Monday, May 3, 2010

Pickled in Polyester - Removing Perspiration Odor from Clothes

"Do you wanna be a Polyester Bride?"
Gotta love all of these classy ladies esp. Brigitte Bardot ...
And polyester "finds" from thrift stores sometimes...well, most times, stink "b.odorously" (sure it's a word!).  The better the piece, the more likely it was worn at full-bore - singing and dancing the night away.
We can only assume that these pieces moved about during exciting times, but we do not desire for the garment to retain the malodorous remainder of those days, do we?

Fortunately, my Mom took really good care of hers so there is no problem with the ones I've received from her lovely and well-scented closet. And if you find a reputable vintage store online, they will send you pieces that were screened/cleaned and don't carry too much of a lingering odor (A special Thank You to Lulu'! Shipping was quick and the vintage top smelled fine - post coming soon).
Vintage Windsor Top Arrived!
However, I have spent several afternoons around the country at some of the best kept secret, secondhand spots with the most outstanding fashion.  And these spectacular pieces more likely than not are worth the maintenance required to "De-mustify".
Ahhh...segue to BRB Post on Getting Rid of Polyester P.U.
During my research, I found great ideas from
I loved some ideas better than others, BUT understanding a bit about chemistry, I strongly advise AGAINST ammonia ever being added to a clothes washer, sink, or tub (because if it ever mixed with chlorine bleach - that means hair dye bleach too - KABOOM!).

But I'll tell you a few of the following methods that have worked for many, myself included.
*Note: Each number indicates a SEPARATE technique
Place Charcoal (non-lighter fluid soaked) into a small plastic tub and poke small holes in the lid.  
Put container inside a larger plastic bag along with garment holding stench. 
 **I might even use a higher thread count cheese cloth or nylon in which to wrap the charcoal
 instead of the small tub.**
I'm thinking that this might allow more exposure to the charcoal for filtration...
Seal bag and leave for a few days.  
The charcoal should filter out the odor.  Think water filtration system, but with air.
Be careful not to let charcoal dust get onto clothing.

20 Mule Team Borax
*also gets rid of urine smell (I know gross, right? Well, it does!)
Regular Washing Machine Load:  1/2 cup + detergent of choice to regular load of laundry
Delicates:  1/4 cup + 1-2 TBSP detergent of choice dissolved into warm water, soak for 20 min., rinse in cold water

Baking Soda
*Some detergents have baking soda already included in the ingredients
1 cup + detergent added to your regular wash load
Soak for 1/2 hour
1/2 Cup White Vinegar to Rinse Cycle

*not recommended for washing machines
1 Cup + detergent and warm water
Soak overnight.

Here's a Tip for DRY CLEAN ONLY garments:
Take an issue of your latest fashion mag that has perfume inserts 
OR a piece of charcoal wrapped in cheesecloth (or, again, placed inside nylon),
Put into Large Gallon Freezer Bag with Garment and Seal.
Leave Overnight.

And finally,
For a FRESH CLOSET (esp. one lovingly stocked with Shoes)
I suggest a strategically placed box of Baking Soda and Cedar Hangers (also keeps moths away);)

Those are my tips for now:)  Have a great week and 
I'll be here if you need me.

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Pickled in Polyester - Removing Perspiration Odor from Clothes
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