– the groovy companion to my top tips for thrifting vintage –
What do you do when you’ve spied a piece of vintage awesomeness in the thrift shop that looks as if it was made for you (or is easily refashioned to fit) but you’re unsure if that pungent vintage odour will be defeated by a swim in the washing machine or not?
Snag that vintage bargain and follow my top tips for cleaning vintage clothing & conquer those antique aromas!
All of the gear needed for your vintage deodorizing tool kit can already be found in your house (or reasonably purchased from the supermarket).
1. Place the item in a sealable plastic bag and put it in the freezer overnight (longer for stubborn odours). The freezing temperatures will kill most of the odour causing bacteria allowing you to launder the remaining smells away.
2. To remove light musty smells spray an equal parts white vinegar and water mixture directly onto the garment and hang to air dry. (A dab of vinegar can also help to remove stains and spots)
3. Stronger odours can be neutralized by adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle.
4. Heavy smells may require an overnight soak in a 1 part vinegar to 5 parts warm water mixture.
5. Baking soda (Kaiser Natron in Germany) is a great alternative to vinegar as it is odourless. Place the garment in 4 – 5 litres of hot water and add a cup of baking soda on top of the saturated fabric, let it sit for 15 minutes, give it a good mixing then soak for about an hour and wash normally.
6. Vodka is not only a great deodorizer, it also kills the bacteria causing the foul fragrance. Simply pour some straight vodka into a spray bottle and give the vintage victim a good spray. Once dry, launder as usual. As the alcohol smell disappears as it dries this is also a great technique for vintage items not easily washed such as bulky jackets, furniture fabric and decorative textiles.