Dealing with Smokey Lolita Clothing
A while back, I bought this listing for an Innocent World Rose Trump One Piece from Winter 2006 on Mbok. I usually read the item descriptions, but don’t always read the personal profiles of the sellers. In this case, that was a BIG mistake because I missed this “家族に喫煙者あり、室内犬います”, (Smoking household, with a dog).
Thankfully, I only paid 8,000円 (~$66 USD) for it, before shopping service payments and shipping.
The dress came in and the collar is yellowed badly, as are the sleeves and it reeeeks of cigarette smoke. Thankfully, it was sealed up well in the bag my SS put it in, so the smell didn’t get on other things.
But that leaves me with a problem. I have a smelly, stained dress. So, first things first, I checked the washing label. The dress is a corduroy and says do not wash. I know from experience that Innocent World is overly cautious about recommending dry cleaning, and I got this pretty cheaply, so I decided to wash it anyways. I first removed the waist ties and detachable sleeves. Then I cut two buttons which were loose all the way off. I’ll resew them later, but I didn’t want them to fall off in the machine. I wet the very tippy end of a waist tie with cold water and blotted on a paper towel. When that “passed” without running I filled the washing machine with cold water and detergent and dipped a waist tie in completely. Then I blotted it with a paper towel. Still no running. So, I put the dress, waist ties and detachable sleeves in the washing machine along with some color catcher sheets and washed it in cold/cold on gentle.
After it came out, I smelled it. The smell was pretty much gone, but the stains remained. I hung the dress to dry to deal with later.
In the past, I’ve done the same thing with velveteen skirts from Cornet. In that case, the skirts were already damaged and had been so cheap that the risk of ruining them outweighed the benefit of making them clean again. In that case, I first handwashed the skirts, rinsing them each out in the shower for a good 15 minutes in cold water. They smelled still, so I put them through the washing machine twice, then aired them out outside.
In both of these cases, I took a risk in washing a specialty fabric myself. If it was a significantly more valuable dress, I would not have taken the same risk. I would instead have brought the pieces to a dry cleaner. However, in both cases, washing the garment alone removed the scent (though not the discoloration).
For the innocent world OP, the discoloration is mainly on the collar portion of the dress, so, I’m considering removing the collar and replacing it with a new collar made of the same type of material in the same pattern. I’ve tried pretty much everything else I can think of (baking soda, soaking, etc), and the yellowing just won’t budge.
Have you ever gotten a piece with smoke damage before in the mail, particularly staining / yellowing? Were you able to fix it? Let me know in the comments!
5 comments on “Dealing with Smokey Lolita Clothing”
Have you tried vinegar? I haven’t tried it on nicotine stains particularly, but it’s worked on some old sweat stains before, so many that will bulge it. Or lemon juice.
I can’t say for certain on smoke stains, but Grandmas Secret Stain Remover has gotten out even some heat–set stains of unknown origin that had been in clothes for years. It also removed chicken grease from holy lantern without damaging the flocking. Can give it a shot if its not too expensive where you live; comes in a tiny 2 oz bottle or a 16 oz spray bottle.
Have you tried the oxiclean paste method? I know I’ve read a better description of it somewhere, but now all I have bookmarked is this: https://www.thehairpin.com/2012/08/ask-a-clean-person-still-with-the-armpits/
I’ve managed to save even some yellowed, ancient (does this brand still use shoulder pads?) Pink House blouses this way:
1. In a small bowl, mix a scoop or so of oxiclean powder with just enough hot water to form a goopy paste. (Hot water activates the main ingredients in oxiclean.)
2. Dampen the discolored fabric and apply the paste. Let it sit only for a minute or two, while the washtub fills.
*In your case, you might want to take extra care in only applying the paste to the white collar; I’ve found green fabrics to be a little unpredictable in how they respond to some stain removers (maybe it depends how much blue the dye has in it, idk. Most are fine, but one skirt of mine now has a white patch courtesy of a tide2go pen).
3. depends on how worried you are about color bleeding. Most effective method is soaking the garment for up to 2 hours in a tub of hot water with some extra oxiclean and gentle detergent dissolved into it (don’t bother to rinse the paste off the stain first). Then rinse/launder as usual.
In your case, just machine-washing it with an appropriate amount of added oxiclean powder thrown in and an extra rinse cycle would probably be safest. Corduroy should be all right, but I definitely wouldn’t use this cleaning agent with velveteen or wool.
re: tobacco smells, one skirt I bought arrived smelling so bad it made my eyes water. I stuck it in an XL ziplock bag with a box-worth of baking soda for a month (forgot about it tbh). Then I opened the bag OUTSIDE to shake out the baking soda, and that stuff smelled incredibly bad, which I guess means it worked? The skirt itself smelled less horrible. After I washed it, it smelled as good as new.
In retrospect, something like this might have been less messy than the baking soda: https://innofresh.com/products/ but idk how reliable those plastic boxes would be at keeping the charcoal contained.
(Sorry, didn’t mean to dump a 5-paragraph essay on your blog. Most of my wardrobe is old and was purchased cheaply secondhand, so I’ve developed strong opinions that I never wanted to have about laundry.)
Before you cut it off and replace it, you could try one of these oxi clean detergents. If you are afraid to discolour the print, maybe detach the collar with a eam ripper and then you can use some harsher methods.
I actually saved a print with an evil milk coffee stain by using bleach- I painted the coffee stain on the white parts away with a small brush. The bleach I used was actually a bathroom cleaner against mildew, it was a chlorine based one.
If the collar is made of synthetics, you could also use a specialty curtain detergent.
I feeI you here, I received a VM lace choker that came from a smocking place. I’m glad venting it was enough.
About the stains, I saved a badly yellowed white cuffs on a dress with Tide to Go where pure bleach did nothing. Worth a try.