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Thread: Question: How to Keep Fabric Stash Fresh Smelling?

  1. #11
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    I have asthma and sensitivity to fragrances. Our lower level has a walkout, but we spend more time in the upper level which is at street level.

    We've placed open boxes of baking soda in the lower level. My favorite trick is to air out the area when feasible to just get a good air exchange. When airing isn't an option, I put a fan on low to medium speed while I am downstairs. My thinking is that there is more air movement.

    Last, but not least, white vinegar is used on both levels. I tuck a glass dish in the bottom of a plastic food storage container. Fill the dish half way with generic white vinegar and allow the liquid to evaporate naturally. No, we don't smell like a salad! Odors are kept under control without using oils and scented products. Afterall, I don't and can't shop in or purchase fabric from shops highly scented with candles or potpourie as the fragrance takes away my breath.

  2. #12
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    I'm thinking it's the plastic containers. I think the smell will disappear when you wash the fabric. Do you think you have an extra sensitive nose? My daughter does--when we traveled when she was a teen she could smell things miles before the rest of us did. Things like a cattle farm--she could smell it long before we could see it. Maybe you could get a package of cheap wash cloths and wet them with the lavender water and place around the room for a short time and remove them before the smell becomes too strong. Hope you solve this problem before it drives you crazy!!!
    Sue

  3. #13
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I agree with not covering up the odor. Is your room by any chance in the basement? Moisture of any kind generates odors and is also bad for fabric.

    Charcoal is really good at absorbing odors. Dr. Scholl's Odor-Eaters shoe inserts with charcoal are a really easy way to use charcoal inside plastic bins. My vintage featherweight case had an odor that would *not* go away, no matter what I did, until I added one of those shoe inserts to the box. It completely cleared up the odor.

    Another thing you can do is add some dessicant to each box -- like the little packets that come inside vitamin pill bottles. You can buy it in bulk at a place like Walmart, as it is used to dry flowers (you bury the flower in dessicant and the dessicant pulls all the water out). I haven't used this myself but, if it's sand-like rather than flour-like in texture, it should be easy to whip up some cloth packets of dessicant for this use.

  4. #14
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    I say baking soda, you can buy the refrigerator kind that has the tear away side and will pull the odor out. Good luck let us know what happens.

  5. #15
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivelyLady View Post
    That's what I use, too. I put them in my bureau drawers, too. I leave the soap in the wrappers....works great.
    I've done that, too. I've also put in dryer sheets & perfume strips from magazines.
    (`v)
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  6. #16
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I agree with not covering up the odor. Is your room by any chance in the basement? Moisture of any kind generates odors and is also bad for fabric.

    Charcoal is really good at absorbing odors. Dr. Scholl's Odor-Eaters shoe inserts with charcoal are a really easy way to use charcoal inside plastic bins. My vintage featherweight case had an odor that would *not* go away, no matter what I did, until I added one of those shoe inserts to the box. It completely cleared up the odor.

    Another thing you can do is add some dessicant to each box -- like the little packets that come inside vitamin pill bottles. You can buy it in bulk at a place like Walmart, as it is used to dry flowers (you bury the flower in dessicant and the dessicant pulls all the water out). I haven't used this myself but, if it's sand-like rather than flour-like in texture, it should be easy to whip up some cloth packets of dessicant for this use.


    I really like the idea for charcoal odor eaters..lol.. Sounds crazy but i bet it works like a charm..

    I have been collecting, gathering, picking up wherever I can find those lil white packets that come in just about everything, new shoes especially.!!!. I have my family saving them for me too... I store all my fabrics in rubbermaid or sterilite clear drawer containers and I toss in those lil white packets absorbing crystal thingies.. Never gave it a thought that it would remove smells, It was another way for me to keep possible moisture away from my fabrics..

  7. #17
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    These suggestions are all great. I have had this problem too but did not realize it was the fabric. I wash most of the fabric when it comes into my house but still have some odor. Vinegar is wonderful for a great many things, I think I will give it a try and go on to other ideas. Thanks you all!
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  8. #18
    Junior Member laynak's Avatar
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    Great ideas, everyone! My room isn't in a basement or subject to moisture. However, the fabrics likely don't get much, if any, air in the closet's cloth/cardboard bins, the dresser or the plastic storage caddy. I'm intrigued by the odor eater inserts and a few bars of soap (have some travel size). And, thanks for the warning about cedar balls possibly staining fabrics. I am sensitive to the smell of lavender and to many room fresheners. Keeping it as simple as possible without adding much fragrance is best for me. Plus, if I make something for someone else, I don't want it to come with a fragrance they may not like.
    Funny, the baking soda idea is probably the easiest but I limit using it to the refrigerator. I just may try that in the closet itself and then add soaps or charcoal inserts to individual containers/drawers where they might be most helpful.
    Good project for Labor Day weekend....freshening up the fabrics!

  9. #19
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    Adds to the electric bill, but I run the dehumidifier as much as I can. On low, so it runs when it needs to. Made a big difference in our downstairs, where all the fabric and batting is. I store insulbrite and the silver heat resistant fabric in a drawer all by themselves because of the 'odor' they have. I also put honeysuckle or lilac candles (never light them) in our family room, which is right off the sewing rooms. Walmart and others carry DampRid, which I haven't tried yet. Curious if they work. http://www.walmart.com/ip/FG90-DampR...Pouch/15033117
    I have asthma so I cannot have anything with strong odors or musty damp smells. Even the tiniest bit of moisture in the air and I have to up my daily dose of Advair. On the lowest dose 1x a day because of the dehumidifier on the Central Air and the stand alone dehumidifier. If you use starch, check where the over spray goes. This can accumulate on the flooring or walls, which can bring on odors and the bugs.

  10. #20
    Super Member Veronica's Avatar
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    I wash all of my fabric before I bring it in the sewing room and never have bad smells.
    I think it's the chemicals your smelling.
    Veronica

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