Five Ways to Get Rid of Vintage Clothing Smell

| May 16, 2016

Not all vintage shops take the same pride in cleaning their garments. Vintage smell It’s the most common issue with vintage or secondhand clothing and accessories: that oddly specific musty smell. We have put together a list of a few tried-and-true options to get rid of that vintage smell. You can get rid of the smell using handy household products like vinegar, baking soda or borax.


If you’re dealing with a leather dress or a piece you know can be handled with care, then vinegar is the way to go.  Fill a small spray bottle with white vinegar and lightly spritz the garment. Or pour it in a bowl and hang the garment over it for a day or two; the vinegar will absorb the bad odor. Or If you’re dealing with a cotton dress or a piece you know can be hand washed, then Wash your piece as you normally would, then rinse in a vinegar solution to counteract any odors. It’s best to use hot water to ensure the mold spores get killed. If you’re washing clothing that can’t be washed in hot water, try using cold water instead. You may have to wash the clothes more than once to get rid of the smell.



Make a mixture of vodka and water or Pour some vodka into a spray bottle. Spray the musty item all over. Hang it outside in the sun to dry. This should remove or weaken the musty smell. When the liquid evaporates, so should the smell.


Baking soda is a natural odor-killer, use baking soda to eliminate vintage smells. Lay the garment on a clean surface. Sprinkle it all over with a fine layer of baking soda. Turn it over and do the same. If you don’t wish to put baking soda directly on the item try placing the item in a plastic bag next to an open container of baking soda. Shake it around a bit, and let the bag sit with the clothing and baking soda for a day or two.


Steam is another great deodorizing option especially if you use a scent-infused steaming solution, Using heat to rid odors may seem counterintuitive, but steaming a garment will actually release unpleasant odors that have been lodged in fabric for years, especially wrinkled or napped fibers.


You can also try the OxiClean or Borax soaking method on items that have mysterious stains, but if those two products prove ineffective, try upping your game with either K2r or dry cleaning solvents. These are the kind of stain removal products that can be found at your local hardware store, so you know they mean business.

Category: Tips & Tricks


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