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kate_nepveu


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Kate kate_nepveu
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Smell of silk

Bought a new sweater set this week, was pleased, wore it the next day—and then was cross because it reeked of something nasty that gave me a headache, that I hadn't noticed in the store. I figured it was just department store smell, so I washed it today. Twice, even, and it still smells exactly the same. It's a silk, cotton, and rayon blend, and Google tells me that sometimes silk has a distinct smell, but none of the suggestions for removing it seem to be very certain. Anyone have experience with this? I like it, and I doubt I can return it now that I've washed it (twice), but I cannot live with that smell.


sloanesomething

2006-02-06 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Does it smell like burning tires?

kate_nepveu

2006-02-06 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm not entirely sure I know what burning tires smell like, but my imagination thinks it's not too far off that.

sloanesomething

2006-02-06 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Okay, I have had this problem with garments in the past, and as I recall my methods were usually too brutal for the items and involved a lot of repeated washings and throwing it in the dryer with the Febreezeist dryer sheets I could find. Will yours stand up to a beating?

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)

It's a sweater set, medium weight, "eggshell" off-white; I'm working on Febreeze, baking soda, and possibly Borax, and if those don't work then I give up. =>

desdenova

2006-02-06 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Try taking it to a professional cleaner? My thought is that, since they clean hundreds of shirts a month, they'd probably know if the smell can be eliminated, and how.


kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)

It may come to that, though I'm trying home remedies first.

ceara

2006-02-06 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Failing all that, put it in a garbage bag with a muslin bag (or the leg of a pair of pantyhose) containing a good dose of baking soda, seal the whole shebang up, and wait a month or so. It does a fantastic job ridding wool yarn of the reek of stale cigarette smoke, as crafters who buy on eBay generally have to learn. It might just work for silk and burning-rubber smell, too.

thette

2006-02-06 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Does this work for books, too?

(We buy a lot of our books from an acquaintance who's getting rid of his, and he allows smoking in the apartment.)

ceara

2006-02-06 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

It should, though it'd probably take more baking soda and longer than a month.

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm contemplating baking soda in the wash, so if all else fails, a long-term project may be the approach to take. I *like* the sweater, after all. Thanks.

prince_corwin

2006-02-06 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)

The things one learns on the interweb. I had no idea silk had a smell.

silmaril

2006-02-06 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

And I had no idea of the umpteen suggestions made in the rest of the thread.

This is really being An Education.

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Neither did I. I own other silk things that don't reek, after all.

missysedai

2006-02-06 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)

I've had this problem with a number of silk dance veils.

Gentle cycle, cold water, set to small load, wash with a full capful of your favorite liquid laundry detergent and TWO full capfuls of Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator. Let it agitate for a minute, stop the agitation for 15 minutes or so, then let the cycle finish.

It ought to work just fine for a blend - the veils I've had to do this to are 100% silk and come through beautifully.

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Initial report: may have knocked the smell down some but didn't seem to get rid of it, as best I can tell with this miserable cold (I had a cough drop right before I went downstairs so my nose is fairly clear).

I'm going to let it air-dry and then either try again with the Febreeze or figure out an appropriate amount of baking soda to go in the wash.

adrian_turtle

2006-02-06 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)

I've had trouble with rayon in the past. I don't know if it's the rayon fiber itself that stinks, or something used in processing the rayon. I also have problems with getting headaches from it as well as finding it unpleasant. Febreze is too perfumey for me to stay in the room with, 2 weeks out of the month. I've had fair results from soaking in a baking soda solution. If you try baking soda, febreze, and professional drycleaning, and you're still stuck, you can try soaking in a solution of 2 cups white vinegar/gallon cold water, then wash. This is more likely to get rid of the smell, but it also risks damaging the color (fading or colorshifting), so you might not want to bother if the exact color is important.

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)

What proportions of baking soda to water do you suggest?

verbicide

2006-02-06 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)

While I don't know about silk, I know that Borax Laundry Booster was able to get the most horrible smell of cat pee (from an old Siamese cat) out of my favorite coat. And nothing, but nothing--professional cleaning or otherwise--had done a thing to reduce the smell, but a tablespoon of the Borax completely removed it.

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Thanks--the grocery store today had the Febreeze and not this, but I imagine I could find it somewhere else.

fidelioscabinet

2006-02-06 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm told the smell (kind of a strange fishy stench) comes from sericin on the silk--and Dharma Trading Company, a source for dyes, dyeing equipment, and undyed fabric sells a product calld Synthropol that strips this out of silk (without damaging the fabric) so it can be dyed, as in addition to smelling badly, it coats the fibers and can be resistant to dyes.

If Febreeze or Borax won't neutralize it, this might be worth a shot.

kate_nepveu

2006-02-07 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Huh. And not very expensive either. Thanks!

