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Thread: Estate sale find

  1. #1
    Member imp2cin's Avatar
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    Estate sale find

    I purchased 8 quilt tops from an estate sale for $3 each! Unfortunately they smell of cigarette smoke. I need help on how to get the smoke smell out of them. The material was not prewashed. Should I wash them now or wait til they have been quilted. How can I keep the colors from fading? Any advice?

  2. #2
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your find. Not sure how to get the smell out. Maybe open them out and lay them on a sheet on the grass to see if that helps for now. I would not wash them until they are quilted. The Febreeze commercial sure sound like that can work miracles but I have never used it.
    Lisa

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    Put a top in a bag, and put in a smokeless candle (unlit) it is a candle that a smoker would use in their home. Hope it works well for you.

    Lana
    the Quilting Dreamer
    Lansing, MI

  4. #4
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    Cigarette smoke is hard to get out without washing. Post pictures and we will be able to tell if you should wash or try airing them out.

  5. #5
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Put the tops in a bag with an open bag of BBQ charcoal and seal, that stuff works wonders. I just bought two tops at a yard sale and I washed them with the color blockers and they came out great.

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    I had the same problem when I purchased a lot of material from an estate sale that had cedar, smoke and perfume (remember Avon's Eau de toilet). I used ARM AND HAMMER and BORAX and ammonia and vinegar. The first load I used Borax and ammonia. I put them in hot water and let them soak for an hour then put them through the wash cycle (the maximum time). That helped some what. Then without putting them in the dryer put them through another cycle (soaking first for about another hour) in ARM AND HAMMER and vinegar. I used equal parts for each load. The material I had was a heavy cotton and denim. People who wear a lot of perfume and smoke don't realize how it affects the smell of the clothes they wear. My husband smoked for a long time and everyone thought I smoked because I was around him so much. It's been 3+ years since he lit the last one. he eats pretzel rods instead.

  7. #7
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I would spray them with Fabreze - a lot of it...and then sew them up before I wash.

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    If you decide to wash them, be sure to not agitate them. Soak in a tub or sink and press them with your hands to get the soap and water out. Rinse thoroughly and wrap in terry towels to dry and then line dry being careful to keep out of direct sun. I have ruined antique quilt tops by washing them. Are there not a lot of raw edges that might ravel? There is a product at Walmart called Super Odor Neutralizer that says Fine Mist Air Freshener proclaiming it eliminates odors in air, fabric, carpet. I have been pleased with it, but have not used on tobacco odors. It was, like $2. so worth a try.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would not wash them until they are quilted. I think you will end up with a mess. Put the quilts in a plastic bag and stick a fabric softener sheet in with it. It may work and shouldn't damage anything. Don't use fabreeze if you have a pet bird.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If these are quilt tops, I strongly advise NOT washing them before they are quilted! There is a huge risk of distortion (different fabrics in the top shrinking at different rates) that cannot be ironed out, not to mention frayed seams.

    Charcoal removes odors. Try putting each top in a plastic bag with a couple of Odoreaters shoe insoles (the ones with charcoal in them) for a week or two. This took the moldy odor out of a featherweight case for me after nothing else worked. I do not recommend using perfumed dryer sheets, that kind of thing, because to my nose the cheap perfumes simply make all the odors worse.

  11. #11
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    Please do not wash them until after they are quilted. If the smell is horrible, air them out in the sun for awhile so the quilter can tolerate the smell. Great find BTW!
    Can't stop now, I need to finish just one more quilt
    http://onemorequilt.net

  12. #12
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    Smoke has an oily residue that has to be removed for the smell to go away. Post pics' of them. They may be able to be soaked in a Retaine bath to set any dye, press excess water out and laid out to dry, pressed (iron), quilted and then washed again.

    Best to let an expert look at them first.
    peace
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  13. #13
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    I washed a top that came from my MIL's stash. It was disgusting and I felt I had to wash it. OMG - what a mess that created. Even without agitation, all the seams are frayed and the whole top looks horrible. I will have to spend A LOT of time pressing it back into shape.

