Thrift shopping is a great way to discover fabulous leather and suede pieces. Here are some of my favourites I’ve picked up via thrift…
One thing that almost every piece of thrifted leather or suede has in common is they often stink.
That really obnoxious thrift store smell that is a mixture of musty basements, moth balls and what my husband claims is dead people smell.
I’ve tried everything to remove that rancid odour, washing with a damp rag and vinegar, placing the item outside for weeks on end, placing it in a bag with baking soda, using cat litter, you name it but none of these methods worked. Leather and suede are notoriously difficult for smell removal.
Usually, this meant I had to break down and take that item to have it professionally dry cleaned which meant loads of cash and saying bye-bye to any profit margin when trying to resell vintage.
How To Remove Bad Smells From Leather or Suede
I now have a guaranteed method to remove bad smells from leather or suede and it doesn’t cost and arm and a leg.
It is dead simple and you probably have the materials required already in your home.
I use a big paper bag that we normally use for collecting yard debris and I can layer in quite a few skirts, coats and purses into one bag. It is brilliant.
I just used the coffee we had in the house but I’m sure you can use any cheap brand.
Turn the coats or skirts inside out just to avoid any kind of staining. As long as nothing is wet or damp the coffee won’t stain anything.
When the weather is nice I place the bag outdoors, but it isn’t necessary.
For more stubborn smells like cigarettes, I find I may have to leave an item as long as a month but eventually the odour disappears without a trace of the dreaded wet ashtray smell. Yes, they do smell like coffee for a bit, but after a while, that smell dissipates as well.
Also, everyone I know loves the smell of coffee, so it’s not a huge deal.
I’ve even used this method on my antique leather couch. I filled the crevices with coffee grinds and after a few weeks just vacuumed them out. Worked like a charm!
I hope you find this useful.
Let me know if you find it as successful as I have.