Clothes from Goodwill, Savers, what is that smell? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 51 Old 09-12-2009, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
mich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Goodwill or Savers, it's the same smell. I don't like it and it takes a while to wear off. It's still there after I wash and dry a few times. At first I thought it was detergent smell from the donator, but it's always the same smell.

I love buying second hand, great clothes at a fraction the price. But I hate the smell. I am now imagining some toxic treatment they use to "clean" the clothes and it's freaking me out!

I bought a sheet for my son's bed once and had to line dry it for a week to get rid of the smell. Cold weather is on the way and that's going to be harder to do.

What is that smell? And how do I get rid of it quicker? Any ideas?

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

mich is offline  
#2 of 51 Old 09-12-2009, 11:51 PM
 
jeteaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Out there
Posts: 907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ya, same here. I wonder if they spray everything with Lysol? I use oxy clean w/ my free and clear detergent. the smell usually comes out after a few washes. Although, clothes with perfume or smoke never seem to not smell.
jeteaa is offline  
#3 of 51 Old 09-13-2009, 12:01 AM
 
neverdoingitagain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: mountain/cow country in Canada
Posts: 2,289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That musty smell? Or are you talking about a different smell?
I buy from second hand/thrift stores quite a bit. I think all clothes get that musty smell after awhile. Its just washing that gets rid of it with your regular clothes. I have clothes hanging in a downstairs closet thats starting to smell like that

waiting on the power of the three wolf moon. 
neverdoingitagain is offline  
#4 of 51 Old 09-13-2009, 12:10 AM
 
savannah smiles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: hunting ghosts w/ Jason and Grant
Posts: 2,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by neverdoingitagain View Post
That musty smell? Or are you talking about a different smell?
I buy from second hand/thrift stores quite a bit. I think all clothes get that musty smell after awhile. Its just washing that gets rid of it with your regular clothes. I have clothes hanging in a downstairs closet thats starting to smell like that
I notice the same dreadful musty smell whenever I unbox dd1's outgrown clothes to sift through for dd2.

Gazing furtively at you from under my siggie!
savannah smiles is offline  
#5 of 51 Old 09-13-2009, 12:18 AM
 
littlemizflava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: GTA,ontario,canada
Posts: 1,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
tto and baking soda (sometimes vinigar) in wash, in rince tto with vinigar and tto on a cloth in the dryer. i dont wash on hot and if they were really smelly when drying i smell them before they are dry. i find that the heat makes the smell worse and harder to come out to see seems to work 99% of the time. i need to figure out how to get the smell of (b.o., musty, smoke, weed, drugs, smell out of downfilled jackets)
littlemizflava is offline  
#6 of 51 Old 09-13-2009, 02:15 AM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I usually hang them outside for a few days, plus spray with vinegar if it's really bad.
I don't think they do anything to the stuff though...every thrift store I've ever been to has that smell. Sorta like attics all smell alike; it's just a combination of other people's smells all jumbled into the 'goodwill funk'.:
stormborn is offline  
#7 of 51 Old 09-15-2009, 11:39 PM
 
babycarrier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: watching them grow
Posts: 2,220
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I run a x large wash and put in a scoop of borax and some of my regular detergent. leave the lid open and let everything sit overnight and run in the morning.
babycarrier is offline  
#8 of 51 Old 09-16-2009, 12:03 AM
 
Fujiko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Wife to dh and mommy to dd1 (3/07), ds (1/10), and dd2 (any day now)!

Fujiko is offline  
#9 of 51 Old 09-16-2009, 02:33 AM
 
HempyHippyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Seattle Area
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mothball stuff?

