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Denim Blunders, Reflections and General Nonsense.

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If you keep them in the closet with cedar, they won’t be musty.   They’ll actually smell pretty good.  

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11 minutes ago, chambo2008 said:

Anyone find that if you don't wear a pair for over 4 months they become "musty"? They are not dirty and have hardly any wear, so I'm wondering if it's due to storage and what the solutions are, as I can smell it so I'm sure others can too.

I haven’t noticed this. Could just be humidity or some other unknown factor 

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Cedar is the best route IMO unless you can’t stand the smell.  I think it smells nice, gets rid of musty smell and moisture.

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Posted (edited)

@chambo2008

This has happened to me with my Tanuki Earth denim recently. Hung it up for about 5 months, smelt like fungus when I tried to wear them again. 

The jeans next to it, some having been hung up for a few years, were fine though. 

The smell was gone after a wash. 

Edited by mikecch

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Posted (edited)

@chambo2008

I don’t think laundered clothes should smell musty in four months. This sounds like you have a contamination issue that keeps getting passed along and you could wipe down your dresser or closet with a disinfectant. Then after you wash each pair of denim you could place them in 2-gallon ziplock bags.

A quick fix might be to add some cedar chips to your storage area. This just masks the smell.

EDIT:

I see the cedar has already been suggested multiple times.

Edited by Pedro

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Posted (edited)

Lynch!

785FD6E7-9BB3-4B72-B40C-5E6D240E7C99.jpeg

79112128-2FAF-463F-9257-5B8A1B048400.jpeg

Edited by mlwdp

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Back when I used to strictly hand-wash my jeans, I would notice they would occasionally get musty after not long, or if I didn't wear them for a while. Turns out, I just wasn't doing a good enough job rinsing out the soap. YMMV.

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8 hours ago, enojy said:

Back when I used to strictly hand-wash my jeans, I would notice they would occasionally get musty after not long, or if I didn't wear them for a while. Turns out, I just wasn't doing a good enough job rinsing out the soap. YMMV.

@chambo2008 My first thoughts are similar - how are you washing your jeans? If they are not completely thoroughly clean from a wash and/ or not rinsed properly there could some residual substance causing the mustiness. Soap can get turn funky. I highly doubt there's any sort if contamination in your storage area otherwise you'd have a much broader issue than just jeans 

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On that subject, what IS the best way to rinse out the soap?

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46 minutes ago, mpukas said:

@chambo2008 My first thoughts are similar - how are you washing your jeans? If they are not completely thoroughly clean from a wash and/ or not rinsed properly there could some residual substance causing the mustiness. Soap can get turn funky. I highly doubt there's any sort if contamination in your storage area otherwise you'd have a much broader issue than just jeans 

Musty smell is the result of mildew and mold spores and moisture.

If it smells musty then you have an issue that can be masked by fresheners and cedar but that will continue to exist until surfaces are wiped down with simple disinfectant or vinegar. Thats just science.

Some of the issue can be that the jeans are not thoroughly dry at time of storage while lighter fabrics are.

A simple test for detergent residue would be to place one pair of freshly washed jeans in a ziplock and see what they smell like stored somewhere else.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, VivaMarlon said:

On that subject, what IS the best way to rinse out the soap?

Use a fragrance free detergent such as that made for down products. Most detergents are designed to partially remain on clothing but Woolite and similar designed products leave no residuals.

Followed by a rinse or two with just water and gentle agitation. The detergent molecules are attracted to water at one end and gentle agitation will break the bonds they have with the clothing and they will drain off with the water.

Edited by Pedro

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29 minutes ago, Pedro said:

Use a fragrance free detergent

One of my least favorite smells in the world is laundry detergent. So heavily scented that it almost gives me a headache.
I'm all for fragrance free detergent.

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@Broark

Same here. ;-)

I am fortunate enough to live in an arid climate where I can line dry outdoors. The fresh air and the UV from sunlight can’t be “bottled”.

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from my experience is best to store your jeans in the room with air-con. regular open the window. in case you store them in that room and they are in closed closet, open it twice per week when you are away and never more you would register  musty smell, or moister....

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Posted (edited)

I was wrong...it can be bottled...Lol

After all, is anything “too good” for our denim”?

Bottled air from the Swiss Alps:

https://www.swissbreeze.com/product/

4C062563-E530-408E-966E-D151BFE5A4E2.jpeg

Edited by Pedro

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I wash with Woolite Dark.  I think Momotaro has their own detergent.

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Can you really get soap out without using hot water?

'Back in the day' people boiled their laundry (hence all those jerky patches). Here's a laundry guide from 1927:

500-9-text-rinsing-bluing1927-july-p-40-

 

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with the exception of bed sheets, i exclusively wash all my clothing in cold water and don't have any issues.

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One problem is that I think it's easy to accidentally wash with way too much soap, especially if you're just laundering one pair of jeans - you only need a very small amount to get your jeans clean, and putting too much detergent in there might be why it's hard to rinse it all out.

