Clothes from Goodwill, Savers, what is that smell? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 51 Old 06-30-2011, 12:57 AM
 
MovnMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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

K: high school teacher and mama to DS1 (7/07), loss (10/10) and DS2 (7/12). Married to my best friend and soon to be elementary school teacher!
MovnMama is offline  
#32 of 51 Old 07-04-2011, 09:27 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sunny Southern California
Posts: 428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.  

MsFortune is offline  
#33 of 51 Old 07-05-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Ruthiegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Feet in the mud, head in the clouds
Posts: 3,634
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)

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.  

 


Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

Ruthiegirl is online now  
#34 of 51 Old 07-06-2011, 05:05 PM
 
lotus_j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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.

lotus_j is offline  
#35 of 51 Old 07-07-2011, 06:45 AM
 
swede's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


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).

swede is offline  
#36 of 51 Old 07-13-2011, 08:22 AM
 
diana_of_the_dunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 1,680
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


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.

 

 


Married to my loving hubby, proud mama to Ethan thumbsuck.gif (9/09) and Rowyn (7/12)slinggirl.gif  and aspiring homesteader chicken3.gif

Missing my twins, Owen and Sophia, born too soon, July 2011 angel2.gifangel3.gif

diana_of_the_dunes is offline  
#37 of 51 Old 07-13-2011, 09:11 AM
 
choli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



 

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.

choli is offline  
#38 of 51 Old 07-13-2011, 11:23 AM
 
amcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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. 

amcal is offline  
#39 of 51 Old 07-13-2011, 07:40 PM
 
NettleTea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,204
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

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.


uc.jpg  lotbirth.gif   waterbirth.jpg 
NettleTea is offline  
#40 of 51 Old 07-13-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
Posts: 7,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Homebirth Midwife biggrinbounce.gif

After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

Jane is offline  
#41 of 51 Old 07-14-2011, 11:31 AM
 
NettleTea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,204
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I might be wrong, but I think that there's two different smells being discussed in this thread. One is the musty, dirty, "old clothes" type smell. And the other is the strong, chemical,  "air freshener" (barfy) smell that is HELL to remove from clothes and other items. I've experienced both and I'll take the musty smell any day over the chemical smell. grossedout.gif


uc.jpg  lotbirth.gif   waterbirth.jpg 
NettleTea is offline  
#42 of 51 Old 07-14-2011, 04:58 PM
 
DaughterOfKali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 12,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My mom shops at Savers and told me about the smell.  That's nasty that they spray them with disinfectant!  We have severe asthma/allergies so we can't buy second hand clothes from places like that.  Yucky.


Independent Consultant- Thirty One Gifts www.mythirtyone.com/ShopLiz

Origami Owl http://lizcioci.origamiowl.com

DaughterOfKali is offline  
#43 of 51 Old 07-20-2011, 11:49 AM
 
hildare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: in-the-sticks-off-a-dirt-road, GA
Posts: 2,692
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i don't know what the value place is but i frequent the goodwill. 

to me, it smells like some sort of laundry detergent.  i honestly think that at the goodwill they wash the clothes first.  how could there not be dirty stuff?  or do they throw it out. 

whatever it is, it doesn't smell like the nonscented laundry stuff we use, and it usually overpowers our eco friendly unscented stuff for the first couple of washings but it comes out eventually...

 

i was so curious i tried to call them to ask but they transferred me to voice-mail-land. 

