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Hey guys, any suggestions for getting that 75 year old musty storage smell out of a flight suit?  It’s not smoky or mouldy smelling, it’s just foul enough to prevent me from displaying it in my war room until I can de-funk it. I’ve tried a light misting of Febreze and hanging it in the sun but it still stinks. I’m reluctant to run it through the washing machine due to the fragility of the remaining leather Lt. bar on the shoulder. 
 

ideas or solutions would be welcomed! 
 

Rick


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don't spray febreze on it. no matter how good it smells, it is a chemical. washing, dry cleaning will get the leather and if the material is weak can destroy the whole suit. a tough call to deal with. I usually air out the item or send it out for a dry cleaning after making sure there was no possibility of damage. in your case the leather is an obstacle.

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Thanks guys, I just did a light mist of febreze but won’t continue with that method.
 

Another forum group suggested spraying lightly with a mixture of water and vodka and then place it in a box with some odour Control kitty litter. Apparently theatre company’s use this method when dealing with fragile and vintage costumes. 

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Collector of WWII M-1helmets and WWII Airborne items

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You could try sticking it in a small closet and run an air purifier in it. Just empty it out first so the smell doesn't attach to other clothes or jackets.

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I can recommend the vodka method.  I've used it a couple of times with no negative effects (or none that I can see).  It may take several applications depending on the depth of the funk.

 

Another method that I've had some success with is making some field expedient sachets out of activated charcoal (that's the charcoal used in aquarium filters, find it at any pet store) and thick gauze.  Sew two gauze patches together back-to back and fill up the resulting packet with the charcoal.  Stitch up the last side (or tape it closed) and voila...you've got an odor absorbing charcoal packet.  Place the garment in a plastic tub, allow for some air circulation space between the garment and the sachets , seal the tub, let it sit (longer - weeks, months - is better).  Eventually the charcoal will absorb the odor.  Again, depending on funk strength multiple iterations may be required.  

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I promise it wasn’t me...

Haha In all honesty I have used some twist flameless wax melters with limited success in eliminating odors. I would untwist them all the way for max scent and then put them in plastic bags with uniforms or in close proximity to displays. When I had that uniform I let it air out for a couple days in the sun and it helped for awhile but obviously did not last.

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Agree on the dryer sheets.... have had good results.

 

I would air it out for a while out doors. Then place in a plastic bag pr sealed tote with the dryer sheets. Check it and repeat the dryer sheet method

 

I see places sell the odor absorbent hanging bags for basements etc. Not sure how they would work if placed in a sealed tote with clothing. You may have to be able to place the item on a small rack in the tote so the absorbent bag dont contact the material directly.

 

 

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Has anybody tried Ozone?
They make them for cars(12v). Hook to a source, put in a box with stinky uniform & that should do it i believe.
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I wouldn't dry clean it either..

 

Dry Cleaning is a misnomer.. A Chemical Solvent with little or no water is used in the process...

 

Dryer sheets are the best bet..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Hang it in the garage and walk away for a few months
Then place it in a pillow case and but it under your wife’s clean pillows when you work nights.
She will think you are sleeping beside her and be happy.
Owen


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Thanks for all the tips guys, I’ll try the dryer sheets before I go to the liquor store for vodka and buy any cat litter 😉😄

 

Rick

 

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Collector of WWII M-1helmets and WWII Airborne items

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6 hours ago, kammo-man said:

Hang it in the garage and walk away for a few months
Then place it in a pillow case and but it under your wife’s clean pillows when you work nights.
She will think you are sleeping beside her and be happy.
Owen


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Thanks Owen, probably the funniest and most unique suggestion so far, and it might work if I still worked nightshifts 🤣

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Collector of WWII M-1helmets and WWII Airborne items

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I always place stinky uniforms near my dehumidifier and that works very well.  

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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What helped me (at least on the mothball stench coming free with some items) is a mixture of vinegar and water. I soaked the stuff overnight in it, rinsed it with water and done… No, it does not smell savory afterwards. ;)

 

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Store brand febreeze type spray I used on a complete grouping of musty basement smelling uniforms, works pretty good and not overpowering to the nose.

 

Robin-

I Collect USMC WWII uniforms, gear, patches, insignia. medals and ribbons. I also sell and trade Militaria of primarily the U.S. Military.

 

R.Delaney

 

Semper Fidelis-

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19 minutes ago, olivedrab1970 said:

Store brand febreeze type spray I used on a complete grouping of musty basement smelling uniforms, works pretty good and not overpowering to the nose.

 

 

I have used Febreze on a lot of things over the years and between that and hanging really bad items in the sunshine too, I've had good luck and no signs of damage. 

 

"Rachel Feltman

Freelancer, Editor at Popular Science Magazine

August 17, 2015 at 7:07 a.m. PDT

"Odor neutralizing" sprays like Febreze make claims that sound too good to be true. But those promises of disappearing odors are actually backed up by some pretty astounding chemistry..."

 

From an article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/17/the-mind-blowing-science-of-how-febreze-hides-your-smelliness/


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I think you nailed it! Sunshine has always been the best neutralizer. nothing beats that fresh air and sun.

 

Robin-

I Collect USMC WWII uniforms, gear, patches, insignia. medals and ribbons. I also sell and trade Militaria of primarily the U.S. Military.

 

R.Delaney

 

Semper Fidelis-

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Febreze and sunlight haven’t done it, so I’m onto the water and vodka and the kitty litter 😉😊

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Collector of WWII M-1helmets and WWII Airborne items

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Run the bath
Tepid water 12 inches deep
Have plastic hanger handy
Hold suit at shoulders
Dip up to mid chest deeply
Then dip top section in for 30 seconds
The water will be black by this stage
Remove
Hang on shower head for an hour
Bring outside and let drip dry overnight
By morning it will look like a cleaned new suit


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