If you’ve ever shopped at a thrift store before, then you know that musty, mildewy smell all too well. But just because a piece of clothing smells a little bit funky, doesn’t mean it’s not worth purchasing. After all, thrift store clothes are not just affordable — but unique and extra fun.
Fortunately, there are some really easy ways to get rid of that thrift store smell, so you can make your clothes smell fresh and look completely new again. Let’s break down some of our favorite tips for removing thrift store smell from clothes.
Tip #1: Soak Your Clothes in Vinegar
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help to remove musty smells from clothing. To use this method, simply add 1 cup of vinegar to a sink or tub full of cold water. Then, add your clothes and let them soak for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse your clothing in cold water and then wash as normal.
Tip #2: Place Clothing Outside in the Sun
Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, and it can help remove musty smells from clothing. To use this method, simply hang your clothing outside in direct sunlight for several hours. The sun can work to kill any mold or mildew spores that could be causing that musty smell.
Tip #3: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is another natural disinfectant that can remove musty smells from clothing. To use this method, simply add 1 cup of baking soda to your washing machine before adding your clothes. Then, wash your clothing as normal. The baking soda can absorb any bad odors and leave your clothes smelling fresh and new.
Other products you can use to clean thrift store clothing
Aside from natural products or solutions, you can leverage consumer brands to aggressively clean your thrift store clothing. Keep in mind, however, thrift store clothing can be delicate. It’s always a best practice to patch test products on new thrift store items before cleaning the entire garment. That being said, here are a few products to check out.
Zout is a laundry stain remover that can be found at most grocery stores. You simply apply it directly to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash the garment as usual. We’ve found that Zout works great on tough stains like sweat and makeup.
Another product we recommend is called Oxyclean. Oxyclean is a powder that you mix with water to create a cleaning solution. It’s generally used for cleaning carpets, but it works great on clothing, too. Simply mix up a solution of Oxyclean and water, soak the stained garment for 30 minutes, and then wash as usual. Oxyclean is especially effective on blood stains – just make sure you don’t use it on delicate fabrics like silk or wool.
Finally, if you’re really serious about getting your thrift store clothing clean, you may want to invest in a steamer. A steamer will not only remove wrinkles from your clothing, but it will also kill bacteria and freshen up stale-smelling fabrics. Simply hang your garment up, steam it for a few minutes, and voila! Fresh-smelling, wrinkle-free clothing. Steaming is also a great way to remove pet hair from clothing – just make sure you don’t steam delicate fabrics like silk or wool.
If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to get rid of thrift store smell, vinegar, sunlight, and baking soda are all great options. Simply soak your clothing in vinegar or place it in direct sunlight for several hours. Or, add baking soda to your washing machine before washing your clothes as normal. By following these simple tips, you can easily remove a musty or mildewy thrift store smell from clothes.