Nontoxic DIY Dry Cleaning: De-Stink Musty Fabric With Baking Soda





Introduction: Nontoxic DIY Dry Cleaning: De-Stink Musty Fabric With Baking Soda

The problem: This ancient uniform cap got musty/cheesy from sitting in a dark closet for years.
The complication: I think it's made of wool and maybe cardboard so washing might wreck it.
The solution: Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) It's really amazing stuff. Keep some of it handy in case you spill sulfuric acid all over yourself.

Attention MICROBIOLOGISTS: Does NaHCO3 kill mold or yeast or anything else? Does this have anything to do with changes in pH or being a buffer?

Also there are other ways of doing this. Some suggest spraying on clear alcohol like vodka and gin. Apple cider vinegar would probably work nicely too, it has anti-fungal properties and works on athlete's foot.

Please feel free to share your own methods in the comments below.

Step 1: Do It and Bag It

Sprinkle lots of baking soda on all the garment's surfaces especially the seams and little hidden corners.

Put your garment in a bag to reduce spilled/lost baking soda. This way you can get all wild with your application without making a mess.

Rub it in good so the powder goes deep into the weave.

Step 2: Seal It Up

Push most of the air out of the bag and tie it shut. Now give it a little shake to settle the powder in more.

Step 3: Wait

I left it for a couple of weeks. Maybe this was overkill but I reckon the baking soda needed some time to work its gentle magic. 

In the mean time here are things the internetz cough up when one googles "wait".

Step 4: Open and Dust Off

To get the powder off:
Shake it 
tap it
vacuum it
lightly wipe it with a damp cloth
let dry
damp cloth again 

As an experiment I left a little bit of baking soda in the hidden crevices as a prophylactic. Hopefully this won't harm the fabric over time.

Step 5: The Stink Is Gone

What's that smell? What smell?

Actually this hat now smells like it did before it was musty. Success! 

Step 6: Rock It!

You're good to go.

Put it on and go paint the town brown.



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    I tried this with a cat tree I got from a smokers house. It stunk. I put 2 boxes of baking soda all over it. I let it sit 24 hours then used a compressor and blew the powder off. It was a real job getting that powder off but the final product was amazing. No smoke smell and no cat smells. Baking Soda is amazing stuff.

    Glad it helped! Two boxes seems like a lot... but I guess my ible does say to use a lot :P

    This is a great read. Very entertaining.