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How to Remove Thrift Store Smell from Clothing

There’s nothing like getting a fantastic price on a great piece of vintage clothes to make you feel good. However, the bargain you got isn’t the only fantastic thing. The smells emanating from your new thrift shop garments also have a nasty killing stink to them.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll avoid wearing antique clothing that smells like former owners. Whether it was a heavily scented detergent used on the cloth or lingering body scents that have left their imprint on your freshly purchased outfit, it may have a significant influence on your willingness to wear it.

But what is the best way of eliminating previous residual odors from a thrift shop?

People got increasingly comfortable with purchasing used clothing due to increased economic pressures placed on many households.

Thrift stores have been around for a long time, and they’re not only wonderful places to buy furniture and decorations for your house, but they also help you stay stylish!

Fashion is always enjoyable, and thrift stores are a great method for budget-conscious shoppers to obtain and maintain their outfits stylish through ever-changing trends. Staying inside their budget target is half of the enjoyment for these savvy savers.

They like searching through racks of old clothing for hidden gems because they believe that fashion should be enjoyable! It shouldn’t be a source of worry about going broke.

Thrifting has even gone online these days. To stay up with your favorite fashion blogs, you can now buy secondhand clothes online. Many people have begun to utilize social media forums and local websites to sell their formerly cherished clothing to other people in their community. Purchasing secondhand clothing has become a fun activity in and of itself!

To be sure, saving money and recycling garments is a great change. However, the fact is that many of these secondhand garments are unsanitary. Most shoppers are aware that they should wash their thrift store clothing before wearing them, but certain goods may require a more thorough cleaning.

Clothes from someone else’s closet, like everything imported, arrive with someone else’s bacteria and germs and should be carefully cleaned and disinfected before being hung in your closet.

So, do you want to continue to stay healthy while snagging wonderful deals at very low prices? Then you’ve come to the correct spot to discover how to disinfect thrift shop items and how to wash secondhand clothing properly.

Do Thrift Stores Wash Their Clothing?

To begin, one of the most common inquiries people have when going thrift shopping is, “do thrift stores wash their items before putting them up for sale?” The answer is debatable. Clothing is not washed at Goodwill stores, although donors are asked to do so before donating.

This appears to be the situation in many thrift stores, where newly purchased clothing is generally placed on the shelf immediately away.

So, when you buy something at a thrift store, should you wash it? In the end, the decision is yours to make, and the easiest way to tell if your new clothing needs to be washed is to use your nose.

5 Ways to Deodorize Clothes from a Thrift Store

So, what do you do when you find a piece of clothing that you adore, but the fragrance overwhelms your senses every time you wear it? Some scents and aromas leave a permanent impression on clothes, making them virtually hard to remove with regular detergent.

When this happens, we try to get rid of the odors by using DIYs and advice from those who have been in the same situation. But, when it comes to thrift shop apparel, do these ideas and tactics work?


Vinegar is one of the most common ways thrift shoppers use to get rid of odors in their garments. The easiest approach to execute this procedure is to wash your thrift shop garments like you would any other piece of laundry, then rinse them with a vinegar solution to remove the stench.

The main question is whether or not this method works. Vinegar is acidic and may be harsh on several textiles that cannot withstand the vinegar’s strength. It would help if you also kept in mind that clothes purchased at a thrift store have likely seen a lot of use and may be particularly sensitive when washed.

The last thing you want to do is damage your nice thrift shop clothes by employing strong vinegar as an odor-removal remedy.

Fresh Air

Using the sun’s capabilities to eliminate smells from thrift shop items is the most cost-effective method. Allowing nature to do her work may be just what your clothing requires.

While sunshine will aid in the removal of smells, it may have some detrimental consequences for your thrift shop treasures. Intense sunshine may degrade fabric colors, rusting the fabric and making your garments truly “appear” antique.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has long been regarded as the ideal deodorizer for any foul odors. Especially in your refrigerator, where we consistently store a box of baking soda to eliminate any lingering scents. So, why not use this natural deodorizer to freshen up your thrift shop finds?

Baking soda added to your washing load may be able to remove the retained scents in your vintage garments.

However, be cautious when using baking soda in your washing machine since problems might develop if the baking soda is placed in the dispenser slot; instead, put it in the washing machine’s tub rather than the dispenser drawer.


Using vodka to remove smells from thrift shop clothing is one of the more creative techniques. I’m sure you’re wondering why this approach is being used because I was. Because you never know how the fabric or color in your garment will react with this liquid, this application is a gamble.

The reasoning for using vodka is that the alcohol absorbs the odor and thus can neutralize it. When testing this approach, choose a small area to apply it to first, and err on the side of caution with your thrift shop treasures.


You might not realize it, but sunshine can help you get rid of odors from your clothes. And do you know what the nicest thing about sunshine is? It’s completely free!

The UV rays emitted by the sun can help you by eliminating germs linked to odors that may be afflicting your new thrift shop discoveries.

To get rid of these bacteria put the garment out in the sun for a time. Hanging your clothes on a conventional clothesline is a fantastic method to guarantee that the sun’s rays reach your garments evenly.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do this with every item of clothes you come across. Prolonged exposure to sunshine can harm some materials, and you may notice that some printed shirts fade.

How to Wash Secondhand Clothes Properly

Because some parasitic creatures, like mildew or mites, are physiologically built to resist severe circumstances for existence, washing preloved items with ordinary detergents is frequently insufficient to eliminate them. It’s possible that a simple wash won’t be enough.

You won’t always be able to eliminate the potential hazard using standard laundry procedures. Still, you can clean thrift shop items successfully by using powerful chemicals specifically designed to get rid of troublesome parasites.

There are numerous choices on the market, so choose wisely.

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