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It’s probably because I’ve been thrifting forever, but I’ve never had an issue with my things being ‘used’.  I would say that probably 80% of all of my possessions are from thrift stores…from my clothes to my kitchen items to my decorations.  I simply have no qualms about using things that other people have already used.

I’m also not a germaphobe so that probably helps.  In case you are a germaphobe or are a secondhandaphobe, I’ve created a guide to help you clean everything you might get from a thrift store.

How to clean anything from a thrift store


Of course depending on the fabric, throw it in the washing machine.  If you’re especially phobic, go ahead and use hot water and bleach.  If it says dry clean I would probably dry clean it or hand wash it with Woolite.


Soak or wipe with rubbing alcohol and let it dry.


Rub them down with rubbing alcohol, use lysol, or put them in a ziplock and freeze them (yeah, you heard me right).

Kitchen items (dishes, silverware, baking stuff)

A good ol’ scrub with antibacterial soap and hot water should do the trick.  You can also disinfect them by soaking them in mixture of two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of hot water.

Rugs and carpets

Spray a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water on your rug.  Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then vacuum it up.  You can also buy non-toxic rug cleaner.


First of all, always inspect for any signs of bugs (unlikely though).  Wipe down hard surfaces with soap and water, vinegar, or a disinfecting spray.  Remove and wash any covers the same way you would with clothing.  Vacuum or spray with a disinfecting spray.  If you’re especially wary, buy D-Earth and follow the instructions (but essentially you wrap up the piece in plastic for a few days) it will kill any bugs.


Soak hard toys in a bleach mixture.  Throw soft toys in the washing machine.  Honestly, it won’t destroy the toys, I don’t know why toy companies would ever make toys for kids that couldn’t be washed.

Knick Knacks

Wipe them down with hot soapy water or some windex or the like.  Honestly, it’s not like you’re going to be holding these close to your body so as just get the dust off of them and they should be fine.

Any other questions let me know below!