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2 hours ago, Cold Summer said:

One problem is that I think it's easy to accidentally wash with way too much soap...

This is very true!

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Posted (edited)

Back in the day, clothes used to be far more heavily soiled between washings and soaps were much harsher (Fels-Naptha actually used Naptha) and lacked modern chemistry and enzymes. They were also subject to more hand washings and “washboards”. My family used an old tub washer (generic example in photo) with hand wringer when I was a kid and even when we updated to a machine with a spin cycle, we kept the old tub machine in the shed for our “work” clothes.

If someone really wanted to replicate that authentic appearance of an earlier era, using those early laundering and detergent practices would be necessary. 

BEC44824-D3DF-4412-BAEF-271C1E7CB712.jpeg

Edited by Pedro

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How big is that thing @Pedro? It looks like a giant food mixer! :biggrin:

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Maynard Friedman said:

How big is that thing @Pedro? It looks like a giant food mixer! :biggrin:

Haha!

That was just a google search image but ours was about the same size with our large family.

We all learned by about age 6 how to do laundry as one of our “chores” which may be why I still have such a fascination with the subject to this day. 

 

Edited by Pedro

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This is an interesting subject and I wonder if part of the reason why there's so much variation in the appearance of vintage jeans is because of inconsistent washing/wearing habits from one house to the next. A great-looking pair of vintage jeans might have that look because the hassle of washing meant they'd put it off until really necessary, and the detergent/washing techniques had a much bigger effect on the color than modern methods. Though I know that some Japanese vintage dealers insist the "air" (literally "kuuki," which can mean air but also a metaphorical sort of atmosphere) was different. 

There may also be some merit to that if jeans were worn around industrial environments with certain chemicals and stuff in the air, but this is pure speculation on my part.

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Pedro, you could likely chime in on this, but from what I gather, for most families wash day was on Monday and lasted until Tuesday or even Wednesday. 

I've been reading about this lately after taking another look at a second-hand pair of Sugar Cane jeans I got from Japan. The previous owner had obviously washed them in very hot water as the patch was pretty well fried, but also because the weft was so white and the denim/fades had a different look and feel to it, and there was little in the way of damage or blowouts aside from an unraveling hem.

Since then I've been washing with soap powder and hot water but also reading more about how laundry was done in the past.

Here are some descriptions from the 1930s, for example:

https://www.findmypast.com/1939register/the-home-1939-laundry

"On a Sunday evening, copper and dolly tubs might be filled with cold water in preparation for wash day. Clothes were sorted and segregated into woollens and cottons and colours and whites. As modern day biological detergents were not available in 1939, exceptionally dirty clothing like overalls would be left to soak overnight with soap flakes added. White shirts and blouses would stand overnight in cold water containing a "blue" whitener. 

At the start of wash day the electric copper was turned on, or a coal fire was lit under the brick copper to ensure that the water in the tubs was hot enough. A dolly peg, (an item resembling a four or six-legged wooden stool, out of which a wooden "T" piece protruded), would be used to agitate the items that had been soaking overnight. Rotating the dolly peg in this way was a physically demanding and tiring affair.

The washing process itself involved lifting the items from the cold soak and wringing or mangling each item before transferring them, with more soap flakes, into the copper for boiling. Items that remained soiled, even after an overnight soak, were rubbed on a scrubbing board before being transferred to the copper. A clothes mangle, a hand operated machine consisting of two rotating rollers (which presented a quite serious potential hazard to anyone not paying attention), would be used to squeeze out all the excess water. Clothes would then be hung out to dry on a clothes line, or laid over a clothes-horse next to the kitchen or living room fire."

10024099.jpg?mode=max&width=1200&upscale

Would jeans like these have gone through the same process?

b0b16f075b340e7d40d2f592e5f985b1.jpg

 

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Just a little heads up that KNOCK sent me in my recent order from them.

BB8398D8-DC76-46D6-8A6D-BD1C432C1360.jpeg

5CE720CA-9CF0-4B21-911A-479E667A660C.jpeg

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Anyone remember Story MFG? I remember when they popped up a few years back making workwear inspired clothes using natural dyes. Now they’re a full blown Kapital knockoff? What happened? 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/20/2019 at 10:59 AM, mpukas said:

@chambo2008 My first thoughts are similar - how are you washing your jeans? If they are not completely thoroughly clean from a wash and/ or not rinsed properly there could some residual substance causing the mustiness. Soap can get turn funky. I highly doubt there's any sort if contamination in your storage area otherwise you'd have a much broader issue than just jeans 

I usually just machine wash and machine rinse these days. Even still, that sometimes doesn't get all of the soap out, and I'm back at the tub rinsing them a few times. Tends to pool up at joined points (fly, coin pocket, etc.) Could be the castile soap I use, could be hard water, I dunno! I just rinse til the soap is all out.

Edited by enojy
hard water. not soft water!

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Just seen a pair of Story mfg. Trousers for £340 GBP! For made in India goods. 

Get that money Fam! 

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