How to Remove Musty Smells from Vintage Clothing – Odor Elimination Secrets


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Thanks to the Laundry Evangelist’s Laundry Camp for many of the tips shown in this video. If you ever have the chance to visit it at the Mall of America, you should do so.

Well, let’s tackle the task at hand then and talk about the easiest way to remove these foul odors. Your first instinct might be to take these garments to a dry cleaner but in fact, this is a temptation that you should resist. The solvents used in dry cleaning simply aren’t as effective at removing odors as the secret ingredient we’re about to mention, especially when it comes to odors that are sourced from organic compounds. On that note, you can take a look at the previous video we’ve done about dry cleaning here. More specifically, odor elimination involves masking, encapsulating, or changing the molecular structure of the odor molecule that has attached itself to the fabric.

What’s the simplest and most effective substance to perform this task then?

You’re probably not going to find it in your laundry room instead, you should head to your liquor cabinet. That’s right! When it comes to treating odors on your vintage garments, vodka will be the thing that does the trick. All you have to do is pour the vodka into a spray bottle and then spritz it on to the clothing in question. This is because the alcohol in the vodka directly interacts with the odor molecules on the clothing encapsulating and reconfiguring them and then when the alcohol evaporates, it takes the odors away with it

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind though.

First of all, don’t dilute the vodka with water. The odor fighting power of vodka comes from its high alcohol content so adding water to the mixture is simply going to cut down on the vodka’s effectiveness.

Also, you don’t have to use top-shelf vodka for this application. The absolute cheapest bottles that are available on the market will sometimes be grain alcohol with vodka flavoring but as long as you make sure that you’re actually getting vodka, a cheap bottle will do. Just make sure it doesn’t have any added flavoring like fruit, for example. If you or a member of your household does require that the vodka not be drinkable, you can add about a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to the bottle to denature it. Whatever the case may be, just make sure that the bottle is labeled clearly.

And if other offenders like stains or particles remain on your garments after spritzing, you do also have some other options so stay tuned for some more upcoming videos on stains and general garment care. If you need some additional convincing as to the effectiveness of vodka in treating vintage odors, you don’t have to look any further than Broadway productions. Actors will often treat their stage clothes with vodka as they don’t often have time to have them washed or dry-cleaned between shows.

In conclusion, though that signature musty smell may have been hanging on to some of your vintage garments for who knows how long, it is fairly easily removable from them. Skip the dry cleaner and make a trip to the liquor store instead. Remember, clean responsibly.

So were you aware of this handy deodorizing trick and do you have any related tips that you could share? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

#vintageclothing #vintageclothinghacks #howto

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