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Thread: HELP!!!!!!!musty smell from storage

  1. #1
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    Hello everyone,
    I went to a yardsell Sat.34rd. At this house everything was going,the owner was elderly,with Cancer and her family was cleaning out her home. She was a quilter. I got 6 very large boxes of all kinds of material. Some she had cut out all ready to piece,diamonds,triangles etc. A very large box had irregular pieces. beautiful stuff. Quite a few several yards up to 6 yards. All for $20.00.
    A lot of the material has a musty smell, you know where it has been stored. No mildew. there is so many small pieces, it is impossibe to wash. DOES ANYONE HAVE AN IDEA TO GET SMELL OFF WITHOUT WASHING. I have a can of lysol smells great, When I go tomorrow to WAlMart I can get some fabreeze. Dont know if that will do it or not. So if anyone has an idea please post it.
    Bonnie

  2. #2
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    I sew in my laundry room. Often times I use the top of the dryer for little pieces, cutting. And wouldn't you know - sometimes a little piece gets into a laundry load. Well, there is sometimes a bit of fraying, but usually they turn out fine. It would be a job to press the pieces afterwards, but I'd sure consider it. If you just air the pieces of fabric, you'll still get the smell when you press seams. And the finished product would smell. And the ones you store for next time wouldn't get sweeter with age. Yup, I'd wash them if it were my stuff.

    What a bargain. I always wish for a find like that at a garage sale.

  3. #3
    Banned
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    I wouldn't wash those small pieces that she'd cut out.. but the mention of the laundry room gave me the idea of maybe putting them in a pillow case and tumbling them with a few dryer sheets?

    Try a few and see what happens....

  4. #4
    triciasquilts's Avatar
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    I'm always getting fabric from family or friends that has that musty smell. If they are big pieces I do wash them, but the smell is still there. Last night I went to use some of those pieces I had and thought as I was ironing, I would spray with my Febreeze and then iron. Worked like a charm. It seemed to set that good smell in. Try it on your smaller pieces and see if it works for you. Worth a try.

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I'd spray them down with Fabreeze,stick them in a mesh lingerie bag, and fluff them in a dryer for a while. Alternately,spread them out and let sunshine work on them for a while.

  6. #6

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    You can try putting the pieces in the sink with a bit of baking soda and water. Let soak for a bit, then either lay out to dry or put in a pillow case pinned closed and dry in that.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    Maybe let them air outside, piece and quilt them, then wash??

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Ground coffee will absorb odors of almost any kind - could you put the fabric in a garbage bag somehow with ground coffee in a plastic container inside of the bag? Try to keep the fabric from touching the coffee though. I have used this in the past and it has worked for me. Also found Febreeze to be a wonderful odor killer. Good luck - sounds like you found a great deal.

  9. #9
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    charcoal is absolutely wonderful at getting rid of odors. I used it in a fridge we had that electricity failed and fish and meat spoiled. I put pans of charcoil in and closed it. in a few days the smell was gone. if you can find a way to put charcoal in a closed container with the fabric, it may take the smell away. I can't tolerate Febreeze so I have to use alternative methods

  10. #10
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    Wow, I am glad you posted this, I have the same problem.Great tips everyone!!!
    My MIL bought a box full of old fabric at a yard sale for me. The top half of the box(fairly large box too) was yards, 1/2 yds etc.. but the bottom, OH MY! already cut pieces for a log cabin quilt!!! I was so thrilled!! I have no idea how old these fabrics are but guess 1950-1970 maybe older.

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