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Thread: wet, stinky fabric--help

  1. #1

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    The storm last week broke a branch off my oak and it messed up my roof, then we had 3 days of constant rain. Didn't know there was any damage to the roof until I got home (from family funeral ) and found 2 - 4x8 ' sections fallen in my sewing room. Insurance company said they would not pay anything for the fabric because I don't have receipts.
    So the fabric on the shelves and in cardboard boxes are wet and stinky.
    I have wanshed and washed them but still can't get the smell out. Used Fabreeze and then Boraxo.
    Any other suggestions?? Oh forgot to mention that the insulation in this old house was the paper blown in stuff so yes, that's all over too.
    I just want to cry.

  2. #2
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Try putting vinegar in the wash. I used to work in an assisted living home with incontinent patients and that's what they used to get rid of odors.

  3. #3
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    Sorry about the damage to your house. Not a happy thing to come home to.

    That doesn't make sense about the fabric.

    Would they not pay for a piece of antique furniture if you did not have a receipt?

    Can you take photos and try again?

    There are some detergents that say they are super-good for removing odors. I don't know if they will damage the fabrics, but it might be worth a try.

  4. #4
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Maybe soaking the fabric in baking soda and possibly rinse with some vinegar.
    Can you air dry your fabric outside or on a covered porch?

  5. #5
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    You could try soaking it in bicarb soda and then line drying. Be careful handling anything with that wet paper insulation stuff, it could have been treated with pesticides or chemicals.

    So sorry....I know how you feel, but at least it was only 1 room and not the whole house.

  6. #6
    Honey's Avatar
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    Try using clowdy amonia in the wash with you detergent. It always workd for me and doesn't fade anything.

  7. #7
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    :cry: :cry: :cry:
    I hope that you can get the smell out and can still use your fabrics!!!

  8. #8

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    thanks for all the suggestions. I will try them one by one. I just can't believe the mess here.
    I guess this really ends a crappy week.
    Thanks to all my new quilting friends.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rainy Day's Avatar
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    try shampoo, but not if you are using a front loader, I have used it to get the smell of fire and damp out of fabric.

  10. #10
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I use baking soda and vinegar---lots! Just dissolve the baking soda in the washer and add vinegar and a little detergent.

  11. #11

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    I live in Fl. and we have one of the old pharmacies that carry a product called Tap-A-Drop and this stuff really works. It is cheap several friends I have bought it for has really liked it also. My DIL dumped a gallon of milk,in the summer time,in the back of her car and left it overnight and it brought all the smell out by the next morning. Let me know if this is something you would like to try.

  12. #12
    Super Member no1jan's Avatar
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    I am sorry to hear about the damage to your home. I had a house fire years ago, so I understand the frustration with the insurance company on top of all the damage.

    My insurance company paid "replacement value" for items that was ruined. I needed to re-purchase the items and supply them with the receipts in order to get paid. I know I did not get everything back that was lost. How do you get back your child's first hand print!, etc.


    I agree about trying the vinager. I never tried the Tap-A-Drop so have no opinion on that. Hey, I would use anything that works.

    Good luck and sorry to hear about your home. I'm glad everyone is alright though!

    Hugs!

  13. #13
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    That is so sad about your home and sewing room. I hate insurance companies!!! Good luck with your fabric!

  14. #14
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Aw, Hugs! I would try the amonia, like Honey said. Once one of my kids left wet clothes in there backpack, and by the time I found them, they smelled so bad of mildew. Tried everything, but amonia worked and didnt fade anything. Good luck!

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammaJilly
    Insurance company said they would not pay anything for the fabric because I don't have receipts.
    .
    So does that mean I need to have receipts for all the furniture, pictures, towels, bedding, pots and pans, glasses, etc for my home if 'something' were to happen? :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Some of that stuff is well over 30 years old...almost antique :lol:

    I'll have to check with my insurance today. I can't imagine needing every receipt for everything in my house. . . and probably needing a safety deposit box 'outside the house' to keep them. Stupid! :thumbdown:

  16. #16
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    Here is what I have found over the years washing stinky things. My mom ownes a laundry business need I say more?

    Wash liquid/soap makes some smells WORSE. What I do is set the washer to small or medium load and let it fill up with COLD water, then dump in a fair amount of vinigar. Then add in your items to be washed. Let the water agitate a few seconds and check the items to make sure nothing is sticking out. if you still have room fill till full but nothing sticking out of the water. agitate again to make sure everything is down in the water. then let it set to soak. after it soaks awhile then run the rest of the cycle. Then you can run another normal cycle with washing detergent in the water.

