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  1. #1
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    Getting rid of a funky smell in a secondhand kilt

    Hello!

    Ever since I had a kilt made last year (Lochcarron, Matheson Hunting Modern) I've been hooked and have been looking to expand my collection. In between buying high quality ones I have been scouring eBay for nice ex-hires which are budget friendly (we all have to keep the missus happy).

    Recently I bought a nice medium weight wool Hunting Stewart in my size and a good price (perfect for those outdoor adventures).

    However it smelled like it had been in a basement for quite some time. So first I aired it out for a few weeks, emptied two bottles of Febreze on it (checked on the back first if the wool could handle it) and even sent it to the dry cleaner (it survived), yet the smell is still there.

    So I am looking for the best solutions to get this smell out. Does anyone has an idea?

    I read a mix of vodka and water misted on is an option for some smelly garments, so I might try that next.

  2. #2
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    6th May 21
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    How are you storing it? A cedar chest would be a possible remedy. Barring that, storing with some cedar planks suspended inside and/or outside the kilt might go a long way.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    How are you storing it? A cedar chest would be a possible remedy. Barring that, storing with some cedar planks suspended inside and/or outside the kilt might go a long way.
    It's on a kilt hanger in a very-much-not-cedar walk-in IKEA Pax closet. I will look into the cedar planks!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    It's on a kilt hanger in a very-much-not-cedar walk-in IKEA Pax closet. I will look into the cedar planks!
    I put cedar wood chips in my running shoes every afternoon, and they do a great job keeping those shoes relatively fresh.

    My kilt and tweed jackets all get hung up with a cedar plank or rings attached to the hanger.

  5. #5
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    It's not something I often turn to, but is there a good drycleaner near you? Ask your lady friends.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lallans View Post
    It's not something I often turn to, but is there a good drycleaner near you? Ask your lady friends.
    I had my mother in law take it to her drycleaners but it smells the same.

  7. #7
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    26th December 18
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    I had a used kilt with a very strong smell; I tried airing it out several times to no avail.

    Then I soaked it in the tub in cold water for about thirty minutes and hung it on the line to dry. After doing that twice, the smell was gone and the kilt was wearable.

    Shane

  8. The Following User Says 'Aye' to gsmacleod For This Useful Post:


  9. #8
    Join Date
    23rd July 21
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    Else a bowl of vinegar, in the closed, maybe?
    It have been my way out, a couple of times...

  10. #9
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    14th June 21
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    In addition to the previous suggestions, there are a few seemingly non-scientific methods museums use to rid garments of smells.

    Placing the garment in a closed box for a few days with a qualitity of cat-litter is one - the litter absorbes the odour.

    Neat vodka sprayed lightly onto the affected area is another - the alcohol is supposed to reactivate the residue causing the odour, and the evaporation helps take it away. Vodka is colourless and near odourless, but pure alcohol is an option.

    Dry cleaning is good, but that uses chemicals that lift dirt, but not always the cause of the odours, and can leave residue of their own.

    A mild talcum powder (baby powder) can be sprinkled onto the garment and left for a period. The talc absorbes grease or oils and can be easily shaken and brushed off.

    One of the best methods is steam and sunlight. A thorough steaming from a proper garment steamer (or over a kettle spout) to swell and loosen the fibres, and then hanging in open sunlight with a mild breeze usually works well. The steam needs to properly penetrate the fibres - if held horizontally over the steam, it will pass through the cloth.

    The good thing about both the alcohol and the steam is that they sterilize the garment at the same time, so maybe a combination of the methods would help you.

    These are all good for body odours, but the wool of the kilt may be the cause, and is natural. Dyes can affect the smell, and natural oils in the wool often 'mature' over time, and these can often seem fusty or musty (like a dirty, damp dog after an autumn walk in the woods) and are a characteristic of vintage tweeds. But again, the steam and sunlight trick will usually do for these, too.

    Hanging in fresh air, such as under the eaves of a porch, for a few days could be all you need to do - but storing in a hanging wardrobe rather then folded in a drawer is always better.

    Let us know how you get on, and what success you have.

    Good luck..!

  11. #10
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    14th November 21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    In addition to the previous suggestions, there are a few seemingly non-scientific methods museums use to rid garments of smells.

    Let us know how you get on, and what success you have.

    Good luck..!
    Thanks! I'll be sure to give some a try.

    This smell is more than just old fabric or wet dog, but more of a wet basement style smell.

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