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

  1. #26
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    What kind of test did you do to tell that the bolt cardboards are acid free?
    There are inexpensive pH testers that artists (and scrapbookers, I believe) use to test papers and matboards (first got mine for printmaking).

    It's like a felt tip pen. The mark changes color to indicate the acid level with a high, moderate, or acid-free rating (can't find my 'score card' at the moment). I've also tried it on corrugated cardboard to confirm it works and that tests high.

    Dick Blick is one source, but I'm sure there must be more...maybe even Michael's.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ac...kTracking=true
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    There are inexpensive pH testers that artists (and scrapbookers, I believe) use to test papers and matboards (first got mine for printmaking).

    It's like a felt tip pen. The mark changes color to indicate the acid level with a high, moderate, or acid-free rating (can't find my 'score card' at the moment). I've also tried it on corrugated cardboard to confirm it works and that tests high.

    Dick Blick is one source, but I'm sure there must be more...maybe even Michael's.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ac...kTracking=true
    Learned something new - thank you.

  3. #28
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I have found that using white vinegar in the wash and rinse cycles will get just about any smell out of fabric. I can't tolerate any of the candle smells or many soaps -- and the fabric softener sheets gives me migranes so I have to use other things to remove the smells.

    My fabric is in the finished daylight basement, but fortunately no smells yet.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  4. #29
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    If your room is carpeted, that may be contributing to the problem.
    Stephanie in Mena

  5. #30
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    Prewash your fabric. Store fabric in containers that allows the fabric to breath. Never store in plastic containers, they do not allow the fabric to breath. Unwashed fabric outgasses formaldhyde, and it has chemicals from the dying process.

  6. #31
    Junior Member Retiredandquilting's Avatar
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    I keep my yardage on open shelves, and my fat quarters in dresser drawers. My scraps are cut into 5" squares and kept in plastic shoe boxes. If I do get any odor, I use a product called Fabric and Air by Glade. It does not stain fabric and works fabulously to remove any odors. I recently used it on a 70 year old dress before I cut it up to make teddy bears. There was no smell after spraying with Fabric and Air. It is an amazing product!
    Sue in Bloomfield, NY
    Sue In Bloomfield, NY

  7. #32
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    My problem was the cold. The closet in my sewing room is an outside wall. If I put anything against the wall in winter, heat cannot get behind it, and frost forms there. Then when it gets warmer, the frost melts and turns to mold. I have learned to put a small board for a spacer at the back of shelves to keep things away from those back walls. I got rid of the mold with a little bleach in the wash water and in the water used for wiping down the shelves.

  8. #33
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    I really think that storing fabric unwashed is the culprit. I remember years ago at some fabric stores, I could not go into them because of the reaction of the formaldyhde on the fabric and the flourescent bulbs. I would wash all the fabric and see if the odor goes away.

  9. #34
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    I use bars of soap.....box open and tucked between stacks of fab and also in linen closet between stacks of towels and bed linens and in lingerie drawer of dresser.......leave in for about a year, replace....with new. By opening the box the soap hardens and lasts longer when using.....learned that a long time ago from a scientist who was involved in making soap. He told us that soap used to be sold in just the bars but due to sanitary rules had to be boxed...just an idea......

  10. #35
    Senior Member laynak's Avatar
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    Exclamation My old batting scraps are the biggest problem!

    Quote Originally Posted by NanaCsews2 View Post
    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.
    I bought some Insulbrite a couple of months ago and went to check if it had an odor. Not noticeable and it's stored by itself. But then I got brave and did a 'sniff test' to every drawer/box/container in my room. My poor nose!
    A couple of cloth/cardboard boxes in the closet with older fabrics smelled a bit musty. And, the dresser drawers that get hardly any air can use some freshening up. But what had the most noticeable smell is a Rubbermaid clothes hamper that contains my old batting scraps that I've saved up now for a few years (it's full). Though it has air holes, I think all it accomplishes is passing on a stale storage smell. Yuk.
    That'll be my main target for elimination and odor control.
    A big roll of batting I have in the closet is enclosed in plastic so I didn't open that up to smell it. But, I think with the plastic around it, it's not the culprit.
    Whoever can tolerate a sniff test to all their drawers & storage places, it's a worthwhile undertaking, I suppose!

