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Thread: Gett'en out that " nasty old" smell

  1. #1
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    I recently found 90 plus finished blocks in a covered plastic bin and the fabric to complete the remaining 40 blocks too. I was just thrilled when I found this treasure because the hand drawn plans were also in the bin. Now the challenge is, how do I get that old musty, mildew odor out of the fabric so I can work on them? The blocks are muslin and reproduction prints that are all light pastels. There are no signs of mildew, just that "old nasty" smell.

    These blocks have very special meaning to me and my family so I would like to treat them with honor and respect but, whoo-hoo, they smell too musty to work with. Does any one have any suggestions? I sure would appreciate your help. I thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    Fabreeze and fresh air.

  3. #3
    Super Member PegD's Avatar
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    Did you try just taking them out of the box and letting them air? Or maybe a dryer sheet in the box? I hope you can get the smell out to work on them. Pictures when you are done. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Wash gently, and use vinegar in the rinse. Vinegar acts as a fabric softener too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member katiescraftshop's Avatar
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    I would hang them outside for a few hours and hopefully that will be enough so you can work on them.

    The vinegar is a wonderful idea, removes many odors. But.... do you want to wash them before you assemble them???

  6. #6
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    Mariposa is right use vinegar. I use it in the wash cycle, too. You could even add a bit of baking soda. I do that when I buy new fabric. You don't have to agitate the fabric. Just soak, spin, rinse and spin. If you are concerned about the cut blocks, you might want to put them in a large laundry bag and wash them. Good luck. :)

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    If the fabric in the blocks wasn't prewashed you could cause some big headaches for yourself. I would put a bar or three of unwrapped deodorant soap (Dial or Safeguard) in the bin with them for a week or two.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Charcoal absorbs bad odors. I would purchase a couple pair of the charcoal OdorEaters brand of shoe insoles and close them off together in a clean bin or closed garbage bag for a couple of weeks.

    In my opinion, it is very risky to try to wash blocks (or an unquilted top) without first basting them to a foundation fabric. You can end up with a distorted mess, even if you hand wash.

    You really need something that absorbs odor, not something that masks odor. My featherweight machine's case had a terrible musty smell in it. Tried a dryer sheet, tried soap -- everything seemed to just add a different odor. Fresh air and sunshine did not help enough either. The charcoal OdorEaters insoles finally did the job.

  9. #9
    Senior Member incoming2me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    My featherweight machine's case had a terrible musty smell in it. Tried a dryer sheet, tried soap -- everything seemed to just add a different odor. Fresh air and sunshine did not help enough either. The charcoal OdorEaters insoles finally did the job.
    Ahhhhh! Thank you!
    Like you, I've tried seemingly everything to rid my FW case's funky smell..
    I will definitely try this!

  10. #10
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMUTeach
    I recently found 90 plus finished blocks in a covered plastic bin and the fabric to complete the remaining 40 blocks too. I was just thrilled when I found this treasure because the hand drawn plans were also in the bin. Now the challenge is, how do I get that old musty, mildew odor out of the fabric so I can work on them? The blocks are muslin and reproduction prints that are all light pastels. There are no signs of mildew, just that "old nasty" smell.

    These blocks have very special meaning to me and my family so I would like to treat them with honor and respect but, whoo-hoo, they smell too musty to work with. Does any one have any suggestions? I sure would appreciate your help. I thank you in advance.
    I had a quilt top given to me, and it was in an athletic bag. It just smelled stale, not really musty. I laid it on my bed and sprayed it with febreeze and let it air out for a couple days. It smells fine now. As someone else said, Febreeze and fresh air.

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