Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thrifting pro-tip: get that "vintage" smell out of non-washable items

The other day I scored this awesome straw purse from a Goodwill outside of Seattle (the ones in the 'burbs are always better than the ones in the city since they aren't as picked over!).

It was only $3 since it was 50% off.

Unfortunately, it's a little stinky. Not too bad, but it definitely has that "vintage" smell, if you know what I mean...

But never fear - because there's a way to get out that smell!

What you'll need:

  • 2 dryer sheets

  • A large ziploc baggie

    What to do:

  • Put one dryer sheet inside the purse

  • Put one outside the purse

  • Fold the purse to fit inside the kind-of-too-small baggie

  • Wait a few days

  • Enjoy a fresh smelling new-to-you purse!

    Also, umm, tear the tag off before you take it out with you. Not that any of us are forgetful in that way, nosirree, nope.

    Do any of you have any tips or tricks for making thrifted/secondhand items smell better? Share them in the comments!

    Deporian said...

    Thats a really good idea. I love shopping at the thrift stores. Great Advice!

    geetabix said...

    Sprinkle them liberally with baking soda, leave for a day, and then shake or vacuum off the baking soda. And then cut off the tag :)

    Anonymous said...

    spray liberally with lysol, repeatedly if necessary. this works well for leather.

    nothing beats a good old fashioned airing out! i have had 5 pairs of shoes sitting on my porch for weeks and weeks getting this treatment. though this might not work so well in rainy seattle.

    Gazel M. said...

    I love your advice! I will take this into account.

    Sara Bee said...

    Great idea! I've heard of doing the same thing before but with clothing inside of a suit/dress bag. The Downy wrinkle release spray is also helpful when trying to get rid of some fabric odors.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi! I have just found your blog, so apologies if you have mentioned this before, but I was wondering where you got your amazing glasses from?? Seriously want them. Please tell me I can buy them in a shop! (and are not vintage, as they look). Thanks! ~ Sara

    Kimaloo said...

    I love the dryer sheet method. I'm also a fan of sitting things in the sun for several hours/days to freshen them up. (Just watch out for rain!)

    Rebecca said...

    Deporian - thanks!

    Geetabix - yes, I do love the baking soda method too :). I'll often add it to the wash for items that are washable. Along with vinegar, because it has great deodorizing capabilities too (and I like the baking soda/vinegar reaction, it reminds me of those volcano science projects when I was growing up)

    pineapplemint - thanks, I hadn't thought of that! Will definitely add to the list.

    Gazel M. - thanks!

    Sara Bee - oooh, good idea! That stuff smells great too. We have some already, I may try it!

    Sara - hey! No worries, I actually got them at They are Dior (such a label whore) frames, I saw them in an optician shop and had to find them cheaper :). Good luck hunting them down!

    Kimaloo - yes, I love doing that too! I do it with stinky shoes (not necessarily stinky because they are vintage, but stinky because I never wear socks).

    Star said...

    Great tip, thanks! Enjoying your blog, which I found thanks to "Blogs of Note."

    Deporian said...

    Great tip!!! We have tips that we do as well on our blogs. You should check it out!

    Periwinkle Dzyns said...

    thanks for the tip!
    As I despise the smell of dryer sheets, I have also found stuffing an item full of newspaper, then into a bag helps reduce the odor as the newspaper absorbs them

    Sarah said...

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!!!

    thepowmill said...

    So many tips . Proves that there are a lot of thrifty people out there. I'll add a few of my own.
    If it is not washable it may be dry-able . Thirty minutes in a medium heat on gentle tumble works for some things.

    Lavendar epsom salts in a cloth bag inside the item for a week or so.

    Kitty Litter in a cloth bag inside the item for a week or so.

    cornmeal- the same

    Old books
    Brush with cornstarch page by page and let it sit a while...not me . I'll put up with the smell.

    Nicole said...

    I try to use baking soda or kitty litter and put the item in an air tight space for a few days. I've found that Febreeze and dryer sheets usually mask the musty smell instead of getting rid of it.

    Anonymous said...

    Dryer sheets are just so versatile - you can use them to get things unstuck from pots and pans too - true story. Put dryer sheet in pot, fill with water, wait. Magic.

    Van said...

    I may have to try this one day. Thank you for the excellent tip!

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