How Do You Get Rid of Thrift Store Smells

How Do You Get Rid of Thrift Store Smells?

There is nothing like the rewarding feeling you get when you snag a killer deal on a great piece of vintage clothing. But the deal you got isn’t the only thing that is killer. The odors permeating from your new thrift store clothes are reeking of a putrid smell of killer as well. If you are like me, I have a hard time wearing vintage clothes that contain past smells from the previous owners. Whether it be a strongly scented detergent that was used on the fabric or lingering body odors that have made their mark on my newly acquired wardrobe it can severely impact my eagerness to rock my new attire. After years of scouring thrift stores for hidden gems, I have perfected the ideal method of removing past lingering smells from my thrift store finds. And it will soon be revealed…

Do Thrift Stores Wash Their Clothing?

Do Thrift Stores Wash Their Clothing?

First, to answer one of the biggest questions people have when they go thrift shopping is, “do the thrift stores wash the clothes before they put it up for sale?”. The answer is, it depends. Goodwill stores do not wash clothing but kindly ask that donors wash the clothes before they donate. This seems to be the case for many thrift stores who usually put their newly acquired clothes right on the shelf. So should you wash your thrift store clothing after you purchase them? Ultimately the decision is up to you, and your nose is the best resource to determine if a good wash job is needed before you wear your new clothes.

5 Ways to Deodorize Thrift Store Clothes

5 Ways to Deodorize Thrift Store ClothesSo what do you do when you find a piece of clothing that you just absolutely love but the smell is overtaking your nose every time you put it on? Some odors and smells can mark their territory on fabrics making it nearly impossible to get rid of with everyday detergent. When this happens we try to turn to DIYs and helpful tips from others stuck in the same boat to rid the smells out. But do these tips and tricks really work on your thrift store clothing?


One of the more popular methods that many thrift shoppers use to rid their clothes of lurking odors is by using vinegar. The best way to implement this process is by washing your thrift store clothes like you would wash any other piece of laundry and following that process by rinsing with a vinegar solution to try to repel the odor. However, the real question is does this process work? Vinegar is acidic and can be harsh on a variety of different fabrics that cannot handle the power the vinegar contains. You must also take into consideration that many clothing purchased at a thrift store has had a lot of wear and tear and may be extremely delicate when washing them. The last thing you want to do is ruin your newly purchased thrift store clothing by using harsh vinegar as a solution to harsh odors.

Fresh Air

The cheapest way to go around trying to remove odors from your thrift store clothing is by utilizing the powers of the sun. Letting mother nature works its magic may be just what your clothes need. The sunlight will help remove odors, but it may also have some negative effects on your thrift store finds. Intense sunlight can sometimes cause dyes to fade on the fabric, tarnishing the fabric and making your clothes really “look” like vintage clothing.

Baking SodaBaking Soda

Baking soda for decades has been known as the ultimate deodorizer for any harsh odors. Especially when it comes to your refrigerator where we faithfully place a box of baking soda to remove the nasty odors that accumulate in your fridge. Well, why couldn’t you use this natural deodorizer to deodorize your thrift store clothing? Applying baking soda into your laundry load could maybe do the job of ridding your vintage smelling clothing of the trapped odors in the fabric. However, be careful when using baking soda in your washing machine because issues can start to arise when you place the baking soda in the dispenser slot, so make sure you apply it into the tub of the washing machine rather than the dispenser drawer.


One of the more craftier methods of eliminating odors from your thrift store clothing is by using vodka. I’m sure you are sitting there questioning this method because I sure did too. This application is a gamble because you never have any idea how the fabric or dye in your clothing will react with this liquid. The logic behind using vodka is that the alcohol takes on an absorbent quality, having the possible power to neutralize the odor. Be careful when testing this method out, by picking a sample area to apply it to, airing on the side of caution is recommended for your thrift store gems.

Active Laundry Additive

A laundry additive can be the ideal solution for all your thrift store stench issues. When you are dealing with tough accumulated odors on your thrift store fabrics, detergent alone just can’t do the job. Most clothing that you purchase second-hand have been put through the ringer and need a little extra TLC. A powerful and effective laundry additive may be your secret weapon against thrift store clothing. The OdorKlenz Laundry Additive is the perfect additive to encompass into your washing routine because it gives your fabrics the added protection of fighting off odors and chemicals attached to your fabrics. This laundry additive utilizes a patented technology with all safe, earth-mineral ingredients that work to rid odors and chemicals from your fabrics. Hint- it is most effective when used with a non-scented detergent and used in warm water with a high agitation cycle. You will be amazed at the results!

laundry liquid additive N 7-29-16


Saying goodbye to thrift shop odors is possible and done by using a variety of methods to accomplish this task. So what method is the best? That is for you to decide!



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