Washing new items

macbirchAugust 31, 2009

I just washed a new cotton/linen tea towel and it has a strange hessian-like oily smell. I haven't bought anything made of linen in ages and I've been trying to remember if new linen ever smelled like that. Is it normal, and if so is there any way I can hasten the removal of the smell?

Any other tips for washing new items in general? It seems they use more chemicals than they used to and one wash is rarely enough.

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I remember when my kids were little, I washed everything before they put on clothes. Now I'm not so hyper-vigilant, but I do notice funny odors in linens, towels, clothes, evereything you buy. Just normal use and washing will eventually lift the smell.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 12:23PM
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What is a "hessian-like smell".
Linen, even new linen smells like the detergent it's been washed in.
Linda c

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 12:24AM
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Sorry, I think hessian is similar or the same as what you call burlap?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 8:23AM
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Because linen is also an organic fiber it will have a similar smell to what you describe. That's not exactly a bad thing. I wouldn't worry, it will work out and start smelling like everything else in short order.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 7:51PM
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I wash everything that's washable before I use it. Never used to but now so many things are imported with chemicals sprayed with crap to kill bugs, etc., and so many things have the manufacturers' DNA on them -- just wash it before you use it. I once worked for a fabric store chain -- we received bolts of fabric from India that felt oily and smelled so rancid that it was pulled and returned. My advice -- wash it and if you still question whether or not you want to use it -- TAKE IT BACK.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 9:23PM
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