First things first...when it comes to thrifting, buy what you like buuuut....if you are Certain that it is dry clean only, and you don't want to spend the cash leave it. I don't like the idea of dry cleaning chemicals so I wash it in my washing machine and hope for the best. Let me tell you that I have been Very Successful in washing thrifted clothing on delicate and then hanging things to dry....and my favorite part...Ironing! I love to iron...no joke.
But here are my recommendations for d-skunking-your-junk....
1. If it is at all too skunky DON'T BUY IT!....unless it is a Dale of Norway Sweater that maybe is from a smoker's home then dangle it out of the window while you drive home.....then wash it in Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena and add a cup of Lemon Vodka to the rinse....you heard me.
2. If it is a Barganza and you can afford to risk it.....use your washing machine on delicate, use Mrs. Meyers in cold water, hang to dry to lay flat. I washed a Ralph Lauren 100% Wool Camel Coat this way and it turned out beautifully.
3. Buy gently used items that appear to be well cared for....self explanatory.
4. Buy yourself some Citrus Vodka and a spray bottle....take a swig if you feel like it, but I'm talking about gently washing an item and spritzing it with citrus vodka (or rubbing alcohol...same theory but not as fun)to sanitize it....that's what vintage clothiers recommend.