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Shopper shares simple method to remove musty odors from thrift-store purses: 'Your bag should smell as good as new'

Cleaning tips like this that utilize items you already have at home can save you time and money while reviving vintage accessories.

Cleaning tips like this that utilize items you already have at home can save you time and money while reviving vintage accessories.

Photo Credit: TikTok

Sometimes, you find the cutest item at the thrift store and take it home to clean it, only to realize it still has a musty odor. A fashion expert on TikTok has shared their expert tip for removing funky odors from your vintage bags. 

The scoop

Samchownjohnston (@samchownjohnston) is a TikToker who shares fashion advice and helps followers shop and dress more sustainably. In one post, she details a method for getting the musty smell out of a vintage bag. She shows a cute gold handbag "from my great aunt" as her example. 

@samchownjohnston Spring Cleaning 101: Have a vintage bag that has a funky smell? Here's an easy trick to revitalize your bag and add it back into the rotation. Mine is from my great aunt and looks just as good as it did back then. Based on the West Germany stamp, I'd say 1950s? Any other guesses?? Follow me for sustainable fashion tips and styling. Can't wait to meet you!! 💕 🔎 how to get the smell out of your vintage bags I upcycling | how to take care of vintage bags | outfit inspo, pinterest inspired, spring outfit, inspo, fashion, what she wore, what I wore, outfit for spring, streetstyle, personal style, ootd, outfit inspiration, spring fashion, minimal style, casual style 🏷️ #outfitoftheday #ootd #lovedclotheslast #sustainablefashion #secondhandfashion #slowfashion ♬ original sound - 𐙚

Sam then tells viewers: "Get some coffee grounds and put them in the bag and leave closed for a week. Take them out, and your bag should smell good as new."

In the clip, it appears the coffee grounds were left uncovered in the bag in a shallow container. This would be a good time to use some of your recycled containers

How it's helping

Finding just the right way to clean all the items around your house is a never-ending task, and buying cleaning products can get expensive. Tips that utilize items you already have at home can save you time and money on your household chores. 

Many of us drink coffee daily and simply toss the grounds in the compost or trash. However, you are missing out on amazing benefits they can bring to your home. Eldorado Coffee lists several ways you can use coffee grounds around the house. 

"Coffee has a delicious aroma itself, but it actually can help absorb other smells in the environment as well," it says. "Coffee contains nitrogen, which helps neutralize odors in the air quickly and safely. Coffee grounds are an effective and natural alternative to baking soda."

In addition to absorbing smells, the nitrogen in coffee can be beneficial to your plants. You can sprinkle grounds over your soil as a fertilizer

Turning to natural ingredients to clean around the house can also save you cash. Our guide states that "using natural on-hand options half the time could mean $90 of savings per year." 

Natural products are much gentler on the environment too. Chemical cleaners can leach into our waterways and cause damage to flora and fauna in the local ecosystem. The BBC writes, "Phosphates in laundry and dishwasher detergent have a fertilizing effect, triggering the widespread growth of algae that saps away the water's oxygen, reducing biodiversity."

What people are saying

One commenter seemed excited to try this tip but needed the clarity provided by the video. "Thanks for the visuals bc I would have dumped straight coffee into my purse."

The TikTok creator responded, "I'm dying, glad I saved you from that crisis."

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