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Clothes from Goodwill, Savers, what is that smell? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
Mine smell like febreeze or fabric softener when we get them until after a few washes.
post #22 of 51
I know of one that does wash everything that comes in and it still smells funky in there. Blech!
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownZoo View Post
Then I wash again, in the hottest water safe for the fabric, this time with ammonia.


How much ammonia? I've never used it before, but I'm desperate over here!
post #24 of 51
I worked at a Value Village for a while (like, 20 years ago) and don't remember them spraying the clothing with anything.
post #25 of 51
A friend recently had a lice outbreak at her house and had to de-louse everything. She used a spray for items that couldn't be put into the wash (like furniture....) she said it's the same stuff they use at Goodwill....it's really cut down on my shopping joy.....
post #26 of 51
We don't shop at Goodwill because of that smell. My DH will actually start coughing and wheezing when we get in there. He had asthma as a kid and I have never seen him have any issues with it except when we walk into Goodwill.

Luckily we have a wonderful thrift store right across the street from Goodwill that doesn't have that smell at all. It's clean, nice, organized, and cheap.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by allnaturalmom View Post



How much ammonia? I've never used it before, but I'm desperate over here!
One cup.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownZoo View Post
One cup.
post #29 of 51
I always thought it was a combination of mildew/musty + a mixture of all the artifical fragrances dumped on everything.

I talked to someone once who sorted clothing donations and she said many of the bags of clothing come in and the clothing is dirty - its like someone donates their dirty laundry bag full of stuff. So, when a bag like that is dumped in on a table or in a bin for sorting, with a few bags of other clothes (that might have been clean) all the funkiness just mingles together.
post #30 of 51
I recently discovered the Goodwill Outlet, and got a bunch of leather belts, leather purses, and straw bags for $8! But when I got them home I realized that most of it had that Goodwill smell, and because they are not washable, I'm not sure how to get the smell out. Any suggestions.
post #31 of 51
Honestly, it's just musty-ness. They don't spray with any chemicals. I worked as a mgr for Val Vil for a while in 2002 - 2003 and worked the sorting table. Here's how it worked:

1. People donate stuff. The condition of the stuff is the responsibility of the donator. They put it on the porch and Recipient agency picks it up (ARC, battered women's shelter, whatnot.)

2. Stuff is stacked on carts(40s, 30s, etc. I have know idea why they're called that but they're different sizes.) as a super, we had to verify that the whole cart was full because Val Vil buys those carts from their NPO partners. Getting moneys worth, yk.

3. Sorters (that's their job, sorting icky used clothes) sort the clothes and they trash the gross or stained stuff. No washing happens at all. Sellable stuff is hung on hangers and priced by the privets for sale.

4. You buy it, wash it, and wear it. If it's smelly, don't buy it. Yeah, the store kinda smells, but not each piece. A lot of people DO wash before they donate. Others just pull that 20 year old bag out of the attic/basement and throw it on the porch. If u think about it, used books often smell the same way for the same reason.

So It's kind of a gamble, that way... (Ha, I was going to say "kind of a wash" but that seemed wrong, somehow..) LOL

K
post #32 of 51

I buy a lot of thrift store clothes and I don't have this problem.  Just washing the clothes normally works for me.  

 

The only smell I have gotten is musty old smell.  Sometimes it does not wash out of vintage polyester but only if its super funky to start with.  

post #33 of 51

Could it be a Goodwill policy?  I do not notice any chemical smell in our local thrift shops, but none of the are Goodwills.  There is a musty BO smell, but I have shopped second hand for so long now that I kind of like that smell.  redface.gif  I just wash everything and am good to go.  

 

post #34 of 51

I grew up in the backroom of Value Villages (my mom was the manager). They never used to wash the clothes nor did they spray it with anything. Its possible that they started doing that over the last 5 years since I haven't been in their backrooms since about 5 years ago. I doubt they would add an extra expense though.

post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

I worked at a Value Village for a while (like, 20 years ago) and don't remember them spraying the clothing with anything.


I was recently in Saver's and the employee there told me they put it right out from the donation bag.  They don't wash or treat anything at all.   If it's not in good enough condition to put out, they donate it on to another charity( one that gives clothes to be used as stuffing/filling in other things).

post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fujiko View Post

I really want to know what it is, too. I KNOW it's not just "old", "musty", or "attic" smell. I have lots of experience with those smells, and I don't use many chemicals (especially not fragranced chemicals) in my home so whenever I smell something from Goodwill or Value Village I can tell it's chemically. KWIM? Those clothes never smell like various detergents, air fresheners, or even like they've been stored. They all smell like the same chemical.


When I was in college, I bought an old wooden ironing board at Goodwill...  I was so excited about it, and when I showed it to my boyfriend (now DH), the first thing he said was that it "smells like poverty."  ROTFLMAO.gif  (He has no problem shopping at Goodwill or thrift stores now, but his mom shopped there exclusively when he was little, and often bought him ill-fitting clothes because they were nice, or clothes he hated because they fit.  He likes it much more now that he gets to pick his own clothes.)

 

I've noticed the same smell from clothes from Once Upon a Child as well, though not as strong, and I know they don't treat with anything.  I think a lot of it is just the mish-mash of fabric softener/detergent scents, plus a bit of old and musty thrown in.  It also takes us a few washes to get the funk out, but I've never done anything special to pre-treat.  I'll have to try some baking soda or something next time.

 

 

post #37 of 51



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by annekevdbroek View Post

I always thought it was a combination of mildew/musty + a mixture of all the artifical fragrances dumped on everything.

I talked to someone once who sorted clothing donations and she said many of the bags of clothing come in and the clothing is dirty - its like someone donates their dirty laundry bag full of stuff. So, when a bag like that is dumped in on a table or in a bin for sorting, with a few bags of other clothes (that might have been clean) all the funkiness just mingles together.


Oh that is gross. I can't imagine not at least washing and folding the clothes before I donate. Sometimes I iron them as well.

post #38 of 51

All the Goodwills around here use an air freshener that has a very chemically almost cinnamony smell.  Combined with all the old furniture, shoes, unwashed clothes etc... it creates a strong odor. 

post #39 of 51


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccavrose View Post

I recently discovered the Goodwill Outlet, and got a bunch of leather belts, leather purses, and straw bags for $8! But when I got them home I realized that most of it had that Goodwill smell, and because they are not washable, I'm not sure how to get the smell out. Any suggestions.


I recently bought a huge ziploc bag of embroidery thread from a yard sale. Unfortunately it smelled strongly of fabric softener. So I took a small sized ziploc type bag and poked several holes in it with an ice pick type tool (a fork would also do it just fine) and then I filled it with baking soda and added drops of lavender oil to the baking soda. I put this bag of baking soda inside the ziploc bag of embroidery thread, sealed it up and left it for a few weeks. Problem solved. The thread no longer carried the odor of fabric softener. I'd suggest taking the items that smell and putting them in a sealed bag or container of some sort along with a bag of baking soda mixture like the one I made.

post #40 of 51
I think it's some form of mold. I smell it in storage situations. Some people's garage sales smell like that. It's kind of a mix of Old Book-moisture-dust-Oil-Mildew. I'm really sensitive to it since it is the one smell trigger that gives my husband migraines. The moment I smell it, I hustle him OUT OUT OUT of there.
That and tea tree oil, that's the other trigger, if it's in large amounts.
I haven't had too much trouble washing it out of things with a good heavy duty washing. I wouldn't buy something that couldn't be washed with a good brush and left in the sun for a while. OR thrown in the washing machine on warm/heavy with a little oxy.

I do miss thrift stores and garage sales. But I like my husband more.
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