If you are a major thrift store shopper like me, you need to know these 5 Easy Money Saving Ways to Restore Thrift Store Clothing! I’m a bit surprised at how overwhelmed some of my friends get over simple clothing tasks such as mending, stain and spot removal and stuff like that. Some of my friends have actually paid me to do a simple hem (I promise I said I’d do it FREE)!
I am totally not putting my friends down at all, but I would LOVE to show some of the simple things I do to keep clothing looking like new or as I said above… restore my thrifty finds!
The other day our family went to our local thrift store and my son found a BRAND NEW pair of VANS shoes! It is a style that my son has been looking for…We bought them for $18! The only problem was that there was some yellow staining on them. He looked at me confidently and said “we can get that out right Mom?!”. YES we can!
Some stains and spots are harder than others to get out, but almost anything can be removed these days with just a little effort. Probably the only stains I don’t bother with are the ones on thrift store finds that you can tell have been there forever. Once clothing goes through a wash and dry cycle a million times it can be pretty stubborn to get out. You get to know what these look like after you’ve tried to remove a few times.
To restore thrift store clothing you need to know these simple things…
- 1. Remove stains and spots —
I use Baking Soda A LOT! Use this little formula on light or white clothing items. Not colored. I simple make a paste by mixing a little baking soda and water. Then I will scrub whatever item of clothing I’m trying to clean and let it sit out in the sun or just sit for a while. If the stain is stubborn I will do it again and this time I will pour just a tiny bit of vinegar on the stain WITH the baking soda stain. This causes a bubbling action that adds to the cleaning power.
It’s always best to test a small part of the clothing inside of whatever you are trying to remove the spots and stains from. How sad to buy something you really like and then ruin it. Baking soda and vinegar is pretty harmless though!
I RARELY use bleach on anything. It can damage too many articles of clothing…unless of course it’s undershirts or something and I don’t get these items at the thrift store.
You can also use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide. This combination is good for blood stains. Hydrogen Peroxide removes blood easily. Now I wouldn’t knowingly buy a piece of clothing with blood on it…I’m just saying…it’s a next step on a stubborn stain.
I also use plain old laundry detergent, there are tons of great brands out there. The detergents with Oxi Clean work really well for removing stains.
You can also use dishwasher detergent…on WHITES. Again test.
- 2. How to remove the “smell” from your thrift store clothing —
You know that musty smell that clings to thrift store clothing? Well it can easily be removed. Ummm wash it. Rarely have I ever come across anything that the “smell” can’t be removed from it by simply giving it a good clean in the washer.
Of course there are some things that you can’t wash!
Clothing items made out of fur, leather and suede etc. In this case you can use activated charcoal. It’s not complicated…simply buy activated charcoal at a pet supply store in the fish section or you can also buy online if you don’t have a pet store near you. Grab a large bag that will hold your garment and add the charcoal. Then seal it tightly for a day or two until odor is gone. The charcoal will neutralize the odor.
I have also heard you can use kitty litter! I’ve never tried this, but kitty litter has super odor eliminators and contains activated charcoal also. Great for those items that can’t be thrown into the washer.
- 3. A couple ways to remove spots and stains from Suede and Leather —
Best thing…a suede eraser! You can purchase this almost anywhere there are shoe supplies or online.
If you want to create a newer look with leather, simply buy some leather restorer or for lighter leather items Saddle Soap is perfect! Of course some leather items that are cracked or showing a huge amount of wear, simply can’t be restore. However I see a TON of beautiful leather jackets that barely need a thing!
- 4. How to clean fabric that is labeled “Dry Clean Only” —
Well…you need to do one of two things…either take it to your dry cleaners or use a home kit for dry cleaning….these are pretty inexpensive and DO work. Now I have to be honest…I do sometimes simply throw clothing into the washer, but I never dry them in the dryer. MOST come out very nicely…but you really need to know your fabrics a bit.
I want you to save tons of money on clothing and buy confidently from the thrift store.
If you see something you just love and it has a simple stain…buy it! For $2.99 it’s worth the experiment to learn to be a stain remover!
Knowing how to remove stains will also save you tons of money when you buy something NEW (ok you’re allowed to do that now and then). Don’t throw it out…or send it to the thrift store, unless you would like ME to snag it and refresh it!
I’ve added a little info graphic below to show how you can also remove spots and stains that happen in your everyday life. Most of these are for new stains…but many can apply to your thrift store finds!
Last but totally not least…If you find something you just love at the thrift store and then find a little hole in it. Don’t hang it back on the rack…buy it, take it home and do a little mend.
- 5. Below is a short little tutorial about how to mend thrift store clothes to make them like brand new!
Happy Thrifting my friend!! o