Rebecca - Single mom to one perfect DD and one not so perfect dog.
HempyHippyMama is offline  
#10 of 51 Old 09-16-2009, 02:38 AM
 
rainbowmoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 11,143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my DP seriously thought they washed the clothes before they sold them! I found this out because one time he bought some stuff then proceeded to wear it without washing it first. ewwww!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
rainbowmoon is offline  
#11 of 51 Old 09-18-2009, 03:29 AM
 
inkedmamajama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 1,323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post
tto and baking soda (sometimes vinigar) in wash, in rince tto with vinigar and tto on a cloth in the dryer. i dont wash on hot and if they were really smelly when drying i smell them before they are dry. i find that the heat makes the smell worse and harder to come out to see seems to work 99% of the time. i need to figure out how to get the smell of (b.o., musty, smoke, weed, drugs, smell out of downfilled jackets)
this is what i would suggest as well-baking soda works wonders on our dumpster dive treasures!!

Heavily tattooed and Dready Mama to my girls. YES we are STILL NURSING! love to and
inkedmamajama is offline  
#12 of 51 Old 09-18-2009, 03:45 AM
 
bjorker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,162
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.
I agree. It's always that exact same smell, kinda salty smelling? Very strange. I wanna know what it is, too.

Weirdo Mama to amazing Aurelia, age 9 & Ember Roslyn, age 3!
bjorker is offline  
#13 of 51 Old 09-18-2009, 03:55 AM
 
Momalea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now I'm curious too! I'm pretty sensitive to chemical smells and the Value Village smell doesn't affect me. In fact, I kinda like it. Maybe because I associate the smell with a good deal?
I do make sure to wash all clothes before wearing. I have always been able to get the smell out with just one wash though.
Momalea is offline  
#14 of 51 Old 09-18-2009, 09:28 AM
 
marimara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida coast
Posts: 1,519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I always thought it was the mixture of all the clothes from all those different houses mixing together. I wash w/Arm and Hammer detergent and do a vinegar rinse and it gets rid of the smell 98% of the time. Only a VERY old garment (or smoke, or sometimes synthetic fabrics are hard to clean) will hold onto the smell for more than 2 washes. I buy lots of vintage fabrics and am kinda used to it. I try to avoid buying synthetic fabrics for that reason. Plus I smell things in the store before I buy them. If they are really rank then I don't buy it.

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
marimara is offline  
#15 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 12:47 PM
 
yukookoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ca
Posts: 878
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yeah its lysol or some other spray disinfectant

I consulted with a company that helped people with disabilities find work and one of the places they worked was thrift stores, so through following clients around doing assessments, I got to go in the back of the store and watch them take clothes from big dumpster sized boxes, spray them with lysol or disinfectant A LOT OF IT up and down and then hang them up to go out.
yukookoo is offline  
#16 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 02:07 PM
 
UptownZoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: In the monkey cage...
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah; I asked about it once. It's too expensive to wash it all, but if they didn't deodorize it somehow, the whole store would smell like BO all the time, so that's not good.

I'm a huge thrift store shopper, too, and I've tried everything. I've never found anything I can put in the wash and get the smell out in one cycle. What I've found that works is to first soak overnight in the washer with borax and detergent, then wash and rinse. Then I wash again, in the hottest water safe for the fabric, this time with ammonia. The reason for this is, I've found that so much of what I buy secondhand has loads and heaps of fabric softener in it, which is very sticky. Since it's so sticky and embedded deep in the fibers, it's hard to wash out plus it retains that odor. Ammonia is the only thing that can really eat away all that yucky waxy stuff, especially in heavier things like blankets and jackets. I know it's not the most natural thing you can do, but honestly it's the only thing I've found that really works. I'd rather use something harsh in the machine that I know will completely rinse away (ammonia will not linger in the fibers after rinsing any more than vinegar does) than put something harsh on our bodies!

If all that fails and it still comes out of the dryer stinky, I hang it all outside in the sun for awhile (heat doesn't matter so much as sun, which is the best deodorizer). Then I wash and dry again, which is not necessary for most people but DH and youngest DS have severe allergies so I do it.

