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Oct 10, 2016 17:50:25   #
pjcoldren
 
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of yarn (somebody in their family had passed and they knew I knitted). It's mostly Red Heart Super Saver and the like; and it smells musty. Is there any way to get rid of that smell? I had contemplated putting each skein inside a nylon knee-high, knotting the knee-high, and running them through the washer (with vinegar in with the soap) and then just throwing them in the dryer. My hope is that the knee-highs would prevent the skeins from coming apart and me pulling a gi-normous wad of yarn barf out of the washer. Any comments, suggestions, etc.? I hate to throw away all this yarn -- probably close to 20 skeins of it in various colors and most of them unused. Thanks for any help.
 
Oct 10, 2016 17:53:17   #
iShirl
 
Sounds like a perfect solution to me. Super Saver is acrylic and very washable and the stocking should hold it in place. Good luck with that. I know others will probably have a better solution but that's what I would do also.
Oct 10, 2016 17:59:58   #
Jessica-Jean (a regular here)
 
pjcoldren wrote:
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of yarn (somebody in their family had passed and they knew I knitted). It's mostly Red Heart Super Saver and the like; and it smells musty. Is there any way to get rid of that smell? I had contemplated putting each skein inside a nylon knee-high, knotting the knee-high, and running them through the washer (with vinegar in with the soap) and then just throwing them in the dryer. My hope is that the knee-highs would prevent the skeins from coming apart and me pulling a gi-normous wad of yarn barf out of the washer. Any comments, suggestions, etc.? I hate to throw away all this yarn -- probably close to 20 skeins of it in various colors and most of them unused. Thanks for any help.
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of ya... (show quote)
That will do it. I haven't done it myself, but I've read on KP that others have done it successfully. Myself, I have a very large garage. When anything new-to-me (from second-hand-store, church bazaar, or garage sale) has an objectionable odor - usually cigarette smoke, I hang it in the garage for as long as it takes for the fresh air to neutralize the odor. Hanging or laying outdoors will also do the trick - but you don't want to leave yarn (or anything else, for that matter) in direct sunlight for any great length of time. Sunlight does weaken fibres over time as well as bleach the surface.
Oct 10, 2016 18:01:51   #
BC
 
Try one and see. It may depend on how well the soapy water goes through the layers of yarn on the skein. If there are a group in the same color range, could they be washed as a group in a zipped pillow case or lingerie bag?
Oct 10, 2016 18:07:50   #
Jessica-Jean (a regular here)
 
BC wrote:
Try one and see. It may depend on how well the soapy water goes through the layers of yarn on the skein. If there are a group in the same color range, could they be washed as a group in a zipped pillow case or lingerie bag?
Only if each skein is snugly in its own tube of nylon stocking! Untangling them otherwise would be a task for a stronger-willed detangler than I!

I doubt that washing all shades together would do any damage. The colours of Red Heart acrylic don't run in my experience.
Oct 10, 2016 18:21:51   #
knit4ES (a regular here)
 
I will look for it.... but I think it remember a topic from a bit ago
someone talked about having success with putting on layer of yarn in a mesh bag (air circulation).
Spread charcoal activated kitty litter in the bottom of a plastic bin that has a lid that seals. lay the mesh bag on top and seal the bin and let it stay for several days.
The litter will absorb the odor. NOTE: I have not tried this but it makes sense to me and would cut down on the tangle possibilities.
 
Oct 10, 2016 18:25:33   #
kuch1969
 
I have had good results with dryer sheets. Put the yarn in a plastic storage container with dryer sheets layered within the skeins. Put the lid on the container and let it sit for about a week in a warm area. I've done that several times and the musty smell was gone - even cigarette odors.
Oct 10, 2016 19:56:20   #
fergablu2 (a regular here)
 
Definitely use the knee-high or panty hose if you're going to put it in the washer. I rewound a bunch of musty yarn into cakes, put them in a lingerie bag, and laundered by machine and dried in the dryer. Even inside the bags, the yarn ends tangled around each other, but I managed to save enough yarn to make it worth my while. Tied securely in a knee-high, I bet the skein would safely make the journey through a front loading washer, and dryer, but it probably wouldn't get dry in the middle. You can use all-fabric bleach/stain fighter and color booster, to help get rid of the smell. I washed all kinds of colors together, without a problem.
Oct 10, 2016 20:01:02   #
kayrein
 