Me Too

(Anonymous)

2007-05-01 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

I can't believe this I have now bought two sweaters with the same fishy smell, it smells like it was sitting on the bottom of the ship that brought it over from China. The strange thing is that this was a 155.00 sweater and you wouldn't think you would have to battle fish to wear it. Glad for all of the ideas I think I will head to the dry cleaners and work through the list after that.

Smelly shirt

(Anonymous)

2007-06-03 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Did you by the product you mentioned, did it work?

Re: Smelly shirt

kate_nepveu

2007-06-03 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

I didn't. Borax and baking soda reduced it enough that I can live with it.

silk smell

(Anonymous)

2007-02-04 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Had 4 ivy league juniors staying with me for a week, and we discussed the asparagus and pee smell. Apparently everyones' pee smells however only certain people have the ability to smell it. I think that this is the same with certain silk items. I know walking into a store, I can pick out the silk but my mom can't smell a thing. They cant possibly sell blouses that smell like fish if everyone could smell it.

Re: silk smell

(Anonymous)

2007-06-20 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

The ability to smell is partially estrogen mediated, so older women's sense of smell generally dimishes to some extent, regarding the difference between your mother's ability to smell the silk vs. your ability. Also, many silk products are pretreated and therefore don't smell (or only smell a bit when wet--which can be a problem if you sweat in them!), so it's not solely a question of whether some can smell it or not. I was just given a pashmina/silk shawl from Nepal that reeks so badly I can't imagine anyone being able to wear it; I'll try the various suggestions given in this thread before giving up on it.

Re: silk smell

(Anonymous)

2007-09-06 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have recently had this problem and apparently it has to do with how the silk was made. There is a substance called seracin that is in or has something to do with the silk cocoon (I'm not to sure about the details). In any case, if the seracin isn't washed out completely then the silk smells like a stinking fish! So that is the problem but the solution isn't quite so easy. There have been recommendations to use baking powder but many people simply suggest returning the product because it is difficult to get rid of the smell.

Re: silk smell

(Anonymous)

2008-01-13 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)

simply use a sponge soaked in ammonia place sponge in a new garbage bag along with garment seal bag after three days take out garment air it outside all smells will be gone.
p.s. I buy old silk rugs!

(Deleted comment)

Re: silk smells

(Anonymous)

2008-04-25 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

I just bought a sweater (silk/cashmere blend) that has this smell, and it is definitely not pesticide, as it's much too natural for that. It actually smells remarkably like cod liver oil (for anyone unfortunate to have ever taken that as a supplement). The smell is driving me crazy (I had to move it out of the bedroom while I seek a solution), but my wife can barely smell it and isn't bothered by it.

I'll have to try some options, but with cashmere and silk, I'm afraid most of these options (Borax? Simmering?) will be too strong. I might just be left taking it back.

Re: silk smells

(Anonymous)

2008-10-01 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Ahhh...that's it. My sweater (a little cardigan w/a silk mix that I bought at Macy's) has a very chemical smell I've washed it a dozen times and it remains. I believe it is the chemical treatment. My friend ordered a shirt with a similar odor, washed it several times and the odor stayed, they took it back even after the washing. Well, I think the sweater is a lost cause but at least I will be aware of it w/future purchases and return it right away. Thanks!

smelly fabrics containing silk made in china

(Anonymous)

2008-07-11 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have bought a lot of sweaters made in China, containing as little as 29% silk. Each sweater smelled like olive oil and garlic no matter how many times I washed each. I just returned a pair of slacks ( made in China; 70% silk), because when I walked in the sun I could smell the odor. I have gone into to stores that sell clothing called August Silk; that area of the store smelled like olive oil and garlic.

Re: smelly fabrics containing silk made in china

(Anonymous)

2008-07-12 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm so happy to find out that other people have this problem too.
My mother and I both have hard times with clothes made in China containing silk. They can have such a strong fish smell, and it gets worse in the sun. SOmething I'll sniff it in the store and it's not so bad, ythen get it home and it stinks up the entire house! Just bought and expensive sweater from Ann Taylor that was fine until I hung it up for a while near a window, and then I had to leave the house it was so gross.

Re: smelly fabrics containing silk made in china

(Anonymous)

2008-09-17 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)

I think that it's the rayon more so than the silk. I'm finding that rayon products when wet give off a pungent sweet, almost disgusting overwhelming smell. I'm trying to find out how to clean it.

smelly rayon

(Anonymous)

2009-05-24 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

I had the same problem with a rayon-cotton blend shirt. I rinsed it a a vinegar solution, then washed it. I used about 1/2 cup of vinegar in a bathroom basin full of water. It got rid of the smell.

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