Updated: Dec 30, 2022
New York is one of my favorite places. It is the antithesis to my love of the outdoors, but I love to visit for a hit of great food and art. When my wife was expecting our first child we were fortunate to visit and attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my parents and some family friends. I walked down and staked out a prime spot at the corner of Bryant Park and laid a huge wool blanket down around 6 am. Before I knew it 9 o'clock rolled around and suddenly 100 strangers were standing all over my blanket. Well, the parade was wonderful. Afterwards, I threw the blanket in a plastic bag and into the suitcase and enjoyed my time in the city.
When we arrived home I put the blanket in the wash thinking, I'll wash it and all will be fine. Not! Glory Hallelujah! The stench of New York street funk would gag a nurse when water hit the wool! I suppose it was a mixture of vomit from New Years Eve 1978 and Fudgesicle juice from the kids next to us during the parade along with many other decade old traces of street dirt too heinous to name that had permeated the blanket.
After repeated washing with Clorox 2, baking soda, detergents and scalding water I figured the blanket would have to be thrown out with the garbage. A friend of mine told me to use simple white vinegar before I disposed of the reeking textile. Her son, an avid athlete, often had smelly clothing that could be used for biological attack. A cup of vinegar in her wash removed all odor. Since then, years after and two sons later, vinegar is my go to for odor problems of all kind. With two boys, you can bet we have them!
For extremely bad cases you can soak a garment for an hour or two in a mixture of water, vinegar and detergent. Anyway, this unlikely house husband urges you to keep a gallon of white vinegar in your laundry cabinet along with your detergent arsenal.