Does goodwill wash their clothes: Truth Behind Thrift Shop Odors

Goodwill and other thrift shops have been popular destinations for bargain hunters and those who want to help the environment by buying second-hand clothing. However, whether these stores wash their clothes before selling them often arises. Does Goodwill wash their clothes before selling them? In this article, we will take an in-depth look at this question.

The Truth About Goodwill’s Clothes

Goodwill Industries International is a non-profit organization that provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities or are otherwise disadvantaged. One of their most popular services is thrift stores, where people can donate gently used clothes and other items, and shoppers can purchase them at affordable prices.

Does goodwill wash their clothes

Goodwill does not wash clothes. Many assume Goodwill washes their clothes before putting them on the shelves. However, this is different. Goodwill uses a generic deodorizer to mist their clothing to cover up any odors. This saves time and money because laundering so many items would be costly. Washing clothes would be time-consuming and increase the expense of the goods. Clothes donations are often delivered in trash bags and left outdoors all night, which exposes them to pests, including mice, fleas, and lice. As a result, Goodwill discards any stench-filled clothing to maintain the quality of their products.

The smell of thrift shops can be off-putting to some people, and it’s unsurprising why. According to a lab test conducted by the New York Times, 66 percent of the odors come from the previous wearer’s body. Sweat, natural oils, and dead skin comprise this substance, while environmental factors cause the remaining 33%.

Fortunately, there are ways to remove the unpleasant odors from thrift clothes. One method is to set the clothes out in the sun to air out. Another is to clean them with a disinfectant to kill bacteria and freshen them up.

It would be fantastic if all second-hand shops could vacuum wash and air-dry their clothes before selling them. This would remove smells and reduce the stigma of buying used clothes. It would also help reduce our reliance on fresh clothes and decrease the negative impact of fast fashion on the environment.

Why Goodwill Doesn’t Wash Their Clothes

Goodwill and other thrift stores do not wash their clothing items. Instead, they use a generic deodorizer to mist their clothes. This practice masks any unpleasant odors from clothing that hasn’t been worn in a long time. The reason behind this is that it would be costly to launder so many items and take up a lot of time.

The leading cause of thrift shop odors is the result of clothing items that are collected and delivered in trash bags. These bags may remain outside all night, regardless of the temperature, pests, and other environmental factors. This can lead to clothing items with a strong odor that must be masked.

According to a lab test conducted by the New York Times, 66 percent of the odor in second-hand clothing comes from the body of the person who previously wore the clothes. This includes sweat, natural oils, and dead skin. The remaining 33 percent of odors come from environmental factors such as air pollution, vehicle fumes, and food.


In conclusion, Goodwill does not wash their clothes but uses a generic deodorizer to mist them. While this may be off-putting to some people, there are ways to remove the smells from thrift clothes. As we move towards a more sustainable future, we must consider the impact of our fashion choices and support second-hand shops. By doing so, we can help reduce waste and protect the environment.

Also Read: Evaless reviews: Is it a Legit Online Store for Women’s Fashion?

Leave a Comment