  14. #14
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Lets see pictures!!
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanabee Quiltin View Post
    Put the tops in a bag with an open bag of BBQ charcoal and seal, that stuff works wonders. I just bought two tops at a yard sale and I washed them with the color blockers and they came out great.
    this is what i would suggest, too
    Nancy in western NY
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  16. #16
    Super Member nanacc's Avatar
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    I have had good luck with simple vinegar. I placed hot, steaming containers of vinegar in a combine my DH bought from a smoker. If you could place them on a sweater drying rack over a tub with hot vinegar water, it might be effective.

  17. #17
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    I would also say do not wash the tops before they are quilted.
    When you do wash them, you might try a product called "Smells Begone". It says on the bottle that it is "Non-Toxic, Non Staining, and Non Flammable"..That it can be sprayed on any odor source. However, it does say to test fabric for color fastness before using. It is a product of Punati Chemical Corp. www.smellsbegone.com or 1-800-645-2882.
    I have no connection with this company, nor does any of my family or friends. It has helped me for a number of years to deal with fragrances and odors.
    Last edited by serenitybygrace; 05-28-2013 at 05:09 PM.

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    This would probably work to get the smell out, because a long time ago I got the smell of cat pee out of an article of clothing by soaking in the washing machine in warm water with about a half gallon of vinegar added to it. Then I added laundry soap and actually washed it that way. After the rinse cycle the clothes smelled like vinegar, but then I did a normal wash cycle with laundry soap and no more vinegar, and all was well after that.
    Quote Originally Posted by nanacc View Post
    I have had good luck with simple vinegar. I placed hot, steaming containers of vinegar in a combine my DH bought from a smoker. If you could place them on a sweater drying rack over a tub with hot vinegar water, it might be effective.

  19. #19
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I agree with those that said not to wash the tops before they're quilted. Try the charcoal, baking soda, anything to lessen the smell.

  20. #20
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    I would soak them in a sink overnight in Oxi-Clean....that stuff is AMAZING!

  21. #21
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I would lay them outside, out of the sun, maybe even for a few days, until the smell is gone. I did that once with some quilt tops and fabrics that were given to me, and it worked pretty well. I had the tops quilted, and washed them AFTER they were quilted. I would not wash the tops before quilting!

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    Put quilt top in a trash bag big enough to hold it, place a bar of Dial Gold soap in tissiue paper,place in the bag, and tie up tight. Wait a few days and the smoke smell be gone. It has to be the Dial Gold bar.
    Love to quilt and play with the great grandkids

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by imp2cin View Post
    I purchased 8 quilt tops from an estate sale for $3 each! Unfortunately they smell of cigarette smoke. I need help on how to get the smoke smell out of them. The material was not prewashed. Should I wash them now or wait til they have been quilted. How can I keep the colors from fading? Any advice?
    OdoBan. You can get it at Home Depot and sometimes at Lowe's. I think at Sam's also. It is for the sick room, pet odors, almost anything. I have used it for those and it works really well. If you are concerned about colors fading I would be hesitant to finish it and get it quilted and find it faded/bled. It is bad enough to have that happen when you had no idea that would happen.

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I would NOT WASH them before they are quilted. I've done a couple that someone washed before quilting and the material went every which way but straight. There were a ton of loose threads on the back from the fabric.

    I'd air them out in the shade as many days as you can before quilting.

    Don't laugh...but if necessary....wear a mask when you quilt to cover any offensive odors that are left.

    Pictures please!

    Nan
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    My GOAL is to ALWAYS ENJOY EVERY STEP of the quilting process....

  25. #25
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    Why not put the tops, one at a time, in a laundry bag and wash on a gentle cycle? Or even soak in tub of water with your choice of detergents, or even baking soda. The laundry bag should prevent any unraveling, anyway that's what I would do. Try one anyway, can't hurt, you only paid $3.00, what you got to lose.

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