5 Tips for Cleaning Used Clothing!

How to clean, remove stains & smells and disinfect used clothing that you purchase at consignment or resale shops. 

Do you shop consignment sales or resale or thrift shops? I have to admit, I used to be so grossed out about this. But now that my kids are older, I have started occasionally buying clothes for my kiddos from my favorite local thrift shop. It’s funny, I walk in and usually see several of my own personal household items that I donated and then walk out buying even more stuff that I possibly don’t even need…but oh well!

With school getting ready to start back up, I decided to see if I could score some deals on fall and winter clothing. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a single thing for either of those seasons, instead, I spent a small fortune on fancy dresses for my daughter —> things that happen when you go shopping with your daughter, lol!

You can watch my top tips for cleaning used clothing that I shared over on my Heathy Natural Living facebook group.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

YouTube video

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.

General Cleaning for Used Clothing

All of my laundry, regardless of what it is, gets washed in my all-time favorite laundry detergent. It is:

  • Natural
  • Biodegradable
  • Concentrated
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No phosphates
  • No chlorine
Sometimes you just get lucky and completely fall in love with a cleaner, this is that cleaner!! Plus as a wonderful side not, this laundry detergent was very instrumental in helping my son overcome his eczema.

Removing Stains from Used Clothing

Sometimes you just fall in love with something at the resale shop but there is a stain. usually I never even worry about this. I have sort of become a stain remover master 3 kids (and 1 husband, lol) later. My go-to stain remover has worked on removing red clay from white shorts, removing stains from my toilet bowls, and removing stains on my carpet. It’s the bomb! It uses natural enzymes and active oxygen to re-brighten laundry, de-stain upholstery, and more. If the stains are grease based, the absolute easiest way to remove them is to use the platinum Dawn dish soap and an old toothbrush.

How to remove red southern clay from your clothing

Want a little more proof that it works…check out this video I did!

YouTube video

Removing Smells or Other Detergents from Used Clothing

Does your used clothing smell like other cleaners or come from a smoking home?

Ever since I was in college, I have been using green, non-toxic laundry detergent. So…that’s been a lot of years off the smelly stuff. So now when I purchase clothing that has obviously been washed in regular store brand cleaner I oddly enough have a difficult time breathing. Removing the smell is a must! I’m usually able to remove all cleaner smells from clothing when I use my favorite deodorizer called Basic G+. This product is amazing and has so many purposes besides deodorizing!

Disinfecting Used Clothing

I have to say, I’m grossed out about wearing clothes worn by others. I’m literally paranoid of the germs. However, I’m perfectly fine wearing used clothes (and so is my wallet) when I use Basic G to disinfect and deodorize my clothes. (p.s. I use this when washing my dog’s bedding as well!)

My go-to germicide called Basic G+ by Shaklee, it is safe for laundry and will not stain, bleach or remove color. It is effective against the following pathogens, but for a complete listing refer here: 

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Salmonella enteritidis
  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Staphylococcus aureus – Methicillinresistant (MRSA)
  • Hepititis B (HBV) and Hepitis C (HCV)
  • SARS Associated Coronavirus

Drying Used Clothing

I love these soft fabric dryer sheets because they help prevent wrinkles without the fragrances and dyes. They are vegetable based (say what?!?!?) and are biodegradable! You can recycle the dryer sheets after using them! They even split in two in the dryer for fair and square distribution of soft, static-free goodness! Woot woot!

However, not every article of clothing can be put into the dryer. In that case, I make up a small amber spray bottle of lavender oil or lemon oil (depending on my mood) laundry spray and freshen up the clothes. I fill a 4oz bottle with water and add 3-5 drops of my favorite essential oils. Spritz on the clothing and let dry!

Love non-toxic cleaning like me? Download my FREE homemade cleaners e-Book to start making your very own safe, non-toxic cleaners!

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