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Thread: Remove Musty Smell From Fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nancy Ingham's Avatar
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    Remove Musty Smell From Fabric

    I recently purchased some terribly musty fabric from an estate sale. The fabric was in the basement and smelled so bad that I considered not purchasing it. The woman that was running the estate sale told me to spread the fabric out (single thickness) on the lawn in the morning while there is still dew, and let it stay out all day. The sun will draw the dew up through the fabric and remove the odor. I was leery but tried it yesterday when we were expecting a beautiful sunny day. I just could not believe it…..initially the fabric reeked so bad that I had to tie the double plastic bags close to travel with it in my car….after following these directions I could put my nose into the fabric and smell nothing but delightful clean fresh air. My DH and I were totally amazed! Has anyone else tried this?
    You can choose to live your live as though nothing is a miracle; or as though everything is a miracle!

  2. #2
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    never heard of it but boy wouldn't that be a lot better than having to wash it? thanks

  3. #3
    Super Member Patchworkmarion's Avatar
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    Thank you.I'm going to try it.

  4. #4
    Super Member Quiltbeagle's Avatar
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    I've hung fabric outside to remove odors, but never heard of putting it on dew. I can't do that because the horses would probably stomp all over it but it's good to know.

  5. #5
    Super Member NIICHMOM's Avatar
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    Yes, I have used our sun to remove smell many times, it also works on other items...paper, cloth and wood. When I had my daughter somes back when we still used cloth diapers, it was wise to hang diapers out side as the sun would kill the germs and help keep them white. So use our natural resource.

  6. #6
    Super Member Yosamitesa's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information. Will definately keep in mind!!!

  7. #7
    Junior Member Sewhappytoquilt's Avatar
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    What an interesting idea. I will try it next time, but I think I would still want to wash the fabric (bed bugs and other possible lurking creatures). Thanks for the tip.
    Loretta Sewhappytoquilt

  8. #8
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    No, but that is some very good information. Lots of time I will pass on fabric that smells bad, but now I'll take a chance and try doing this.

  9. #9
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewhappytoquilt View Post
    What an interesting idea. I will try it next time, but I think I would still want to wash the fabric (bed bugs and other possible lurking creatures). Thanks for the tip.
    Same here. I know that when I hang clothes out, you can smell the good smell all around the area. But I would still wash the fabric.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  10. #10
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    How did you know that I needed this information right now? My DH went to an auction house and bought a huge box with fabrics and a quilt ready to be bound. Only one piece has some mildew/mold on it and it isn't a big piece of the fabric. I had heard of putting it outside on the line, but not in the dew. Thanks
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Much appreciate this info. I had seen many suggestions here on how to deal with the musty odors , but yours is the first success story , Thanks

  12. #12
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    Yes, have done that - also helps with whitening dingy linens and such. I used that technique to make an old christening gown usable for my daughter some thirty or so years ago! That brought back a good memory. Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Great tip. I'll try it next time instead of baking soda.
    ~~ Pat

    Where am I? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

  14. #14
    Senior Member doll-lady's Avatar
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    that is so great to know. i am glad you published that. i will have to try that next time. sometimes something smells musty and you can't even get rid of the smell completely when you wash it especially with antique fabrics sometimes that someone has stored for quite a while.

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I recall when I was a kid and my mom had to take the family laundry to the public laundry facility. She would (weather permitting) lay out the sheets on the grass and spritz them with water and the sun would bleach the old linen.

    Glad you got the musty out.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  16. #16
    Senior Member EmbQuilt's Avatar
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    Very helpful info...darn, the number of things I have gotten rid of cuz I didn't know

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cosy's Avatar
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    I have laid things on the lawn overnight, not only helps the smell, but can also remove stains. Works like a miracle!
    Cosy
    A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever
    http://www.cosyquilt.com

  18. #18
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Great idea and the price is right.
    We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.

  19. #19
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltbeagle View Post
    I've hung fabric outside to remove odors, but never heard of putting it on dew. I can't do that because the horses would probably stomp all over it but it's good to know.
    LOL - Now that's not very helpful at all!

  20. #20
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Can't see how the dew could cleanse a whole quilt, much less kill visible mildew. Do please let us know if that works!
    Quote Originally Posted by BarbaraSue View Post
    How did you know that I needed this information right now? My DH went to an auction house and bought a huge box with fabrics and a quilt ready to be bound. Only one piece has some mildew/mold on it and it isn't a big piece of the fabric. I had heard of putting it outside on the line, but not in the dew. Thanks

  21. #21
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    that is great news
    Nancy

  22. #22
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    Thanks for this tip. IT MAY COME IN HANDY !
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    What a great tip - thank you for sharing

  24. #24
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    Really good tip. My mother has some linens she bought at an estate sale that had an odor problem. I just called her up to tell her about this one. Thank you Ms. Ingham for sharing!

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