How can I get the musty basement smell out of stuffed bears.
We moved to this old 1910 house 1 1/2 years ago and the basement flooded 1 month after we were here. Discloser Form said dampness in the basement. Dampness, my butt...
We found a crack in the Cellar stairs that was letting the water just flood in. It was repaired.
Before we moved here, I put all of the collectibles, stuffed plush and anything that could get ruined by dampness into plastic bins and they went into the walk-up attic.
Finally getting to some of the Glassware boxes. It is like Christmas all over again. I found a box marked "Glassware Frontroom".
My last house was built in 1865 and we had 11 rooms. The Frontroom or Sitting Room held all of the antique Glassware, so that box from the old house stayed in the basement. I didn't move it out, since I figured I could wash Glassware.
Was I surprised to see that I had also stored all of the Harley Davidson Bears in that Box. They were all wrapped in tissue and bubble wrapped, but they now have that musty basement smell. They all fine, no mold or anything, but they all have the original tags and clothing. So hand washing is out of the question.
Any ideas on removing that smell ? Or should I remove the tags, hand wash and dry in the sun.
Thanks to all,
I am sure that a lot of people are interested in the answer to your questions. I'll probably come across an answer at some point in time that's helpful, and when I do, I'll post it. We have also had some flooding issues! I was hoping that an expert might read your post and tell us all exactly what to do!!!!
If there's a clothing board, they might also have an idea as to how to fix the problem. Good luck!
I would try airing them out in a climate controlled area first. Perhaps just a little fresh air will do the trick. Depending on the fabric content...a surface wash will definitely help if the smell is only on the surface of the toy and the fabric can be cleaned using a surface wash wet/damp method. Some types of fur should not be wet/damp surface cleaned. Damp or wet cleaning can get tricky if cotton or kapok type stuffing is inside toys. If those two types of stuffing (and similar) get too wet..they can swell and pop sewn seams.
I don't want to wet these bears if at all possible. I will try putting dryer sheets in the boxes.I figure since they are in boxes the paper stuff and the box need work too. It may not work but I'll try. I probably can spray with fabreze.
Hold the febreeze and try a more natural product such as "Smells Begone" I bought it at my old style hardware store. All those other things are masques. It is a solution, but I find spraying it lightly wapping it in a towel to absorb odors, again and again does work. Patience is needed. THis is very important, if you aree storing the smelly ones, always keep them separate, smell such as damp infect ohter animals
If you can't find the product where you live let me know, and I will be happy to buy it for you and send it ot you and you can PP me the money.
How much $$ time and energy do you want to put into this? Your local tool rental store can rent you an ozone machine that you could put into a spare bathroom with your bears for a few hours and that might do the trick. Keep the door closed and put a towel at the bottom of the door.
Would the "smells begone" work on moth balls? My mom packed all me old dolls in moth balls, including my Chatty Cathy, and my old CPKs from Scotland my dad got me. Everything is in great shape, they just stink!
Home Depot & Lowes have some products also that remove odors & dampness. My sisters basement flooded last year & she used what looked like a bag of pebbles (it was probably some type of dessicant) and it worked well to rid her basement of the musty odor. Good luck!! I had some from my childhood that were musty & I put them on our screened porch for a few days & that took care of most of the noticable scent. You'd want to watch that they're not in direct sunlight if you try that.
hang in the sun a day at a time bring it in check for smells in another day or so. If it still smells, back out to the sun..also you can febreeze it then sun it..fresh air. I used to do this with old flea market finds, rugs, chairs, in and out they would go until the smell stayed gone.
I wash my teddies in a warm cycle right in the washing machine.
Wash using a warm water cycle using regular laundry soap. (no bleach additives)
When drying, place teddies in a pillowcase and tie or pin so teddy don't fall out.
Use a 20 minute drying cycle (hot) and test by removing from pillowcase.
If still damp return to pillowcase and add additional 10 minutes.
Do as often as necessary until teddy is fluffy dry. (usually less than 1 hour).
Try this with a tester teddy (old) before trying with any collectible teddies.
This will tend to ease your mind, because at first I even had my doubts.
Most bears are washable or specifically state - DO NOT WASH.
I've done this method a few years now (my mother did it also)
and I have never had ANY teddy fall apart.
They always look brand new when they're cleaned this way.
If you have any doubts using this method, you could consult with the manufacturer
as to if this method would work on their bears.
Washing is probably fine for acrylic plush stuffed with poly fil and unjointed - but DO NOT - I repeat - DO NOT EVER WASH A MOHAIR CRITTER OR A VINTAGE CRITTER!!!!!!!!!!!
Most old jointed animals have cardboard joints and many have excelsior or kapok filling - washing will make the joints disintegrate and rust, and the filling will compact, not dry properly, and rot. NEVER WASH A MOHAIR OR VINTAGE/ANTIQUE bear that is jointed!!!!
USing a mild detergent, create suds by whipping with a whisk and use only the suds to wash the surface of a mohair animal, wiping with clean white cotton cloths as you wash. Do not overmoisten and air dry on a rack or someplace where there is good air circulation, or use a hair dryer on the low setting.
You can put them in a plastic bag and sprinkle baking soda over them.. then set in freezer for a day or two.. Take out , shake out and sit in an open screened window for fresh air. If they are plush.. You are in luck, Machine wash warm with dreft... (great for odors) Just soak and spin.. do not agitate... Remove and lay out on a towel on a pie rack is great.. Let the air circulate. You can use a variety of pet fresh items from your local pet store to help remove odors.At Home Depotor Lowes... has lava rocks that are in the housedhold cleaning area . The rocks come in a net bag and are refreshed by sunshine.. It sounded odd... but it worked.. I wanted something for my 85 year old mother's home to help pull out some odors.. old perfume... etc.... It worked and did not just mask it.. I removed stale house odors so I bet... if you bought them... put them in a sealed container.. per directions.. The stones would pull the odor out...
Best of luck...