Goodbye, Goodwill funk!
November 3, 2012 4:30 PM   Subscribe

How can I get the Goodwill smell out of dry-clean only clothes? Added complication: I live in a college dorm.

I have some clothes with persistent Goodwill funk. I had them dry cleaned right after I bought them, but they still have that smell. I've kept them in a cardboard box with cedar balls since then.

I live in a college dorm and the washing machines eat clothing, so I can't just run them through a wash cycle. And it's not like I have access to a tub, so I can't hand wash them.

What else can I do?
posted by topoisomerase to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Put the clothes in a garbage bag/seal-able plastic container, put a bunch of baking soda in there and close it up. Leave it sit for a while, take them out vacuum them off/shake them out and it should be Goodwill-funk free.
posted by godshomemovies at 4:36 PM on November 3, 2012

What kind of material are the clothes made of? You may be able to hand wash them. Instead of a tub, is there a sink with a stopper in your dorm? Or can you stopper a sink yourself? Clean the sink first to get rid of toothpaste residue, etc.

To get the smell out - try a vinegar rinse during the hand wash. And if the only detergent you have is for a washing machine, only use a teeny tiny bit (it foams a lot).
posted by Red Desk at 4:39 PM on November 3, 2012

If you have access to a patio or balcony, hang them in the sun for a few hours.
posted by kitty teeth at 4:40 PM on November 3, 2012

I put my dry clean only clothes in a pillow case and pin it closed and toss that in the wash, so if you can't hand wash there's that.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 5:14 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

You could seal them up in something with some scented dryer sheets. This won't remove the funk so much as hide it. There's always febreeze too.
posted by chairface at 5:32 PM on November 3, 2012

This person tried the old "spray with vodka" trick to good effect (often used to deodorize non-washable theatre costumes). She found it worked best to spray until fairly damp, then let dry.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:45 PM on November 3, 2012

Airing the garments eventually does the trick, in my experience.
posted by Dragonness at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2012

Hang them over the shower rod (this works best if the dorm bathrooms are not communal) or other place that's not as enclosed as a closet. Open the window if you can.
posted by bilabial at 6:21 PM on November 3, 2012

High Powered Ozone Generators work wonders for funk.
posted by mmdei at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2012

I like to use charcoal granules to deodorize stuff. You can get a big container of it in the tropical fish section of a pet supplies store. It can leave black residue, so don't sprinkle it directly on the clothes. You can make packets out of paper towels, old socks, newspaper, etc. Close up an article of clothing in a bag or box and include a few packets. I leave them for a few days, whether it's smelly shoes or a refrigerator with lingering indian-food odor.
posted by wryly at 6:47 PM on November 3, 2012

If you have one of the large plastic storage boxes then you can hand wash it in that, add a tablespoon or two of vinegar in to deodorize. (That said, I find sunlight to be even more effective.)
posted by anaelith at 7:23 PM on November 3, 2012

Sometimes I put DRY clothes in the dryer on low with a couple dryer sheets if they are less than fresh.
posted by shortyJBot at 8:14 PM on November 3, 2012

If they're small enough garments, sink wash them by hand?
posted by slow graffiti at 7:20 AM on November 4, 2012

Are the clothes actually dry-clean only or are you limited to that option because of your dorm's washing machines? If they don't actually need to be dry-cleaned you can take them to a drycleaner and ask them to launder them with actual soap and water. Most cleaners offer that service in addition to dry cleaning.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:23 AM on November 12, 2012

Response by poster: The clothes were actually dry-clean only (a lined wool jacket, a wool skirt, and other stuff like that).

I ended up putting the clothes in a cardboard box under a small mountain of baking soda for a week, which did the trick.

Thank you, Metafilter!
posted by topoisomerase at 9:58 PM on November 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

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