We’ll set the scene for you: you hit up a couple of local thrift stores, not expecting to find much if anything, but all the racks were serving, and now you’re heading home with bags on bags of thrift store finds. But what should you do with everything you scored? You know you can’t just put it in your closet, but you also need to try stuff on, and some pieces look like they could be vintage, and something smells weird, and- we got you. We fancy ourselves thrift store aficionados, and we created a little guide for properly cleaning and caring for your newfound treasures. (There’s nothin’ to it, we promise!) Let’s get started!
(image via: istock)
First things first, it doesn’t matter if you’re at your favorite hole in the wall thrift store or that one in the fancy part of town, we don’t recommend putting clothes on, even if you’re just trying them on, from a thrift store without washing them first, and for what it’s worth, we don’t recommend storing them just yet either. There are all kinds of things that could be, ahem, set into those threads.
Next, if your clothing still has tags, read the labels to discover how they should be washed. If it’s a dry-clean piece, we highly recommend doing so to avoid damaging the garment, for pieces that can go straight to the washer, we recommend washing them as hot as you possibly can to kill anything that may be lurking within the seams, delicates can be washed by hand in your sink, and don’t forget to spot-clean shoes and accessories! (Without damaging them, of course!)
Now, about the uhm, aroma some garments have. In a perfect world, every thrift store would have a huge washer and dryer with only the best smelling laundry detergent and fabric softener so that every garment always looked and smelled fresh and clean. But a lot of thrift stores are non-profits and we would venture to say most other thrift stores don’t have the funds, time, or employees to do this, which is no problem because, for that $3 chunky knit cardigan or those $5 distressed overalls, we would go to the ends of the Earth. Okay, that’s dramatic, but you get it.
(image via: istock)
Use these pantry staples to help with the smell:
Baking Soda: This is super easy, all you have to do is sprinkle your clothes with baking soda, let them sit for a few hours or overnight, then throw them in the wash.
Vinegar: Again, a super easy way to get the funk out, add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle or instead of using detergent, use vinegar. You’ll be left with stain-free, smell-free, not to mention extra soft garments to safely add to your closet!