|The "Before" Picture|
|The Dirty Bath Water Soak Process|
Step 1 - Pre-Soak
Many of the items I bought had pretty heavy dirt, so I purposely decided to do a presoak on them. I filled a bathtub with hot water and OxiClean and submerged a large number of items in the tub.
First lesson - Test bright colors for bleeding! The first item I put in the tub was a bright red vintage full-length coat. I just so happened to put several other coats on top of it as I was filling the tub and to my horror - the water started to turn blood red! I quickly removed the leaking culprit, drained the tub, rinsed all the other coats until no more pink came out and then refilled the tub. Same experience two tubs later with a purple jumpsuit, which got a private soaking in the sink.
|The "After" Photos|
Step 2 - Delicate Wash
After soaking in the tub for about an hour or two, I drained the tub, turned on the shower and rinsed all the clothes for about 5-10 minutes. Then I transferred it all to a bin and took it down to the washer. Now, I have a new washer with lots of fancy settings, I would have hesitated to do this in my old washer, just an FYI. My new washer does not have an agitator, so I felt safe to put the items in on delicate, slow spin and with an extra rinse cycle. I saw no damage from the washing and the clothes all smelled tons better. I used regular detergent with stain removal and color safe features and Clorox2 with color shield, as several of the pieces had some staining.
|After photo women's coat, blouse and skirt.|
|After photo - clothes in action!|
I put all of the items in the dryer for at least a cycle. This allowed much of the wrinkles to come out and softened fabrics, that hadn't be in a good environment for over 20 years, into wearable clothing. I did however remove the coats and men's sports jackets after one cycle, even though they were still a little damp. I didn't want them to shrink or damage the lining, so I let them air dry for two days in order to make sure they kept their shape.
It's a lot of work, but I think the end results speak for themselves!