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How do I get rid of a musty smell from old/vintage clothes?

(12 Posts)
LuckySaint Mon 17-Nov-14 15:37:53

I've got lots of old (20 year old) clothes that i've just retrieved from various boxes, cupboards etc with a view to selling it.
Some of it is perfect, but some is a bit musty.

Will dry cleaning get rid of the smell?
Some items are jackets and coats will they be better in a machine wool wash?

I've just done a denim wash and it still smelt, so I did another wash with napisan and it's now fine.
But I can't use napisan on the wool items.

mrsrhodgilbert Mon 17-Nov-14 17:31:27

Dry cleaning won't necessarily work either. I had a similar problem with a coat a few years ago which had been stored in a very cold wardrobe. Dry cleaning didn't get rid of the smell, I left it to air for a very long time and eventually it went. I'd probably wash as much as possible, but old wool may not take well to a washing machine.

BrokenCircleBreakdown Mon 17-Nov-14 19:01:30

Tea tree oil is good

BrokenCircleBreakdown Mon 17-Nov-14 19:02:13

A few drops in with ecover delicate

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 17-Nov-14 19:08:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Naoko Mon 17-Nov-14 19:12:31

I had a few things that were really musty, I soaked them in the bath overnight with a generous glug of dettol and then machine washed them with my normal detergent and the smell went. Not sure if dettol is safe on wool though, maybe try it on something you're not too attached to?

LuckySaint Mon 17-Nov-14 19:50:35

Thanks. Google suggested spraying the items with white vinegar or vodka.
Or putting in a bag with bicarb.

Catsmamma Mon 17-Nov-14 19:55:52

fresh air and sunshine...

I've a coat that needed airing, and just getting it out on the line on sunny cold days really minimised the old lady loft smell

I also used to spray random squirts of scented water over it/febreze/even the dog freshener on one mistaken occasion

...they had just been out for a walk and were having a quick spray and I suddenly remembered I had not sprayed the coat...whoops!

HappyGirlNow Mon 17-Nov-14 21:24:57

I keep some clothes in storage and they sometimes come out smelling a bit musty.. I spray them with Febreze - works a treat!

Flingingmelon Mon 17-Nov-14 21:30:19

One part vodka to four parts water in a spray bottle, give it a good misting and leave to dry - ideally outside but I know that's a bit impractical in the UK in November.

WorldWildWifeFund Mon 17-Nov-14 21:39:45

Putting them in the freezer is supposed to work.

RenterNomad Mon 17-Nov-14 21:57:34

If you want your vintage clothes care advice leavened with murder and a Gothic plot (let's face it, housekeeping tips can be a bit dull! wink), I can recommend Barbara Michaels's Shattered Silk. The msin characters open a vintage clothes shop, and have to deal with some very filthy old clothes, plus the dirtiest laundry of all (murder, of course)

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