But sadly most often the worst offenders are the best of the 30s and 40s dresses that have been stored away in a musty attic, sometimes soaked with body odors, nicotine, and mold.
- First I take the garment and store it (dry) in a ziploc bag with several cups of baking soda - mix together and leave at least 24 hours. The baking soda absorbs much of the nicotine smell, which doesn't wash out well, and is especially useful on beaded sweaters that you may not want to risk even handwashing. BTW - this also works great on nicotine smells in handbags, and even furniture - just sprinkle a generous amount in bags or drawers and leave.
- Once the nicotine smell is taken care of, a simple soak in cool water and white vinegar first, then with a gentle soap usually takes care of the rest.
- Sometimes a spritz of lemon juice or lavender oil at the end, and then hang outside on a fresh sunny day.