Saturday, March 30, 2013

Close to Home

Don’t you love it when you only go to two sales, they’re both less than a mile from home, they both start early, and you find good stuff – stuff that’s been on your “look for” list – at both? AND it’s a gorgeous sunny weekend with spring blooms busting out all over the place? I say woo hoo!

Cherry blossoms on Holiday Dr.Spring bloomsSpring flowers

Sales around here generally start at 9 in the morning, and they’re tetchy if you show up early. (As they have every right to be.) Since I go to the dog park every morning, I have to keep an eye on the time on weekends so I don’t miss too much good stuff. Of course I rarely have to keep an eye on the time the rest of the week, so no need for pity. (Yes, I know perfectly well just how good I have it.) But both Friday and Saturday this week there were sales at 8:00, close to home. So I could swoop by on my way to the park. Thus I arrive before all the good stuff (if any) has been carried off, and the neighborhood gets to enjoy my dogs barking in the car. (Guess I win on that one.) I thought at first that Friday’s sale was all kid stuff, but right away I picked up two terrific bath mats for a buck each. The green stripe looks great in our master bath.


However, there’s a downside. First you have to know that my husband and I absolutely detest scented laundry products. Dryer sheets especially. I know, I know, a lot of you swear by them. To each her own; all my nose detects is chemicals, and really strong ones at that. I just can’t bring myself to believe they’re good for people. And the other factor in play here is that I have a cold – and can’t smell a darned thing. Which I didn’t even realize until I got these mats home and Steven immediately threw them in the washer to get rid of the dryer sheet smell.

Except it hasn’t come out. Two wash cycles later and he says they are as strong as ever. So my question is: how does one neutralize a scent like this? I’m reluctant to use bleach in case it takes out the color. Borax? Oxyclean? Vinegar? Bury them in peat for a few months? Help!

Swirling around in the washing machine with them is a cute kid’s pajama top. A friend recently pointed out to me that if Zoe had something to wear at night she might not insist on crawling under the covers with us, and then hogging the center of the bed. It’s amazing how much room a 30 pound dog can take up. (Of course MY dogs are NOT spoiled.) Her saying that caused me to have a ‘duh’ moment, because our first Springer mix, Kate, also got cold at night and wore jammies.

Katie Flashdance

So now the Zoester has some too…except (you knew it) hers smells like dryer sheets.

Zoe in pajamasZoe dog' sPJs

I’m pleased at how well her PJs match her new ten-cent collar from a couple of weeks ago. Such a stylish girl.

Stylish Zoe

Fortunately, I did find something there – that I’ve been looking for – without dryer sheet smell. You see lots and lots of picture frames on driveways, but it’s rare to find a bunch of matching ones. Score! Nine for three bucks. Really a score.

Stack o' frames

So that took care of Friday…one sale, dog park, laundry. On Saturday I spotted another 8 a.m. sale and thought the address sounded vaguely familiar. This would be because the street is 6 blocks down the hill from my house and we pass it all the time. Thought at first there wasn’t anything here but it turned out there was more in the house, where the dad and 8 year old son were moving an armoire into the living room. They had moved out some time ago and the house has been on the market, so it was pretty empty. But in one corner I saw a rolled up rug standing on end, and I liked the design, what I could see of it, so I asked the price. Ten dollars, the dad said. I wasn’t sure I liked it ten dollars worth so I said let me think about it. Without hardly drawing breath he said, “How about five?” When I didn’t immediately say yes he threw in, “And I’ll carry it to your car for you.” By now I’m laughing and agreeing to five if the whole thing looks good, so we unrolled it. Yup, all good. About then his wife came in and he told her he’d sold the rug for five. “But I thought we were asking ten,” she said. “This woman drives a really hard bargain,” he claimed. His wife just laughed so I think she knows him pretty well.

When he stuffed the rerolled rug into the passenger seat of the car (the dogs were in the back) he said, “Your dogs will really like this rug.” You know what? He was right!

Edward likes the rugZoe on the new rug


  1. I'd try vinegar on the rugs. I hope it helps.

  2. Vinegar, definitely. Works wonders on cloth diapers and kitchen laundry at my house. I was just arguing with my otherwise frugal mother that fabric softener isn't necessary. Alas, she didn't buy explanation, that is--she still bought the fabric softener!

    1. Two votes for vinegar! Would you dilute it? If so, how much?

      Keep working on your mom. Point out how much $$ she'll save, maybe.

    2. I was going to suggest a cup or so of baking soda in the and easy..if nothing else, you deodorize your washing machine...

  3. I rather like fabric softener - each to his own. Some scents can be a little overwhelming, I admit.

    Vinegar is a miracle product. I agree, it will work. I personally think you could dilute it. I was also thinking that using baking soda might also work. It's cheap too. I would try sprinkling it generously over the rugs, letting it stand for a few hours and then vacuuming it up. The Dogs' rug is very nice!

  4. With you on those dryer sheets and the like. Not necessary and who knows what's going on with all the chemicals. They always smell off to me too. I think both the vinegar and baking soda suggestions are good ones. I am not sure the proportions of vinegar to wash water - surely a Google (or the like) search would find that out. Let us know how they come out.

  5. I have used baking soda in the wash to get out mildew smell from leaving the wash in the machine too long. I just dump about a cup in with the clothes and let them all soak for a few hours, then wash as usual. It might get out dryer sheet smell, though that stuff is tenacious. I have a windbreaker I bought at a thrift store that still smells of fabric softener after many years and many washings. Perhaps the nylon or polyester fibers hold the smell more than cotton.

  6. You may want to try ammonia first to get the smell out. Ammonia will cut any residual oils left from the dryer sheets or fabric softeners. Use the least amount of water you can get away with to wash the bath mats then at least a cup of ammonia. Let it all swish around for a bit then stop the washer and just let it sit for a couple hours to soak. Start and let run then hang outside. Sunshine and fresh air are free miracle workers, you may want to do this for a couple times of washing them as putting them in the dryer will just continue to cook the stink back in if there is any left on the fibers. I have been successful with this method on getting the stench of mothballs out of old material and blankets that I drag home from estate sales. Dryer sheets and fabric softener are full of harmful chemicals and as you have experienced they stay in the material for a long time. I can't use either with my kids as they break out in a lovely red bumpy rash. So we use white vinegar, when I remember to hit the rinse cycle and either line dry or use dryer balls. Good luck.

  7. I want to say vinegar also, though don't ask me why! It may be my New England Yankee ancestors, who used vinegar as a cure-all for anything! It can't hurt to try it!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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