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Bad odor on WWII Service Coat

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I picked up an early/pre-war enlisted service coat at a flea market a while back in great condition, but the only issue was a horrible BO smell from under the pits. Whether or not the previous owner wore this to the gym for something is beyond me, but i've tried the following to get it out to no avail:

Dry Cleaning

lots of Febreeze

A day in the sun to air it out


Nothing has gotten it out.


Any suggestions on eradicating an odor?

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Try the new formula Woolite, scrub it in really good inside,& lots of cold water,will not harm an antique uniform coat & may eliminate the noxious odor you mentioned,I have used this stuff on WW2 uniforms with good results,no fading, & the local dry cleaners use a "parfum" I don't like...Just avoid hot water,which absolutely will shrink wool material,every time,I wash coats in the machine on "gentle/handwash" cycle With cold water,& have never had anything bad happen... My $0.02... Regards, Jeff

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If Jeff's idea don't work try to find a can of spray made to deodorize tennis shoes. I have used that to get smells out of things before and it works pretty good. They have it at most shoe store cost about five or six bucks a can well worth it.

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Alright, did one wash with the woolite and it's showing a lot of improvement!
I'll probably give it one more wash, but it's starting to smell a lot better.

I'm curious if some baking soda might also help finish it off

Thanks guys!

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I had to hand wash a 1920s dress blues 7 times to get the body odor out of it.


A1C Matthew Seidler, Delta Company, 466th EOD killed in action. 05 Jan 12 at 1600L while conducting mounted route clearance patrols in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He turned 24 two days before his death. Cousin, Soldier, Hero.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A weird remedy that worked well for me: place it in front of a bowl with vinegar and a slice of bread.....strange, I know. I had a flag once that had an awful cigarette smell. Bread and vinegar solved it over night

82nd Airborne Division

North Carolina State University 2016




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