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Woman shares unexpected ingredient used to spot-clean delicate clothing: ‘[People] don’t know this’

“This is how we also clean clothes in theater.”

"This is how we also clean clothes in theater."

Photo Credit: TikTok

When it comes to clothing care, few things are more frustrating than a bad odor that no amount of laundry detergent can fix. 

But before you go tossing an otherwise perfectly wearable item, one TikToker has shared a natural cleaning hack that will rescue most old, vintage, and secondhand clothes.

The scoop

In a popular TikTok video, It Girl Secrets (@celeste.aria_) shared the surprise ingredient in her cleaning arsenal: vodka.

First, Celeste explained, fill an empty spray bottle with cheap vodka. The one she uses is an old cleaning fluid bottle, which she cleaned thoroughly before repurposing. 

Holding up a delicate woolen top as an example, she spot-sprayed the areas of fabric that needed treatment. 

@celeste.aria_ Styling Tips That Will Change Your Life Part 4: remove odors from vintage with vodka #stylingtips #stylinghacks #lifehacks #vintage #vintageodor #drycleaning #howtowashvintage #fashionhack #stylingtip #vintageclothes #laundry ♬ original sound – It Girl Secrets 🍸

When the vodka evaporates, it takes the bad odor away with it, leaving your clothing smelling fresh and clean. 

“I love this technique for wool clothing, delicates, and designer clothing in between sessions at the dry cleaner,” she said in the video. 

How it’s helping

On top of saving people from spending a fortune on trips to the dry cleaner, Celeste’s hack could help prevent masses of wearable clothing from going into the trash.

In the United Kingdom, according to Samsung Newsroom U.K., more than half of people have thrown away wearable clothing, either because recycling and reselling is too much effort or because they struggle to make their old clothes look enticing to secondhand shoppers online. 

The cleaning fluid company Vanish found that one in five Brits threw their clothes out rather than tackle a stain, while nearly a third trashed old items because of a small hole that could have been sewn up.

These issues with our old clothes are not insurmountable, however, and learning basic fabric maintenance would help to stem the masses of textile waste headed for landfills. 

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a truckload of unwanted textiles is landfilled or incinerated every second. 

Using more natural cleaning products is also a good way to reduce plastic in your home since store-bought cleaning fluids are commonly packaged in plastic spray bottles. The good thing is many of these natural cleaning hacks involve ingredients that are already in your cupboards, such as white vinegar and baking soda.

What everyone’s saying

Celeste isn’t the only one who’s in on this miracle cleaning solution if the comments on her video are anything to go by. 

“This is so crazy to me that [people] don’t know this,” one user said. “This is how we also clean clothes in theater.”

They continued in a second comment: “Makes it so much easier for difficult costumes with glitter or sequins but also super easy to do with traveling shows!”

“Your mattress and pillows too!” another added. “You can also use 90% isopropyl alcohol.”

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