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Thread: How do I remove musty smell from quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Hi, I have a question if anyone can answer. I thought I had seen a comment about using vinegar to get rid of bad odors in a quilt. My daughter's quilt, which is hand-quilted, has developed a sort of musty smell, probably from her many moves. She wants to give the quilt to her niece Zoe, our first and only grandchild. However, she doesn't want to give it to her with this smell. Other than Orvus how would she clean it. Would she wash it in a washing machine on gentle, put it in the bathtub and gently wash it, or what? I'd be interested in any and all ideas that have worked for you, as she would like for it to be a sort of heirloom quilt. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I wash all my quilts in my machine UNLESS they are fragile.
    For sturdy quilts I wash them with a small amount of detergent and either dry on low or hang to dry out in the fresh air. Some people say that's wrong but I've never had a problem.
    For a fragile quilt I soak with a gentle soap, hand rinse, and dry flat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mythreesuns's Avatar
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    I have used FEBREZE in my laundry and never had an issues. Plus I have used it on my brothers quilt (that he did not use anymore and had stored in his basement) that my grandma made for him 40+ years ago. All is fine with it now.

  4. #4
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    I have had luck putting clean but smelly material in the dryer at tumble (no heat) with a dryer sheet containing Febreze. Haven't tried it with a whole quilt.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I put vinegar in the washing machine to get rid of odors all of the time. Someone mentioned adding soda, but I have never used it.

  6. #6
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    if it does not NEED to washed for cleaning, then spray with vinegar or lemon juice, (lightly) and set outside in the sun/wind...nothing like FRESH air to freshen it up...febreeze will only mask the odor and it will come back!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Aunt Sue's Avatar
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    A local church just had a terrible fire and a quilt survived the fire but not the water and smoke. One of the members of the church is a quilt appraiser and restorer and the following is how she handled cleaning the quilt to remove the odor. They washed and rinsed the quilt several times, one after the other, in a bath tub. Then layed the wet quilt out in the sun on the grass until dry. Lay a plain white sheet on the grass first and another on top of the quilt. It no longer has an odor. It has something to do with the chlorofyll in the grass.

  8. #8
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    I use white vinegar!

  9. #9
    Senior Member quilticing's Avatar
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    I use Woolite Oxy-deep for everything. It has the best enxymes? Whatever, it works.

  10. #10
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    Sunshine and fresh air..works every time!

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