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Stinky Curtains

(50 Posts)
Willow500 Mon 12-Aug-19 07:54:54

Help! My husband is driving me mad complaining about his newish curtains smelling like sweat. They're blackout curtains and have only had minimum use (second home) but every time he's here he says the same thing whenever he goes near them even blaming the cat at one point. Like Victor Meldrew in frustration I've told him not to go near the bloody curtains grin I've hardly any smell so can't tell what he's talking about but I need to shut him up so does anyone have any magic solutions to get rid of it. I'm guessing it's something to do with the lining but as they're dry clean only I can't wash them. I wondered if I could spray them with a diluted fabric conditioner?

Bathsheba Mon 12-Aug-19 07:56:25

Or Febreze?

aggie Mon 12-Aug-19 08:00:48

can you close them but leave the windows open so that a breeze gets to the fabric ? I am not a fan of Febreze but it might be the lesser of two evils , just try a small area first though

stella1949 Mon 12-Aug-19 08:04:27

If they are blackout curtains with a rubber backing, you can wash the rubber - I've done it several times despite the tag saying "dry clean only". I wipe carefully with a wet cloth soaked with mould remover, and then rinse off with another wet cloth. Open the window and let the breeze dry them thoroughly. If this is a second home , they might be getting a bit damp / mouldy in a closed-up house while you're not there.

JackyB Mon 12-Aug-19 08:06:26

Febreze is supposed to be for that sort of thing isn't it? Keep the windows open as much as possible to get fresh air to them.

They are probably treated with something that may come off when you first have them dry-cleaned which could help.

They were probably stored in some dingy warehouse for ages where they picked up the smell.

And (treat this information with care) "dry clean only" is often just a safety measure on the manufacturer's part. Sometimes a gentle handwash is OK.

I would soak them in some gentle soap in the bath, rinse, let them drip dry until they are just damp, re-hang them and steam them with the steam iron held vertically. But no guarantees that would work, as you don't say what material they are made of.

Also, this may be difficult if they are made of thick fabric as they'll be heavy when wet.

fizzers Mon 12-Aug-19 08:09:39

personally, I would be tempted to take them down and put them in the washer on a rinse cycle with plenty of fabric cnditioner, BUT of course the curtains/linings could run

Or, Febreze, diluted fabric conditioner or even spray with a non staining spray deodorant

BlueBelle Mon 12-Aug-19 08:11:58

I have black out curtains at most windows and they have no smell at all however if yours have a rubbery smell could be quite annoying if you have an acute sense of smell and as you have a poor sense you wouldn’t notice it
I guess washing is an option but if it is the kind of rubber used in your particular curtains causing the smell it might not make any difference

Willow500 Mon 12-Aug-19 08:21:47

Thanks folks - I looked for Fabreze when we went shopping but couldn't see any. I think I'll risk it and put them through the washer on a delicate cycle - they're navy blue but it won't matter if the colour runs into the lining. He has the window open all the time so they've had plenty of air. The odd thing is the curtains in my bedroom are the same make just a different colour - he says they don't smell.

The mention of the warehouse storage reminds me of an fabric office chair we once bought. When we got it home and took the wrapping off it absolutely reeked of horse manure! Nothing we did with it got rid of the smell and in the end I complained to the shop owner. Very skeptical he finally agreed to come and replace it - walked into the office and reeled back in horror at the smell. He could only think it was something to do with where it had been stored - he said it was bankrupt stock - I think it might have been from a farm!!

GabriellaG54 Mon 12-Aug-19 08:22:02

every time he's here ?
I gather that your husband doesn't live with you so what you do in your home is nothing to do with him, unless, out if the goodness of your heart, you've accomodated his wish for blackout curtains for which he should be grateful.
I'd ring the shop where you bought them (or the manufacturer) to ask if washing them would compromise the blackout properties.

Liz46 Mon 12-Aug-19 08:25:13

I washed some blackout curtains on a gentle cycle and completely ruined them.

DanniRae Mon 12-Aug-19 08:57:47

Swap your curtains for his?....... (As you said he thinks yours don't smell.)

Grandma70s Mon 12-Aug-19 09:04:49


M0nica Mon 12-Aug-19 09:25:37

On a bright windy day, take them down and hang them on the line and let them have a good blow.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Aug-19 09:26:50

It s their second home gabriella
keep up

EllanVannin Mon 12-Aug-19 09:45:47

I'd bin them.

Nanabilly Mon 12-Aug-19 09:58:42

If it were you who could smell it and hubby had no smell what would you do?
Personally I would get new curtains as it's obviously upsetting him so must be pretty bad. I thermal blackout curtains in grandsons room but they have never smelt.

GabriellaG54 Mon 12-Aug-19 10:10:35

I was well aware, when I wrote my comment, that it is their second home.
The fact that they have separate bedrooms (her bedroom curtains don't smell) and the fact that the OP says 'every time he's here' not, 'every time we're here', led me to conclude that he was an occasional visitor to her property.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 10:21:53

I would tell him to suck it up put up with it. Newly invented modern day materials can have an off-putting smell.

We had a new carpet in the living room a couple of years back, good quality pure wool carpet. But it gave the room a slightly fishy odour. From Googling it seemed to be down to the adhesivethe fitters used. I couldn't face complaining and having the whole job done again, so I put up with it. I came to quite like it. I associated it with newness. Its mostly gone now.

Open the window as much as you can.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 10:24:14

If you wash them you could put in a couple of those colour catcher things.

Willow500 Mon 12-Aug-19 10:37:01

GabrielleG54 we do still live together - getting on for 50 years now lol - we came for the weekend and he's gone back home to work so I thought I'd try to sort out the curtain issue. We have separate rooms here and at home.

I tried to get the curtains down but need an allen key to undo the rod so will have to try and find one but in the meantime I've sprayed them with my invisible deodorant. I think ultimately washing them is the answer.

merlotgran Mon 12-Aug-19 10:41:04

A friend of mine used to make curtains for a living. The massive school stage ones so she knew a thing or two!!

She gave me a great tip which always works....If the curtains will fit in a tumble drier, put them in one at a time with three or four fabric softener sheets that have a pleasant smell - not the cloying Lenor ones and give them 40 mins on the cool setting.

We live in a dry and dusty part of East Anglia so I've done this quite a few times with curtains that can't be washed.

Rose30 Mon 12-Aug-19 11:25:06

I paid a lot for same curtains for a large window. Smelt awful and they were in my letting room. They didn't cut out the light either much - it showed all round the edges.

The smell was muchorse when the sun shone and it was a south facing window. Washed them. The curtains shrank, the lining didn't so now they looked awful! I cut my losses and sent them to charity and bought a pair of £10 curtains from another charity shop. I'll get shutters soon. I have 3 sets in other rooms and they work beautifully!!

Rose30 Mon 12-Aug-19 11:26:24

I mean MUCH WORSE! I suggest you make your husband happy and get rid of them!

Aepgirl Mon 12-Aug-19 11:32:02

Fresh air and ANYTHING BUT FEBREZE which leaves its own horrid smell

frankie74 Mon 12-Aug-19 11:33:23

Swap bedrooms with him?