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Removing sweat from Dry Clean Only suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Chich, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Chich

    Chich Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I have a few MTM suits which I rotate for work and air out in a poorly (?) ventilated room (standard living room, no open windows) while not in use. Unfortunately it seems as though the woollen patch "sweat guard" sewn into my underarm lining is beginning to smell a bit funky from perspiration although apart from that my jackets are clean. the problem is that these suits are obviously dry clean only and realistically I need to remove this odour on a weekly basis, so dry cleaning them all this regularly will obviously kill the suits. speaking to my tailor this evening, he recommends not washing the jacket as he says doing so will damage the canvas, however spot cleaning just the sweat guards i can "give it a shot".

    now the problem is that i've spent close to the whole week reading up on everything i could find regarding how to remove underarm odours from jackets however it seems as though whatever one person suggests or recommends (water/vinegar, water/vodka, baking soda paste, baking soda powder, steamer) another person recommends against or advisors not to do. i've tried airing out the worst of the jackets in an 'inside out, arms pegged up' position in my living room that gets a bit of draft however after 2 days the smell hasn't subsided in the slightest.

    i suppose my question is, would getting the canvas wet really damage it and what do you guys do to remove this odour? i can't be the only person on the planet that sweats right? what do you guys do and does it work? suggestions please, how do you guys manage this problem?

    thanks
     
  2. CousinDonuts

    CousinDonuts Well-Known Member

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    So a steamer and some deoderant doesn't work? Those 2 plus Febreeze plus steam it again in the shower?
     
  3. CousinDonuts

    CousinDonuts Well-Known Member

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    as in, you wear better deoderant..
     
  4. GothamRed

    GothamRed Well-Known Member

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    CD is 100% right. Prevention is the best medicine.

    However, for the currently smelly jackets (and the below applies only to the interior of the jacket, particularly the pads)...​

    spray lightly (don't saturate), brush with a medium stiffness brush, air out

    [​IMG]

    spray lightly (don't saturate), brush with a stiff-ish brush, air out​

    [​IMG]

    dilute in a small bowl of cold water according to the directions, use a smaller brush, avoid saturation

    [​IMG]

    i use #1 as part of my daily routine (brush with clothing brush after wearing, lightly spray, air out on valet, then put away)​
     
  5. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    ]Is the smell confined to the underarm patch? If that's the case, why not have your tailor replace it rather than clean it?

    How often are you wearing the suits and are you wearing them back to back days?

    I'm fairly confident that the OP is wearing deodorant or he wouldn't be asking the question, so a better deodorant seems to be a silly suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  6. GothamRed

    GothamRed Well-Known Member

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    I am as well, which is why I seconded the "better" comment. It took me a little while to find the right one.
     
  7. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Shave your pits every week and use deodorant/anti perspirant. Prevention is better than cure.

    As for the suits, try some of these remedies but it is likely that they may not work so get ready to burn them and start again.
     
  8. msulinski

    msulinski Well-Known Member

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    Some people who never wash their raw denim say that putting the garment in the freezer for a few days kills the odor. Obviously seal it in a bag.
     
  9. Chich

    Chich Well-Known Member

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    Wow thanks for all the replies guys, I'll try address them one at a time...


    To be honest I haven't tried steaming yet, it seems as though most people say that they're steaming their suits (either in the shower or with an actual steamer), however there is the odd poster who claims doing so will destroy the fabric. I figured I'll get more opinions on steaming before I go out and buy one. I have no problem with doing so, however buying a cheap one I'm guessing will be pointless and spending a few hundred dollars just to test out whether it'll work or not seems a bit risky to me. So thoughts on steamers?

    Febreze I haven't tried yet as there seems to be more people saying not to use it rather than those saying to. From my understanding it contains undesirable chemicals which harm the fabric, so I suppose it'll be my last resort prior to dry cleaning.

    Totally agree that prevention is the best plan however unfortunately I'm one of those people who naturally just run a few degree's too hot and my body compensates by perspiring rather quickly. My current deodorant scheme is a 'natural crystal deodorant' spray followed up by either a CK One or Aqua Di Gio roll on, this seems to be working out the best for me and normal deodorants do next to nothing for me and anti-perspirant's cause funky reactions. I've ordered some bottles of Dr.Mist to see if this helps any better, saw the recommendation elsewhere on this forum.

    Thanks for the recommendation on that spray, I've had a quick look and it seems as though importing it will cost me about 3 times the actual price of the product, so I'll have to hunt around for a reseller in Australia. I'm assuming since you use this spray each time you wear your suit that it doesn't cause any/much damage to the wool?