Lots of work, yes, but since I save around $1000 per year by buying used, it's worth it.

computergeek2.gif

UptownZoo is offline  
#17 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 02:09 PM
 
UptownZoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: In the monkey cage...
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, and on a side note, can you imagine how icky it all is for the people whose job it is to spray that stuff all day long? I don't think I could stand it! If I have to spray things, even natural, non-toxic cleaners, I do it outside whenever possible, or open all the windows because I can't stand those smells. Yuck! I hope they at least provide masks in most stores to filter out the worst of it.

computergeek2.gif

UptownZoo is offline  
#18 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 02:13 PM
 
bigteamug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: neither here nor there
Posts: 361
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would assume they don't wash it, and I have started washing anything that comes from the thrift store as soon as I get it home, and it stays in the plastic bag until then...with the return of bedbugs, it just seems like a good idea. I also no longer buy stuff that cannot be washed from a thrift (or if I did, it'd sit in the garage or something for quite awhile first....found some shoe bargains I couldn't resist recently, but they were like new).

the funk smell does seem to vary from store to store - St Vincents used to smell really bad, and they have gotten better in the years since then.
bigteamug is offline  
#19 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 02:20 PM
 
jocelyndale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 3,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's gotten much harder to remove over the last several years. I no longer buy used clothing because of how tenacious synthetic fragrances are getting. I think the goodwill smell is a combination of detergent fragrance, fabric softener, febreze, and possibly lysol or another disinfectant spray.

Anyhow, it's not worth it to me to buy used clothes, not if I have to wash them a zillion times and hang them up in the sun and rain for six months. May as well just wear rags, in that case.
RachelK likes this.

Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.

jocelyndale is offline  
#20 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Drummer's Wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 11,823
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is icky. I had no idea they didn't wash anything, much less that they sprayed it all down with lysol type crap.

I also am thinking twice about buying used clothing from anywhere b/c I cannot tolerate strong smelling perfume-y detergents or clothing saturated in fabric softener. I just bought DS some jeans from another board and washed them over and over again - and they still reek. I am super sensitive to chemicals, though, so I should just stick to new and save myself the trouble. I wish the whole world was synthetic fragrance-free

No wonder thrift stores always smell funky (this is always DH's excuse to never go to one).

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
Drummer's Wife is offline  
#21 of 51 Old 12-02-2009, 05:55 PM
 
JamieCatheryn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SW Pa
Posts: 5,120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Mine smell like febreeze or fabric softener when we get them until after a few washes.
JamieCatheryn is offline  
#22 of 51 Old 12-03-2009, 02:54 AM
 
onelilguysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,606
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know of one that does wash everything that comes in and it still smells funky in there. Blech!
onelilguysmommy is offline  
#23 of 51 Old 12-03-2009, 11:51 AM
 
allnaturalmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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!

All natural sahm to dd1(12yo) and dd2(6yo). Married 16 years.

Time for the Master Tonic! thumb.gif

allnaturalmom is offline  
#24 of 51 Old 12-03-2009, 12:04 PM
2xy
 
2xy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,162
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I worked at a Value Village for a while (like, 20 years ago) and don't remember them spraying the clothing with anything.
swede likes this.
2xy is offline  
#25 of 51 Old 12-03-2009, 12:47 PM
 
jane-t-mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: In the kitchen
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.....
jane-t-mommy is offline  
#26 of 51 Old 12-03-2009, 12:52 PM
 
GardenStream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

mama to   broc1.gif DS 6/06 and banana.gif DS 4/08
GardenStream is offline  
#27 of 51 Old 12-04-2009, 12:43 PM
 
UptownZoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: In the monkey cage...
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by allnaturalmom View Post



How much ammonia? I've never used it before, but I'm desperate over here!
One cup.

computergeek2.gif

UptownZoo is offline  
#28 of 51 Old 12-05-2009, 12:59 AM
 
allnaturalmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownZoo View Post
One cup.

All natural sahm to dd1(12yo) and dd2(6yo). Married 16 years.

Time for the Master Tonic! thumb.gif

allnaturalmom is offline  
#29 of 51 Old 12-06-2009, 02:02 PM
 
annekevdbroek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Living in Obama Land
Posts: 3,196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
annekevdbroek is offline  
#30 of 51 Old 06-29-2011, 12:54 PM
 
ccavrose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
ccavrose is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
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