Removing Odor from Vintage Clothing

I have received 50 year old baby clothes that have never been used! There are lots of pretty party dresses. The only problem is they have a very vintage smell to them. I have washed them once in Tide and dried them with fabric sheets. That really didn't help much. I'm sure there is a trick out there. Please help.

By Erica from Plainfield, IL

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Add 1 cup of white vinegar along with detergent, will remove musty smell.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

A professional would use orvus.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use Ivory Snow or Dreft and rinse a 2nd time nothing other than water. This is baby clothing, maybe going to be worn by a baby again? Wash accordingly. Using strong stuff like Tide or borax is not for baby clothing. If it is for a doll use, then other means is ok.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful

They may be musty - putting them out in the sun should help - I used Borax on some old linens & dried them in the sun - You could also try Fabreze Fabric spray - & drying in the sun.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful

You don't want chemicals next to a baby's skin, even fabreze, so if you use them be sure and wash again later. I personally would fill the washer, add 1/4 cup bleach and a little detergent. Then add the clothes. That much bleach stired into the water will not fade the clothes and will take away the musty smell.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with MCW. Vinegar will do the trick except that I would just use vinegar this next washing instead of adding detergent since you already did that.

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

Try using baking soda in the wash cycle.

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for all of the great ideas. I tried soaking the dresses in baking soda for a couple of hours yesterday and it helped somewhat but that smell is still lingering! I will try the vinegar soak, washing with baby detergent (as T&T Grandma said that is what's best for baby skin), and then drying in the sun! I will let you all know if it works! I would hate to get rid of these clothes just because of an odor issue they are so cute!

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June 11, 20100 found this helpful

Arm & Hammer makes a laundry booster that you can soak the clothes in. I did laundry for an elderly woman whose clothes smelled rather badly and this took all the odor out! : ) Good luck!

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