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Thread: 'Been in storage too long'. How do you get the smell out?

  1. #1
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    I have inherited, over time, contents from 3 loved ones sewing rooms. Some of the things had been in storage too long and have 'the smell'. I use a vinegar soak but it takes many washings and sometimes the items are a loss and have to be tossed. The smell is that of our great, great, (?great?) grandparents house and furniture after it has been closed for years with no fresh air.
    Anyone have tips and tricks?

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    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Try baking soda in the wash? I know the smell you're talking about...I'm really not sure what would work!

    Dry cleaning maybe?

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    It is fabric pieces, lace, ric-rac, thread, templates, patterns, stuff.

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    I will use the baking soda soak on the fabric and let you know what happens. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Try using a goodly amount of cloudy amonia with your laundry soap. I have used it for years. It really helps. It also takes that gunky feeling out of kitchen towels. It also takes the sour smell out of cloths and towels that have sat wet for to long.

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    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Can you hang them on a clothesline to dry after you launder them? The sun works wonders on funky smells.

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    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Can you hang them on a clothesline to dry after you launder them? The sun works wonders on funky smells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey
    Try using a goodly amount of cloudy amonia with your laundry soap. I have used it for years. It really helps. It also takes that gunky feeling out of kitchen towels. It also takes the sour smell out of cloths and towels that have sat wet for to long.
    How much is a goodly amount? 1/2 cup. 1 cup. ???????
    Is cloudy ammonia different than just ammonia. A special brand?

    I will try the ammonia on some and put some in direct sunlight as the later post suggest. I will let you know.

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    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    Don't forget about good old Borax. It's a non bleaching laundry detergent enhancer. It removes odor from clothing.

  10. #10
    Junior Member jcarilyn's Avatar
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    I would wash on gentle cycle, with some regular detergent and some vinegar. I've used vinegar when things sit in the washing machine too long, it really works and no, your fabric won't smell like salad dressing! Good luck!

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    Member Barb130's Avatar
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    What is "cloudy amonia" ? regular amonia?

  12. #12
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    I second the baking soda and vinegar.

    You can soak them in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar in the water. You can also add 1/4 cup up to 1 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle with your detergent and use the vinegar in the rinse cycle or in place of fabric softener. If you use a lot of baking soda, you may want to do a second rinse. Oh, you also want to use the hottest water temperature that is safe for the fabrics.

    Line dry outdoors if you can.

    I just used this method on some musty clothes and it worked fine.

    Good luck :)

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    Super Member CAROLJ's Avatar
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    This really works, get activated charcoal. (Not the stuff you BBQ with.) You can get it at pet stores in the fish section. Put the stuff it in a closed container for a day or two and it takes our most orders. Set it outside on the grass overnight, if it doesn't get to damp, and everything will be gone. Ir will even take out cigar smoke.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAROLJ
    This really works, get activated charcoal. (Not the stuff you BBQ with.) You can get it at pet stores in the fish section. Put the stuff it in a closed container for a day or two and it takes our most orders. Set it outside on the grass overnight, if it doesn't get to damp, and everything will be gone. Ir will even take out cigar smoke.
    I agree with the activated charcoal. Amazon sells it. It will work on those things that can't be washed, such as the patterns, etc.

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    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    What about Fabreeze for the fabaric. Isn't there some that you put in the washer?

  16. #16
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    For fabric I have had luck with baking soda rinse, sunshine and fresh air. Lots of fresh air.

    For paper products, sprinkle with baking soda and let sit for a few days.

  17. #17
    Senior Member EllaBud's Avatar
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    Cloudy ammonia is ammonia with detergent in it, so it'll suds up. I wouldn't add more than 1/4 cup to the washer.

  18. #18
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I use this spray called 0-2 that really takes the musty odor out of fabric and it also takes out cigerette smoke odor to. If you have a cat spray the liter box after you clean it out and then put the litter in....no more smell! I have gotten it at the Dollar store, wallmart and the local hardware store.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    Quote Originally Posted by Honey
    Try using a goodly amount of cloudy amonia with your laundry soap. I have used it for years. It really helps. It also takes that gunky feeling out of kitchen towels. It also takes the sour smell out of cloths and towels that have sat wet for to long.
    How much is a goodly amount? 1/2 cup. 1 cup. ???????
    Is cloudy ammonia different than just ammonia. A special brand?

    I will try the ammonia on some and put some in direct sunlight as the later post suggest. I will let you know.
    Try about a cup in a regular sized load. Yes, cloudy amonia is different, it works better. No special brand. It doesn't hurt colors at all and you will not have the amonia smell in your fabric. I don't know how it works, just know that it does. If it will take the sour smell out of dish cloths and that rotten foot smell from a sweating 14 year olds socks, it should do the trick for you. By the way, I use it in every load of laundry I do. It just helps the detergent do a better job. It also helps get all of the soap out of whatever you are washing.

  20. #20
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    We have companies here that specialize in disaster cleanups in homes. I have gone to them to get cleaners that they use, and I have never been disappointed :D:D:D

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    I'm sure I'd have to wash those things. I hate to wash fabrics and laces in the washing machine so I just soak and rinse. The real odor killer is fresh air and if the fabrics are old and have the old dyes in them I'd air dry them out of the sun.

    Fabrics saved by the last generation in my family used cedar and mothballs - a frighteningly strong combo. Hung on coat hangers with clothes pins under the deck (in the shade) got rid of the odor in less than a day.

    Jois

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by CAROLJ
    This really works, get activated charcoal. (Not the stuff you BBQ with.) You can get it at pet stores in the fish section. Put the stuff it in a closed container for a day or two and it takes our most orders. Set it outside on the grass overnight, if it doesn't get to damp, and everything will be gone. Ir will even take out cigar smoke.
    I agree with the activated charcoal. Amazon sells it. It will work on those things that can't be washed, such as the patterns, etc.
    activated charcoil can also be bought in pet shops..fish dept.

    the small stuff..i would di it in a sink or let it set in the sun like suggested.

    i use ammonia that has lemon scent in it..at the dollor store.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey
    Try using a goodly amount of cloudy amonia with your laundry soap. I have used it for years. It really helps. It also takes that gunky feeling out of kitchen towels. It also takes the sour smell out of cloths and towels that have sat wet for to long.
    Um, What is cloudy ammonia? This is a new term for me.

  24. #24
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    cloudy ammonia has a little soap added in. This was done because originally ammonia was cloudy. When they figured out how to make it clear, people were already used to it looking cloudy, so they started adding soap to give it the same look.

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    got it! thanks for the info.

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