  11. #36
    Senior Member laynak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retiredandquilting View Post
    I keep my yardage on open shelves, and my fat quarters in dresser drawers. My scraps are cut into 5" squares and kept in plastic shoe boxes. If I do get any odor, I use a product called Fabric and Air by Glade. It does not stain fabric and works fabulously to remove any odors. I recently used it on a 70 year old dress before I cut it up to make teddy bears. There was no smell after spraying with Fabric and Air. It is an amazing product!
    Sue in Bloomfield, NY
    How very interesting! I'll look into this too! Thank you.

  12. #37
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    taking the soap bars out of the wrapping and tucking them around also is a two-fold job. If left to 'air dry' out the wrapper, soap will harden and last longer, too!
    Personally, I tuck in used fabric dryer sheets.....my quilt room is in a well-dehumidified basement, but you can never be too careful. Once in a while, I will also spray 'clean linen' fragrance bedding sprays.

  13. #38
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    I was told not to store my fabric is the plastic boxes as the plastic is not good for fabric. You can drill holes in the plastic boxes fprventilation, without the fabric inside LOL) and it will help. I would think if the charcoal inserts are placed with the boxes it would be fine.

  14. #39
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    I washed everything I had stashed. I wash all new fabric before I store it. I bought a new cabinet that has an odor, probably because of the chemicals used in particle board. I read articles swearing that Johnny Cat Original Scented Maximum Odor Control kitty litter will absorb odors. It has something in it that others do not, so I put some in an empty parmesan cheese container and put it in there with the top open. I have sprinkled it in books and other supplies I've bought at yard sales and sealed it in a bag, it seems to work.

    I also use the Downy Unstoppables Scented beads. I put them in votives and stash the votive in a corner out of the way. Under the desk in the sewing room, in the corners of closets. In the linen closet. The smell is very strong, and I am sensitive to scent so I had to take them out of my walk-in closet.
    :-)
    CAS

  15. #40
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    i wash all my material before it goes in my sewing room , but then i also have a lavender smell good in my romm because i love the smell it makes and that is all i can smell , good luck

  16. #41
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    A well know quilter, quilt appraiser, and lecturer in Florida (Brenda Grampas) told us that the soap (unwrapped) must be the WHITE Lifeboy soap (or is it Lifebouy?).

    She said to seal the smelly quilt in a box or bag with the bar of soap to remove odors.
    Jean in MI

  17. #42
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    I live in Hawaii, in a humid climate -- years ago my bedsheets, stored away (after being fully dried) in the linen closet, would begin to get a musty smell -- even if they were put back on the guest beds and covered with the bed spread, the same would occur, making it necessary to either store dirty sheets until you needed them again (yuk!) or wash the sheets again when you needed them. Found the 2 1/2 Gal. ziplock bags worked fanastic for keeping the smell out, and laundry fresh. Use these for all my fabric storage -- after they have been washed and fully dried -- those in drawers, or bags or boxes. Never have a spell now....however, the books in the book cases have the same musty smell....so there's no winning on every front yet! PS: these are great for travel too -- all underwear in one, tops in another, etc....so when the PSA is checking them, they are only moving their hands (which have been in everyone else's stuff) along the outside of the bags.

  18. #43
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    I have open shelves for large pieces of fabrics. They are ruler folded and grouped by color and theme. I use the plastic shoe boxes for 2", 3", 4", 5" squares, jelly rolls and charm squares. I use the next size up of the boxes for layer cakes, fat quarters and grouping all the fabrics for a certain project together. I use peel off labels, so when I actually finish something, I can relabel and reuse the box. I poked a few holes just under the rim of the boxes with an ice pick. I've used this system for years without any problem!

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