 

 


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

hildare is offline  
#44 of 51 Old 11-13-2012, 09:08 AM
 
consumeraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I, too, have noticed the chemical/perfume smell from ALL of the Goodwill stores in the pacific northwest area.  It does not respond to normal washing, in fact I've washed clothes up to 6 times with little effect.  Other stores - such as the local Orthopedic Thrift shop - do NOT have that smell. I have asked the local manager at Goodwill if she sprays anything on them, and she denies this.  So, I'm just starting my research.  I suspect it's an anti-bug treatment, but we really need to find out.  I don't want to be wearing toxic chemicals just to save a buck!

consumeraj is offline  
#45 of 51 Old 11-13-2012, 09:25 AM
 
pek64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our local thrift store clothes have a cedar smell, but it washes right out. I wouldn't wear anything if the smell didn't wash out. I would recommend looking for smaller, local thrift shops.
pek64 is offline  
#46 of 51 Old 11-15-2012, 06:09 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by consumeraj View Post

I, too, have noticed the chemical/perfume smell from ALL of the Goodwill stores in the pacific northwest area.  It does not respond to normal washing, in fact I've washed clothes up to 6 times with little effect.  Other stores - such as the local Orthopedic Thrift shop - do NOT have that smell. I have asked the local manager at Goodwill if she sprays anything on them, and she denies this.  So, I'm just starting my research.  I suspect it's an anti-bug treatment, but we really need to find out.  I don't want to be wearing toxic chemicals just to save a buck!

Try doing the first wash with a bunch of vinegar (a couple cups). Then do a second wash with a bunch of baking soda (another couple cups). I've always been able to get smells out with enough baking soda. I think the first wash with vinegar helps strip waxy residue and build up from things like drier sheets. Then the second wash with baking soda can really get into all the fibers of the fabric.

 

I think the chain thrift stores are required to disinfect everything. I've heard the guy at Salvation Army tell people they can't buy something because it hasn't been disinfected yet (when the customer sees something in the sorting area). There aren't any washers so I bet it's a lysol type spray. I've seen people at St Vincent De Paul's spraying furniture with a squirt bottle, probably an alcohol mixture.

 

You might get better info from Goodwill if you ask how they disinfect donated clothes rather than asking what toxic chemicals they spray;-) Then, they will be more likely to want to reassure you that the clothes are clean and disinfected and not just hung up in whatever state they have been donated in. Whereas if they think you are worried about chemicals, they might want to reassure you that they didn't spray anything on them. The truth might be another type of non-spray treatment.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#47 of 51 Old 11-15-2012, 06:34 AM
 
loveandgarbage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Wow, so this is why my eyes get itchy if I'm at a thrift store!


Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

loveandgarbage is offline  
#48 of 51 Old 11-15-2012, 10:26 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

Wow, so this is why my eyes get itchy if I'm at a thrift store!

Bummer! I get headaches from all the off gassing or whatever in stores filled with new products.


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#49 of 51 Old 11-18-2012, 10:53 AM
 
consumeraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, that's a good approach....I tend to come in swinging, ha....but also, I have a concern for people who are spraying this stuff.  Large corporations have ways of ignoring the health of the workers, but I'm hoping Goodwill is not one of those companies.  I have filled my house and closet with their philanthropy.  

 

I used about a half gallon of white vinegar on an entire load and that got most of the smell.  Will try the baking soda next time.
 

consumeraj is offline  
#50 of 51 Old 11-19-2012, 02:05 AM
 
Poddi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,927
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Ours tend to smell like nothing, or dryer sheets.  I hate the dryer sheets smell and wash them a few times first.  Most thrift stores here are relatively new, though so they don't have musty smell yet.  We usually go to one that's just opened last year.  I don't think they washed them all, though, just deodorized.  Because sometimes after I wash a garment, it tend to smell a bit stale.  I think that means I washed the deodorizing stuff off so the original smell came out.  But another wash or two would take care of that.


Mom to 2 beautiful autistic boys (12 & 11)  
Poddi is online now  
#51 of 51 Old 12-30-2012, 07:47 PM
 
kt~mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i think its mothballs and "old" smell... i never have trouble getting the smell out with the first wash. i usually wash my thrift purchases in warmer water than i normally would use, and my powdered detergent does the rest... maybe a drier sheet would also help?


Katie, mommy to Oliver (2007) and brand new Ava Estelle (2014)! 
Decluttering Challenge:  283/2014 items are gone!
$201 made from selling my "stuff"
(I've gotten rid of 3711 items over the last four years on this forum! Last years selling total: $456)
kt~mommy is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off