Defunking an old comforter
May 22, 2016 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Is this funky old comforter beyond help?

Was given a Pokemon comforter for my son that's probably at least ten years old and has that musty, been-in-the-back-of-a-closet-for-ten-years smell to it. Things I've tried:

- washed on hot with detergent and white vinegar rinse, dried on hot
- washed on hot with only baking soda and vinegar rinse, dried on hot
- washed on hot with Borax and vinegar rinse, hung outside to try for 3-4 days in direct sun
- soaked in bathtub with hot water and several cups of vinegar

It's better than it was but still a bit funky. Is there anything else I can do, or is it a lost cause?
posted by DakotaPaul to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is it the kind where you can open it up along a seam? Pull the stuffing out and replace that material?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2016

I'd use OxyClean and soak it first for several hours and then wash with detergent. The peroxide cleaner can help freshen funky smells. The filler of the comforter is some kind of synthetic and materials like that love to trap smells.
posted by quince at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Have you taken it to the cleaners and asked for advice?
posted by 41swans at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2016

If it's a synthetic comforter, put a bit of bleach in the washing machine and run it on hot. Synthetics don't tend fade with bleach.
posted by gregr at 11:48 AM on May 22, 2016

I'd definitely try Oxyclean, bleach (not at the same time) and more time in the sun (a week at least).
posted by ssg at 12:11 PM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Wow, you've really given it the business...

The worst funk I ever successfully removed was a sort of pond scummy reek from kayaking gloves. I soaked them in undiluted white vinegar, for maybe a week or something ridiculous like that. Then a few more trips through the washing machine. Then there was a period where the funk was totally gone but they smelled of vinegar (and all I could think of was French fries whenever I went for a paddle), but that dissipated.

After a long soak (vinegar or OxiClean -- bleach damages fibres and I would not use it for extended soaks) I'd go back to hanging it out in the sun again.
posted by kmennie at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I hope that OxyClean, etc. helps but here's an idea if all else fails. How about taking a photograph of it -- alone or with your son holding it -- and get it framed to hang in your son's room. You could also print out a little copy for him to carry with him. It's not the same as before but a way to honor and remember a special blanket nonetheless!
posted by smorgasbord at 1:10 PM on May 22, 2016

Thanks for the suggestions so far! I'll give OxyClean a try and report back.

The tags are all gone but I'm pretty sure the cover is cotton. I'd have to rip the seams to replace the filler but that's a good idea for a last resort.
posted by DakotaPaul at 1:45 PM on May 22, 2016

Target And Walmart Both have Pokemon comforters.

Life is too short to deal with nasty funkitude.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:09 PM on May 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

I've used Dr. Bronners Peppermint soap to de-funk.
posted by i_like_camels at 2:09 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wash it and then hang it in the sun to dry.
posted by rozee at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd let it hang in the sun for a long time after the oxyclean. Something about being heated by the sun outside that makes things smell fresher.
posted by Foam Pants at 4:21 PM on May 22, 2016

Wash it with a lot of oxyclean and a lot of Simple Green. If it doesn't work, you didn't use enough.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:40 PM on May 22, 2016

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