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Mildew + acetic acid = what have I created???

Question asked by Marian Wilson on Oct 5, 2018

This might be silly, or it might be super interesting.  I don't know.

I found some old cotton fabric in my basement and thought I'd start a quilting project.  The cloth smelled mildewy, like cloth kept in damp basements does.

 

I soaked it in a vinegar solution (about 150mL white vinegar 5% in 40 L tap water, in the washing machine tub (metal), for about 2 hours.  When I opened the lid, I was hit with a sulfur-ish odor.  Also a little petroleum-ish.

 

I've aired the fabric for 24 hours, and it still has that smell.  Is it just my nose unable to combine two odors?  Or did a reaction take place?  I treat stinky clothes with vinegar all the time, and this is a first.

 

No mothballs were involved in the storage of the cloth.

 

Obviously this is not urgent.  I'm just curious!  Thank you!

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