CLEANING VINTAGE ✰ HOW TO GET RID OF THAT "THRIFT SMELL"

Bijgewerkt: 21 okt 2019


Nothing ruins finding the perfect pair of vintage palazzo pants or 80s baseball jacket more than that dreaded vintage smell. Most of the donated clothes lived most of their figurative life in a closet and haven't been washed since Back to the Future was released.

Luckily, getting rid of the thrift smell is fairly easy!

Wash your thrift finds immediately and don't throw them on top of other laundry in your laundry basket. That's just a recipe to give your other laundry more unwanted smells.


Pre-soak your clothes in a bucket with lukewarm water and add 150g baking soda.

Baking soda draws the smell out of clothes by absorbing it, so this is a good way to get rid of the worst smell(s). Leave your thrifted piece in there for about 30 minutes.


Wash them straight after the pre-soak.


Don't delay drying your thrifted piece. Don't leave it in your washing machine after your load has finished washing. Damp clothes are the perfect environment for bacteria and mold. Leaving the load in the washing machine is what causes more unwanted smells.


Hang your clothes outside to dry or, if you live in an apartment like i do, let them dry near an open window. A fresh breeze of air does wonders to thrift finds!


Fabric spray is the cherry on top. Pre-soaking clothes right after purchase, washing them after a good 30 minutes and air-drying them eliminates the vintage smell. I like my clothes to smell fruity and fresh so I always treat my vintage finds with a gentle fabric spray after drying.

For me, these steps have always worked to get rid of that dreaded vintage smell.

What's your secret to washing thrift finds?