorate over time. We recommend covering the hanger with tissue, muslin, or soft fabric to create a safe barrier.

Molded Plastic Hangers

Available in lightweight and sturdy shapes, these hangers are often cheap but can vary a bit in quality. You can easily test this out by trying (gently) to snap off the end of the frame. If the ends are easily breakable, use the hanger only for lighter clothing. Heavier models, with sturdy rounded frames, are ideal for all types of clothing and should not cause marks or creases. 

Tubular Plastic Hangers

Hangers with a tubular plastic frame are a great general purpose pick for most garments. They don’t rust, are cheaper than wooden hangers, and won’t discolor clothing. It should be noted, though, that they are not a great fit for heavy woolen garments: their straight, unflinching shape can create unsightly shoulder bumps over time. 

Wire Hangers

Though cheap, these hangers are the most dangerous when it comes to preserving clothing. Their thin, flimsy forms can create unsightly creases in your garments and are susceptible to rusting, causing further issues. Additionally, poorly made models may have sharp ends that can tear into fabric. Wire hangers are mostly used by laundries for temporary storage of clothes, but are not recommended for extended use at home. 

A quality hanger is crucial for taking care of your costly and important items. For more information on clothing storage and preservation, visit Classic Touch Cleaners today.