Getting the "Funk" Out of Old Shirts
My husband likes to wear black undershirts to work. In fact, he really loves his little black shirts and wears them all the time. We buy the bags of shirts they sell at Target and he's happy.
The problem is that after a while the shirts develop a strange smell. A "funk" if you will. I don't leave his clothes in the washer wet, and my washer is not funky either. In fact, none of our other clothes have this funk at all. I don't even really smell it myself, but my husband swears that some shirts have it, and some don't. He does a smell test before he puts a shirt on, if the shirt has this funk, he puts it back in the drawer (that's a man's idea of fixing the problem I guess).
In the past we have thrown out the old shirts and just gone out and bought new ones. This year, with a little one on the way, I decided to try something new. Operation de-funk was under way one summer day (ha I'm a poet, JK, not really).
Step One: Wash
I took all my hubby's shirts out of the drawer and washed them in the washer on high with both my home-made detergent and a half cup of white vinegar for good measure. Vinegar is known for it's disinfecting properties.
Step Two: Dry
Now, this is wear the "summer day" part of my plan comes in. Growing up, we always took our bedding out in the spring and put it in the sun. I was never sure why we did this, but my mom assured me this would help "air it out" and clean our mattresses and comforters. I didn't really have a choice, but they did smell better by the end of the day so I figured she was on to something.
Twenty years later, I'm reading the tag on my down comforter and it advises me to put the comforter in the sun twice a year. With a little research I found that the disinfecting power of the sun is a real thing, and my mom is not a nut-job that just liked to watch us drag our mattresses around every spring (sorry mom, I was a teenager).
With all this in mind, I took my husband's newly washed undershirts and hung them in the sun.
They hung out in the sun for most of the day.
Boy, do I love my clothes line, every time I look at it I'm happy (thanks hubby!). By the time I got around to taking these pictures the sun had gone behind the trees, but believe me, they were in the sun for at least a couple of hours.
Step Three: The Result
I brought them in, and gave them to my hubby for the final test. Success! The funk was gone. Although I'm sure the vinegar helped, I KNOW the sunlight made the final step to really get those shirts clean and smelling good again.
I don't really like a lot of harsh chemicals or super smelly detergents, this proves they are not needed. It has been five months, I went back to washing them the normal way (with a dryer, not on the line). They still smell fine.
It's funny how it takes years to fully appreciate the knowledge your parents passed down to you as a child. Maybe because I'm having a child, I'm relearning all these little tricks.