7 Ways to Freshen Up Newly Thrifted Finds

Whenever you buy second-hand clothing, it’s a good idea to wash before wearing. Unlike new clothing, pre-loved clothing sometimes brings the smell and the look of someone else's closet. Use these tips to clean and improve the condition of your clothes. 

If you buy your second-hand clothing from chain stores where cleanliness standards are low, it’s a good idea to wash before wearing. Unlike new clothing, preloved clothing sometimes comes with unpleasant smells, stains or sizing issues. 

These issues can be disappointing, but they’re no reason to give up on thrift. Here are some easy ways to freshen up your finds. 

  1. Spray with vodka to eliminate odor

Vodka is the nemesis of odor-causing bacteria. Pour some in a spray-bottle and lightly mist your thrited item to get rid of lingering smells.  

  1. Place clothes in a plastic bag in the freezer 

If you suspect moths or you feel haunted by a lingering odor, toss your thrifted clothing into a plastic bag and stash it in the freezer overnight. Unlike washing, this gentle method adds zero wear and tear to the piece of clothing. 

  1. Sandpaper your jeans

Sometimes jeans come with strange patterns of fading. You might notice a wallet shape protruding from the back pocket, for instance. You can blend the faded parts with 220 grit sandpaper. 

  1. Stretch leather shoes with a hair dryer

It’s difficult to find perfectly fitting shoes, especially when they’re second-hand. Sometimes leather shoes fit a bit too snugly around the toes or heel. Fortunately, leather is often forgiving. Throw on a pair of socks and use the heat of a hair dryer to relax the leather to a more comfortable shape.  

  1. Add insoles to shoes that are too large

Sometimes you refuse to pass on collectible sneaks, even when they’re a size too large. Try adding insoles to reduce the extra space in the shoe.  

  1. Remove make-up stains with hairspray or shaving cream

Make-up has this frustrating tendency to smudge all over clothes, especially shirt collars. If you find that your thrifted tee has someone’s leftover make-up on it, you can try these simple fixes. If you find a lipstick stain, treat it with hairspray and then wash it. Or, if you spot foundation, then treat it before washing with shaving cream. 

  1. Get rid of sweaty pit stains with lemon juice or baking soda

Sometimes a thrifted tee’s design is so great you don’t realize that it has yellow stains under the sleeves. I know what you’re thinking: ew! The best thing to try is treating the stain with lemon juice first. If this doesn’t work, rub a paste of baking soda and water into the stains. Let it settle for a while, and then throw your tee into the wash. 

We certainly hope you don’t need to use these tricks! But just in case, you’re now prepared for the worst. 

All of Goodfair’s clothing is preloved and will need a wash before you flaunt your secondhand threds. Not sure where to start? Layer on a comfy fleece jacket.


Article Written by Erica Eller

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