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pcbatiks
July 22nd, 2018, 12:09 PM
I picked up a few shirts at a garage sale yesterday that are in perfect condition. The problem….they have a strong washing detergent smell. I tried washing & soaking them in the machine & added vinegar to the soak cycle…then an extra rinse. Then I put them in the sun to dry. I can still smell the detergent smell.

Have any of you tried something that works in this situation? I've looked online some…but was curious what has actually worked best without washing the shirts over & over again.

Thanks for your help.

Hulamoon
July 22nd, 2018, 12:32 PM
How about some Oxi-clean or a small amount of bleach? When my dd was living here with her boyfriend they used Gain. They left it behind and I had to toss it. There was just something about the sent that turned me off.

toggpine
July 22nd, 2018, 12:33 PM
Do you have blue Dawn dishwashing liquid? It has degreasing properties, and often the scents are bonded to the fabric fibers with oils. Both the detergents and the dryer sheets can add those oils on in layers. Hopefully, you can get the smell to release from the fibers.
I have used the Dawn to remove the smell from the clothes we wear when handling the bucks and as a step when removing smoke smell from fabrics.
Good luck!

Anitamae56
July 22nd, 2018, 12:52 PM
Mix up vinegar and baking soda and let for a day , and see if that works.

Carolyn
July 22nd, 2018, 12:54 PM
Try a cup of baking soda added to the wash, this is what I use for deodorizing a teenagers sweaty cloths. I tried every thing on market and wasted a lot of money in doing so. Simple things are often the best solution. You can purchase a very large bag at Sams Club for very little.

CraftyJnet
July 22nd, 2018, 12:56 PM
Simple Solution will remove the smell of Gain from fabric. You could also try Nature's Miracle, I haven't tried Nature's Miracle but others swear by it. They are both enzymatic cleaners for removing pet smells from fabrics.

MissMay
July 22nd, 2018, 01:10 PM
How about some Oxi-clean or a small amount of bleach? When my dd was living here with her boyfriend they used Gain. They left it behind and I had to toss it. There was just something about the sent that turned me off.

No advice but I agree with you about Gain, received several free samples but tossed them as the scent threw us off also and the one load we tried left the towels stiff and scratchy.

Bubby
July 22nd, 2018, 01:32 PM
No advice but I agree with you about Gain, received several free samples but tossed them as the scent threw us off also and the one load we tried left the towels stiff and scratchy.
And I thought I was the only one who hates the smell of Gain. The smell of Dawn really turns me off, too.

pcbatiks
July 22nd, 2018, 01:53 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I agree…..Gain must be one of the strongest smelling detergents. It makes me dizzy…more so than usual. :D Scented things don't agree with me.

Cathy, I never thought to use Dawn to get rid of a smell. I'll try that first. If that doesn't work I'll try the baking soda. I use Dawn all the time on spots on our clothes. It works great…..better than anything else I've tried. I usually put some (full strength) on the spots and let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight then wash as usual.

Jeanette, I will look into the ones you mentioned also.

Guess I'll go try again. :D

bakermom
July 22nd, 2018, 03:04 PM
There is something called Odo-ban that removes sick room smells etc. You can add it to the wash.

kaydee
July 22nd, 2018, 03:23 PM
I've cleaned the musty smell out of donated fabric by soaking it in ammonia water. This fabric really smelled bad originally, and so I let it soak for 24 hours. Then I put the fabric through a normal washing cycle, and it came out good as new.

It might work for the detergent smell in the shirts.

If you have a front loading washer and want to do the soaking right in your washer, be sure and use sudsless ammonia. If you can't find sudsless ammonia at your hardware store, be sure and soak the shirts in a tub then ring/rinse before putting them in the washer. When I did it, I soaked the fabric in a tub. I'm not sure how well the soaking would work in a high efficiency washer. I like more water when soaking. I don't think things are really soaking on the soak cycle of my washer. Seems like the water all drains to the bottom and the clothes sit on the top.

JCY
July 22nd, 2018, 03:31 PM
I have a problem with scents from fabric softeners. Whenever my son comes to visit, after he leaves, I have to totally strip the bed, mattress pad & all, & wash all the bedding. The fabric softener his wife uses is one of the strongest I've ever smelled. I don't dare wash any of his clothes with any of my stuff. The scent transfers to anything it's washed with. I wish there were no such thing as scented fabric softeners. Some are worse than perfume. When I was working at the hosp., the dress code included wearing no perfume, but so many employees wore clothing that was highly scented from fabric softener. Strongly scented clothing or perfume / cologne can be enough to trigger an asthma attack in sensitive people.

grammaterry
July 22nd, 2018, 05:43 PM
You might try twenty mule team borax. And, I hate Gains smell too. I can smell it on people and it such a turn off. Smells sort of like NOxema.

toggpine
July 22nd, 2018, 06:06 PM
The best is the degreasing dairy detergent we use on the milking equipment, but that isn't readily available to most of you! So the Dawn "original" is the next best thing.
I can take the smell of the original blue, but some of the platinum and other scents are not for me.

I hope the fabric cleans up for you?

pcbatiks
July 23rd, 2018, 12:16 AM
The original Dawn is the only one I buy. It has a little smell but it doesn’t bother me. I soaked the shirts in Dawn and cold water for 2 hours today. Then washed as usual. I have them hanging to dry and the smell doesn’t seem to be near what it was before. So woohoo! I may soak them again tomorrow. I would like to completely get rid of the smell.

So a big thank you, Cathy! I don’t know why I never thought to try Dawn for heavy scents in clothes. I always use it for stains and greasy spots. I have another shirt that I have washed about 7 times trying to get the heavy scent out. It’s a wonder I haven’t worn the shirt out from washing it too much. Now I know what to do! WooHoo!

toggpine
July 23rd, 2018, 05:01 AM
I'm glad it worked for you!

RockinLou
July 23rd, 2018, 10:25 AM
I used to have a job in social media for a cloth diaper company... you got all the right advice, Dawn got it done, now that it has broken down some of the oils the vinegar can be more effective too.