Someone gifted me a box of new yarn that she had always planned to crochet an afghan with. She must have sprayed it with some very strong-smelling deodorizer, because the perfume smell was so strong I couldn't go near it. I laid it all out in my garage for about a month, and after that it was at least tolerable. The odor did diminish even more after being out in the air.
Oct 10, 2016 20:18:28   #
Jessica-Jean (a regular here)
 
kayrein wrote:
Someone gifted me a box of new yarn that she had always planned to crochet an afghan with. She must have sprayed it with some very strong-smelling deodorizer, because the perfume smell was so strong I couldn't go near it. I laid it all out in my garage for about a month, and after that it was at least tolerable. The odor did diminish even more after being out in the air.
This is why folks used to drape bedding - even the mattresses - over sunny porch railings for a few hours. In the Middle-East, it's still common practice. In Montreal neighbourhoods where Middle-Easterners have settled, bedding, and rugs can often be seen hanging and airing on sunny days, though not so much in full winter.

Fresh air is nature's deodorizer and sunshine bleaches and sanitizes.
Oct 11, 2016 04:02:10   #
tatsfieldknitter (a regular here)
 
If the yarn is not TOO objectionable to work with I would give them a spray with Febreeze and then knit up whatever you're going to make, and then launder the finished garment, using conditioner and dryer sheets too, if you are tumble-drying.
 
Oct 11, 2016 06:34:42   #
kathycam
 
Soaking in buttermilk over night, removes mold and mildew. I would then wash and then rinse with vinegar. I used a mixture of Dawn dishwashing soap, baking soda and white vinegar to remove skunk odor from my dogs and bedding and it worked beautifully. That might work for musty smell also.
Oct 11, 2016 07:50:22   #
chemknitter (a regular here)
 
pjcoldren wrote:
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of yarn (somebody in their family had passed and they knew I knitted). It's mostly Red Heart Super Saver and the like; and it smells musty. Is there any way to get rid of that smell? I had contemplated putting each skein inside a nylon knee-high, knotting the knee-high, and running them through the washer (with vinegar in with the soap) and then just throwing them in the dryer. My hope is that the knee-highs would prevent the skeins from coming apart and me pulling a gi-normous wad of yarn barf out of the washer. Any comments, suggestions, etc.? I hate to throw away all this yarn -- probably close to 20 skeins of it in various colors and most of them unused. Thanks for any help.
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of ya... (show quote)

Please don't use soap and vinegar at the same time. Soap is basic and vinegar is acidic. They will neutralize each other - essentially cancel each other out. (I'm a chemist)
Wash it twice - once with soap and do extra rinse cycles. Then wash with vinegar.
You can also try hanging the yarn in a mesh bag outside in sunshine for a few days. or placing the yarn in a plastic bag with activated charcoal.
Oct 11, 2016 07:54:17   #
JTM (a regular here)
 
pjcoldren wrote:
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of yarn (somebody in their family had passed and they knew I knitted). It's mostly Red Heart Super Saver and the like; and it smells musty. Is there any way to get rid of that smell? I had contemplated putting each skein inside a nylon knee-high, knotting the knee-high, and running them through the washer (with vinegar in with the soap) and then just throwing them in the dryer. My hope is that the knee-highs would prevent the skeins from coming apart and me pulling a gi-normous wad of yarn barf out of the washer. Any comments, suggestions, etc.? I hate to throw away all this yarn -- probably close to 20 skeins of it in various colors and most of them unused. Thanks for any help.
Somebody "blessed" me with a bunch of ya... (show quote)


Before "washing" you might consider placing them inside a plastic container (bag or box) with a couple of fabric softener sheets....and letting them sit there for a few days.
Oct 11, 2016 08:01:59   #
777cam
 
I use Fresh Scent Packets I get at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They are what you would use in your dresser drawers to keep everything smelling sweet. I keep all my yarn in plastic tubs with lids and throw one of those in and all my yarn smells fresh. I also use one of these in my food pantry and broom closet. You can buy them on line.
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