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Risks of buying second-hand

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    Risks of buying second-hand



    Hey all, new member on dappered threads here, enjoying all the info I've gleaned so far. You guys have gotten me thinking about buying stuff second-hand (thrifts, ebay, etc). However, I've wanted to know how you handle cleanliness. Specifically, I would hate to introduce moths or bedbugs into my wardrobe because of a "bargain". What preventive steps do you take? Do you put them dry into the dryer for 30 minutes or have them dry cleaned to kill any potential intruders? What do you think about the risk of contamination (or whatever you want to call it) when buying second-hand? Also, what are the tell-tale signs that an article of clothing has critters in it?


    #2


    I hadn't really thought about the presence of bed bugs in secondhand clothes. Then again, I live in a dry, high-altitude climate where moths and beg bugs are quite rare.


    I definitely wash my thrifted items thoroughly before wearing, if it's something like a shirt. Blazers get steamed (by me) or dry-cleaned before wearing, depending on their condition. I wash my own woolen knits and even machine-washed a blazer once (it turned out fine).


    Keeping cedar inserts in your closet and dresser drawers is a good way to prevent moth infestation. Cedar oil is toxic to insects so they will avoid it instinctively. I have little blocks of cedar that I put in all the corners of my drawers, and hanging cedar inserts interspersed in my closet. Suits and blazers get stored in breathable cloth garment bags with their own cedar inserts inside. I haven't had any trouble with bugs, but as I said, I live in a bug-unfriendly climate to begin with. The precaution might be unnecessary but it seems like a good habit to be in.


    You can usually tell if clothing has been in contact with moths, as it will have telltale moth holes that are easy to spot when holding the garment up to a light source. Moth-eaten clothing is worthless anyway - repairing the damage requires reweaving which is prohibitively expensive for most people.

    Ben

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      #3


      I haven't given it that much thought either. Now you've got me all paranoid


      Moths don't usually do well with jostling, light, or moving around, so I think the thrift donation, display, etc. process discourages their spread. Re-weaving isn't prohibitively expensive. I think it's only about $40-50 per hole, so it could work for something with one or two holes. It's just not worth it for most garments. If I found a cashmere Kiton with one moth hole? Yeah, I'd be getting it to a reweaver.

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        #4


        Oh bed bugs.... I hadn't really thought of that either and now I'm paranoid too. I have heard some horror stories about them but am pretty ignorant about the subject. Moths are a lot easier to deal with if you catch it in time but bed bugs sound like a nightmare.


        On the other hand you might have more risk from staying at a hotel...even a nice one.

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          #5


          If you're worried, clear some space in your freezer: 1-2 weeks at 0┬░ is thought to reliably kill bed bugs at all life stages. Probably most effective with a freezer that isn't opened and closed much, though, like a box freezer if you have one.


          http://bedbugger.com/2007/08/04/faq-...-and-how-long/

          Ben

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            #6


            I've been on the lookout for a good moth-infested garment. Down here in the southwest we call moths "protein".

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              #7


              Wtf. Does this really happen?

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                #8


                @ Jose - No idea. I've never heard of it happening, and it's certainly never happened to me. But it does make me wonder.

                Ben

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                  #9


                  Thx for the replies. Yeah, I've heard some horror stories about bedbugs but to be clear not specifically about eBay/thrifting, but they got me thinking about the possibility of such a situation.


                  Im also probably a bit paranoid - sorry if I'm spreading that around. The freezer tip is interesting, but I don't exactly have space for one nor do I want to have to spend the $ to buy one (though over time it would be cheaper than sending everything to the dry cleaner's). Maybe if I become serious about thrifting. I've been reading and apparently heat is more reliable at killing them off so I'll give that a shot. I'll also invest in a good amount of cedar accessories for good measure.


                  Reassuring to hear no one here has had any troubles tho. I'm living in Milan for a short time so I'm thinking there could be some gems at thrift stores around here. I'll post if I find anything.


                  Does anyone have a reweaving service that they can recommend?

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                    #10


                    You know, it completely slipped my mind to post some guidelines about "thrifting cleanliness". Firstly, I store all my new finds separate from my ready-to-wear clothes. Anything that can be washed in the washing machine gets thrown in before they are hung with the regulars. I have a steamer at home and I thoroughly steam anything that can't be washed in the washer. If you don't have a steamer, get them steamed and pressed at the cleaners. They don't have to be dry-cleaned if they're not soiled, but they need to at least be steamed to kill germs and bugs. Finally, all my clothes are stored with some cedar hanging around.


                    I have read horror stories of moths and bedbugs. Why take the risk? I'm no germ-a-phobe but the preventative measures are pretty easy to handle. We're not restoring old cars.

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                      #11


                      Agree with all of the above. I know people who lived in a condo adjacent (shared firewall) to someone that had bedbugs; somehow that couple got bugs too and it cost them about $600 to exterminate.


                      That said, I haven't done more than steam clean / dry clean used items. I haven't bought anything other than jackets, suits, and shoes second hand. Mostly because I can't find anything to fit my frame. Regarding leather shoes, I usually strip off the polish on the outside using saddle soap anyway and spray the inside with rubbing alcohol.

                      My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs

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