thrift tips: cleaning your found treasures

this post was originally written as a guest post for liz's blog, the blue eyed owl and published here.  but in case you missed it... here ya go.  and if you did miss it... why are you not following 'the blue eyed owl' yet?  geez.

psst!  wanna know a secret?  thrift stores smell bad.

there is said it.

as anyone who has ever read my blog knows i love to thrift.  as a passionate thrifter i have to admit the unique smell of the thrift store gets me a little excited at the prospect of a really great find.  bringing that funny home smell with my discovered treasure, however?  meh.

i would like to share with you some tried and true ways that i use to disinfect, polish up and give my finds a new lease on life.

my partner has learned over time that if it's wrapped in a plastic bag in the freezer it's most likely not a tasty treat.  all my treasures are left in the freezer for a minimum of two days (i aim for five) to both kill germs and take care of smells.  i don't know how it works to eliminate odours but it does so i keep taking up room in the deep freeze.  freezing works especially well to get rid of smoky smells from fabrics and paper such as books and magazines.

seriously.  get a large pot, boil water and... it's that easy.  i use this technique to make tchotkes and dishes sparkle and to disinfect.  i have also been known to use a really large pot for winter woolies and throw pillows that can't be machine washed.

a little elbow grease can go a long way.  when cleaning my often vintage treasures i try to use the same products that grandma would have used to care for them.  baking soda and vinegar are my two go tos.  make a paste from baking soda and water.  add vinegar to your laundry to freshen smells and brighten colours.  and of course, as mentioned above, nothing beats good old boiling water.  safe and effective.

my thanks to liz for allowing me this space today to share with you something i am passionate about.  i'd love to hear any other tips and tricks you have for caring for your thrifty treasures.  come visit me and share, give a girl a reason to go to the thrifts.