    Yes its (for now) just confined to the underarm "sweat guard" patch. Having my tailor replace it on a weekly basis is unpractical so I'm hoping for a more efficient solution. I rotate my 4 suits on a daily basis, never wearing the same one back to back. When not wearing a particular suit a hang it up for 'airing out' however not having a breeze in the room probably isn't helping much at all. Unfortunately though as stated above, I tend to perspire a bit more then the average guy so I need to figure something out asap.

    Yeah I trim my pits down to #2 (barely noticable hair), it helps but unfortunately the problem still persist. Burning the jackets doesn't seem like my wallet would still want to be friends with me :p


    Interesting, I've also heard of other using the fridge/freezer. I suppose it couldn't hurt and I'll give it a go if nothing else works.



    ....wow so does really no one else have this issue of sweating a lot? Surely I can't be that unhygienic, I shower on a daily/bi-daily basis :S

    thanks for the help guys
     
  10. HansderHund

    HansderHund Well-Known Member

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    Well, I suggested having it replaced for now as it's the current source. I wouldn't think you'd have to do it every time you wear the suit. Febreeze can discolor some synthetic fabrics, it did so on the straps of my rucksack. Keep that in mind if you spray the lining.
     
  11. Flyswatter

    Flyswatter Well-Known Member

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    Are you wearing an undershirt? Unless you work outside all day in 110 degree heat (in which case, why would you be wearing a suit?), I find it hard to believe that you sweat so significantly through trimmed pits+deodorant+undershirt+dress shirt through to your suit enough for it to leave a lingering stench. If this is the case, then damn, what a problem to have. :confused: Seems like all potential solutions have already been mentioned, so I got nothin'.
     
  12. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Well-Known Member

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    I too run hot and gave up on traditional spray on antiperspirant a years ago. I would suggest tho that using a scented roll on over the natural product will reduce its efficacy. I use pit-rok solid crystal and while it doesn't stop me sweating the smell never develops I suppose as the bacteria don't grow. Try cutting the roll on out. Plus if you're gonna burn anything, burn the CK One! That stuff's just rank! IMO of course :D
     
  13. Chich

    Chich Well-Known Member

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    My suits are allegedly Caesar Romeo 150's wool with silk linings...not sure what effect febreeze would have on the fabrics, not courageous enough to find out until its a last resort. Just out of curiosity, has anyone even heard of Caesar Romeo? Any ideas on the quality?


    No I wasn't wearing an undershirt however it would have only been maybe 3 four hour sessions of generally 'low impact' activities...seems as though it was enough to make it carry a funky smell :(


    I feel for you man. I've already ordered a few Dr.Mist's that I'm waiting to arrive, if that doesn't work out I'll get my hands on Pit-Rok. Just out of curiosity do you use the roll on or spray? I don't care much about the sweating, as long as it doesn't smell that fine, I can live with that. I've gone through phases where I've cut out the scented roll on's however I seem to funk up more quickly without them...and I definitely agree that CK One perfume smells like total junk..the roll on deodorant though is a completely different smell ;)
     
  14. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Well-Known Member

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    Pit-rok is a solid crystal. You apply it like a roll on straight after showering while you're still wet. It's bacteriostatic and I've found one application lasts all day. No sweat smell at all. We're actually having a summer in Scotland just now so its getting put thru its paces!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  15. Chich

    Chich Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I've just been looking at reviews, sounds like a quality product. Will definitely be getting some shipped over from the UK if Dr.Mist fails. Thanks for the heads up ;)
     
  16. stubloom

    stubloom Well-Known Member

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    Before you "invest" in a steamer, I'd suggest that you read about steamers and the negatives associated with the misapplication of steam at http://www.tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com. Enter STEAMERS in the search engine (top right corner). Bespoke tailor, Chris Despos, has a saying that I just love...STEAM IS EVIL.

    Regarding perspiration and the removal of perspiration stains and related odor from wool suits, it's important to recognize that dry cleaning solvents and fluids are primarily used to emulsify oil-based stains such as body oils, lotions, creams, cooking oils, etc.

    Perspiration (and related salts and acids), on the other hand, is a water-based stain and no amount of dry cleaning can remove water-based stains. (Other examples of water-based stains include, soda, coffee, beer, wine, juice, etc.). Given that water-based stains don't "dissolve" in dry cleaning, a skilled stain technician must remove ALL water-based stains by "flushing out" the water-based stains BEFORE the garment ever enters the inside of a dry cleaning machine. If not, the acids and salts from perspiration remain in the fabric causing the fabric to smell when the underarm areas "warm up" during wearing. Furthermore, perspiration coupled with certain antiperspirants causes the fabric to "rot out" over time.

    One way to tell whether your dry cleaner has removed the perspiration from a dry clean only garment is to hit the underarms with a source of steam (say from a hand iron). If there is perspiration in the underarms, you'll definitely smell it.