    Good luck. I agree that its crazy that the insurance wont pay for your fabric because you don't have a recipt. I asked my insurance guy the other day how I go about listing things for replacement he said take pictures of everything NOW and if something has jumped in price they will pay the NOW price for the item. So it doesn't matter what I paid for it then.

  17. #17
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    I am so sorry to hear about all you have gone through. Sending huge ((HUGS)) your way.

  18. #18
    Super Member katsewnsew's Avatar
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    I would also vote on the vinegar, just from previous experience. Insurance co. have gotten very persnickity as to what they cover anymore. My sewing area is in my basement, however my policy specifies that only the furnace, water heater, stuff like that is covered. I had to get an endorsement to cover my quilting stuff, including my machines. Of course, it cost extra for the endorsement. I would highly recommend contacting the Insurance co. to find out about your antique items.

  19. #19
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry to hear about this!
    I agree with using vinegar to get the smell out. My kids would go to their Grandma's (DH's Mom, she smokes) she would wash their clothes before sending them home (I know she was trying to be helpful) but the detergent or fabric softener that she used made me ill, it smelled SO STRONG! Anyways!! :oops: I always re-washed the kids clothes in vinegar added to the water (sometimes had to do it twice) to get the smell of detergent/fabric softener and smoke out. It always worked for me!

  20. #20
    Senior Member ncsewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    Quote Originally Posted by grammaJilly
    Insurance company said they would not pay anything for the fabric because I don't have receipts.
    .
    So does that mean I need to have receipts for all the furniture, pictures, towels, bedding, pots and pans, glasses, etc for my home if 'something' were to happen? :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Some of that stuff is well over 30 years old...almost antique :lol:

    I'll have to check with my insurance today. I can't imagine needing every receipt for everything in my house. . . and probably needing a safety deposit box 'outside the house' to keep them. Stupid! :thumbdown:
    I work for an insurance company, not in claims, but I still hear the stories. If you reported directly to the company and talked to an adjuster, try calling your agent to intervene for you. You'll want to make a list of what was lost as they have to start somewhere. I'd list the color, size of the piece, the producer of that fabric and expected replacement cost. You might be able to go online and find some of the newer ones and print it off to show the price. They may not realize what an investment it was. You can also include the cost of the soaps, rinses and all that you used trying to get them cleaned. I don't know what is covered, but the more info you give them, the better your chances.

    If the agent can't help, call the claims office and ask to speak to a supervisor and if you still have no luck and figure you've lost a lot, try calling your state's Insurance Office. They will review the claim and make the company explain to them why they aren't paying. And... if you get the run-around too much, switch carriers! Some are cheaper, but when you don't get covered for a loss, how much is it worth ?

  21. #21
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    I don"t understand why the insurance guy said you needed receipts. We had a basement flooded last fall ( sump pump failed). The only thing I had recipts for was the new carpet that we had put down the year before. I had books. record albums, wall pictures ( they were sitting on the floor) clothing in containers that leaked, , etc. Our adjuster took pictures of everything and then he worked up the estimate. He was able to find prices for most everything that was ruined by searching online, in books and EBAY!! Your adjuster is able to see that you have the fabric, yardage can be measured, and names can be found on selvages and he can certainly find comparable fabrics online . Hold your guns with him ( or on him, LOL) Take your own pictures before you wash and iron, or throw away. Document everything you can. And my suggestion to you, if your adjuster didn't take photos of your sewing things, call your company office and report him. My reason for saying this, my son and I have the same insurance company and agent. Less than 5 weeks after our basement flood, a bathroom pipe in his upstairs at a vacant home broke and major mess and damage. The adjuster that came to his house was not the one we had, and he didn't do his job properly, he was too lazy. Sons ex-wife wanted to handle everything ( greedy and bad situation there), so she just agreed to everything her adjuster said. They lost out big time on value replaced.

  22. #22
    quiltinggrandmaca's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear about the damage to your house. Hope these suggestions work for you.

  23. #23
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Vinegar does work...but you can also try ODO-BAN. I buy it at Sam' Club, but I'm sure it's available elsewhere.
    I doesn't have chemicals, it is all naturalproducts. Smells like flowers. I works very well. In the past we had an elderly relative with bladdar problems, and I had to use it on linens, rugs, floors...
    I have used it on mildew smells also and it really worked...

  24. #24
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    So sorry about the damage to your home & sewing room. I hate insurance companies. They're just trying to not pay and keep what should be yours.
    On another note, I DO have EVERY receipt for all my fabric, patterns, books, notions and anything else that is sewing related,lol! I guess I have a problem with insurance companies, right!!! (Personal experience has taught me to do this!)

  25. #25
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    If you contact a company like Service Masters, (that does cleanup after disasters) they have products you can buy that are made especially for this problem :D:D:D

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