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getting the stink out - removing perfume smells from cloth

 
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Alana Rose,

I once bought a secondhand Kleen Kanteen insulated food thermos off the internet and was surprised how flowery it smelled when I received it, like something artificial and probably inedible was kept in it. The unappealing smell persisted even after I washed it and stored it with the lid on. It took me awhile to get rid of the smell. I first sprinkled a bunch of baking soda inside, put the lid on and left it for about a week. Then I washed it again, put the lid on and waited a day before giving it another sniff test. If I could still detect the smell, I repeated the baking soda process, plus aired it outside in the sun on very warm days. Eventually this cleared up the smell and I felt comfortable using it for food. Frustrating purchase, but it was fixable. Hope this offers a way to approach your situation with the instapot.

And I would not advise using steel wool. I've added more scratches to a secondhand ss skillet once with that idea, and it was many more than one would want.
 
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When a stainless steel pot comes from the factory, the inside is usually highly polished.  So much so that it's more non-stick than a non-stick coating.  If, from the start, we can stop it from getting scratched, it can act like a non-stick for decades.  But anything harder than a fingernail (like metal) or adding salt to a cold pan can cause scratches and pits that rough up the surface and trap foodstuff (and smells) and also make the pot harder to wash.

You can buy specific stainless steel polish and this works marvellously well at restoring the inside of a pot (I use it for high-quality second-hand pots).  But it's expensive and the chemicals make my skin try to fall off a bit.  For mild scratches, a paste of baking soda and water, scrubbed in the bottom until the arm is too tired, once a day until it's better does the trick.  I think this would also get rid of the chemicals as it would reduce the micro scratches it can hide.  

Scrub buds (plastic and metal), as well as abrasive sponges, seem to scratch the pans very easily in their eagerness to get the food off.  
 
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r ranson wrote:… If, from the start, we can stop it from getting scratched, it can act like a non-stick for decades.  But anything harder than a fingernail (like metal) or adding salt to a cold pan can cause scratches and pits that rough up the surface and trap foodstuff (and smells) and also make the pot harder to wash.

You can buy specific stainless steel polish and this works marvellously well at restoring the inside of a pot (I use it for high-quality second-hand pots).  But it's expensive and the chemicals make my skin try to fall off a bit.  For mild scratches, a paste of baking soda and water, scrubbed in the bottom until the arm is too tired, once a day until it's better does the trick.  I think this would also get rid of the chemicals as it would reduce the micro scratches it can hide.  

Scrub buds (plastic and metal), as well as abrasive sponges, seem to scratch the pans very easily in their eagerness to get the food off.  



I’ve made a baking soda paste, rubbed and let it  dry on the pot over night… I scrubbed and rinsed it this morning. I can’t smell any fragrance but my sense of smell isn’t terrific anymore so I made another baking soda paste all over it and will let that sit again today.

I didn’t have any steel wool… so I didn’t try that. I do have hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle so I may try that tomorrow after I rinse out the baking soda, for good measure.

Perhaps, I’ll just boil water in the pot to test if the smell gets in the water so I don’t sacrifice any more expensive organic food before I know for sure.

Thanks permies!
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Alana Rose wrote:

Perhaps, I’ll just boil water in the pot to test if the smell gets in the water so I don’t sacrifice any more expensive organic food before I know for sure.

I certainly wouldn't want to risk a lot of food, but adding a single noodle to the boiling water might be a good test as the food may be more prone to absorbing the chemical scent than the water.
 
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Hopefully the baking soda paste has fixed the problem. Would love to hear if it did! I'm really glad you posted about this, Alana. I just got a used instant pot and discovered it smells like whatever it is artificial fragrances are supposed to smell like. I normally try to smell used items before getting them, but wouldn't have even thought to smell the inside of such an appliance! I don't know how it got so stinky, but very glad to have the knowledge of how to approach fixing it!
 
Alana Rose
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Jay Angler wrote:I certainly wouldn't want to risk a lot of food, but adding a single noodle to the boiling water might be a good test as the food may be more prone to absorbing the chemical scent than the water.



Excellent suggestion!

I did the 1 noodle water test (I had to buy more noodles) and I didn’t notice any soapy taste or smell so hooray!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help.
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OUR PERENNIAL NURSERY HAS SPROUTED! 🌿
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