    Suggestion: take your suit to a cleaner that employs skilled stain removal technicians (caution: most cleaners don't). Make sure that they thoroughly flush out the underarms prior to dry cleaning. Flushing is equivalent to washing the underarms multiple times on a spotting board using a strong jet of steam from a spotting gun.

    The longer the perspiration remains, the more difficult it will be to remove all the perspiration from the suit coat. Just one more reason that caution should be exercised when buying "gently used" suits online. The suit may look great on the surface -- no stains, no moth damage -- but the odor can sometimes be overpowering and extremely difficult to remove despite multiple attempts at flushing and cleaning.

    Hope this helps sift through the option that have been suggested.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  17. Chich

    Chich Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, thanks for the advice stubloom. Just to expand on a couple of things you've mentioned, obviously dry cleaning won't help remove the odour smell as you've mentioned thats a water based stain which dry cleaning solvents don't remove (also there's to discolouration or actual visible stain, only the odour smell), therefore if my jacket is otherwise "clean" then would the dry cleaning be necessary after the flushing? For that matter if flushing is similar to steaming and steaming is supposed to be bad for a suit, then isn't flushing just as bad? And finally, if flushing is similar to steaming then why not just steam the underarm area myself with a good quality 'spot steamer'?

    Apologies, I don't mean to be breaking your balls about it, I'm just curious as I have a lack of knowledge in this area and you seem to be very knowledgeable about it.

    Cheers
     
  18. stubloom

    stubloom Well-Known Member

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    I'll try to answer your questions as carefully as possible. Please excuse my bluntness.

    1. The notion that dry cleaning is "bad" for fine garments is, to put it mildly, utter nonsense.

    Skilled dry cleaning and hand pressing will not harm or deteriorate your fine garments. Poor dry cleaning and poor pressing will. The reason that your tailor cautions you about "dry cleaning" in general is two fold: Firstly, these tailors have often witnessed the results of poor cleaning and pressing. Secondly, it's far easier to provide a blanket warning about dry cleaning than it is to educate you on the hundreds of differences -- some subtle some substantial -- between true quality cleaning and ordinary, bang and hang cleaning.

    Garments should be dry cleaned when environmental factors dictate, and, at the very least, before you store them for the season. If you are concerned about dry cleaning, I would advise you to educate yourself about the subject as a basis for locating a true quality cleaner you can trust. And I'm not talking about the one around the corner from your house, on your way to work or in the same plaza as the supermarket you visit once a week.

    If you are still concerned about your garments tumbling in a dry cleaning machine, consider a sponge and press on a more frequent basis. This service is offered by two or three cleaners in the USA.

    2. Steaming is not pressing. Quality pressing involves the application, by a skilled craftsperson, of steam to relax the fibers and, immediately thereafter, vacuum to dry the moisture. Steaming by a dry cleaner, steaming through the use of a hand held steamer or steaming by hanging a garment in a steamy bathroom involves the indiscriminate application of steam to all areas of a garment and, in all probability, undoing much of the work that has been imparted by the tailor in shaping and molding the fabric.

    For more on this...

    http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...he-myth-of-pressing-a-garment-with-steam.aspx

    3. Flushing is not steaming. Think of flushing as a pinpointed, carefully directed fine jet of steam to a very specific area of the fabric. That could be some food particle that's dried on your lapel or, in your case, the entire underarm area of your suit jacket (lining and outer fabric).
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  19. Chich

    Chich Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, thank you for your help stubloom. Now just to find myself a good dry cleaner....any suggestions on how or how to probe them to determine if they're good before I try?

    Cheers mate
     
  20. stubloom

    stubloom Well-Known Member

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    Here's some reading material. Invest a half hour of your time and you'll know more about true quality cleaning than most "dry cleaners"!

    1. The shocking word of ordinary dry cleaning and shirt laundry.

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...d-of-ordinary-drycleaning--shirt-laundry.aspx

    2. The 10 deadly sins of ordinary dry cleaners

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q.../the-10-deadly-sins-of-ordinary-cleaners.aspx

    3. A brief guide to understanding dry cleaning solvents and fluids

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...standing-drycleaning-solvents-and-fluids.aspx

    4. Your dry cleaning bill of rights

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/4/13/your-drycleaning-bill-of-rights.aspx

    5. A true quality cleaner's dry cleaning standards

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...-quality-cleaner's-drycleaning-standards.aspx

    6. Meet the press

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2011/1/31/meet-the-press.aspx

    7. Glitz and the illusion of true quality cleaning

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...nd-the-illusion-of-true-quality-cleaning.aspx

    8. Understanding the difference between quality of product and quality of service and conveniences

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...t-vs-quality-of-service-and-conveniences.aspx

    9. Caring for bespoke garments (part one)

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...3/caring-for-bespoke-garments-(part-one).aspx

    10. Caring for bespoke garments (part two)

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...4/caring-for-bespoke-garments-(part-two).aspx

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

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