Possible ruined finish due to bug spray

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by evildik, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. evildik

    evildik Member

    Messages:
    1,581
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Hey folks. Read your labels. I tried a new kind of bug repellent (some sort of OFF branded product that is now in the garbage can). Later, I was doing some playing and at one point noticed the finish on my SG was sticky where I had been resting my arm. I believe something in the bug spray has softened the finish and now parts of it are like they are covered with an adhesive. I’ve tried Dawn, rubbing alcohol, and naphtha with little to no effect. I’m afraid to try anything else because I don’t want to damage the finish further.

    Now that I look at the label, it does say to avoid using it around furniture finishes so I’m not going to have any recourse with the company.

    Fortunately, there’s a great luthier/refinish shop near by (Lay’s Guitar). I’m taking it to them shortly. I’m hoping it can be buffed out, but I’m afraid a refinish is in order.

    I wouldn’t have thought about bug spray being a problem but now I’m going to have to read the labels of anything that might remotely come into contact with my instruments and suggest you all do the same.

    For reference, it’s a 2013 Standard. I assume it’s laquer, but I suppose it could be a poly finish.
     
  2. steam boat

    steam boat Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,271
    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    That’s unfortunate but I appreciate the heads up. Les Paul standard?
     
  3. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,231
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    No it's whatever nitrocellulose finish Gibson uses nowadays. And bug spray will definitely mess with it, and not just new formulations of bug spray or nitro either.

    Definitely something to be careful with, along with guitar stands with rubber padding that touches the neck or body.
     
    Baxtercat, Madguitrst, Mugs and 2 others like this.
  4. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,955
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Bug spray has always been a big no no when it comes to guitars....sorry you weren't aware of it OP.

    Hopefully this thread will reach others that are not aware of the issue.
     
    Kyle B, guff, worxforme and 19 others like this.
  5. Yamariv

    Yamariv Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Bug spray is a no go for anywhere near any guitar. It actually eats into hard plastic too..I just actually sprayed myself near my car and some got onto the plastic headlight of my car and permanently ate into the headlight..Beware when you use bug spray!!

    Sorry to hear about your issue OP, hope you can get it fixed
     
    derekd likes this.
  6. SRQGuitar

    SRQGuitar Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    It's not great for humans either. I use eucalyptus citriadora, an essential oil. I put it on my neck and ears, on my clothes and just a drop here and there, legs/ankles if I'm wearing shorts. If I'm at an outdoor gig I wash my hands or wipe them with alcohol before playing. I never put it on my forearms if I'm playing. You don't need to cover every inch of your body for it to be effective. It's as strong as Deet and much safer.
     
  7. FLYING V 83

    FLYING V 83 Gibson Geezer Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,063
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, land of perpetual roadwork
    Never understood smearing a chemical all over your body for any reason other than soap for washing.
     
  8. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,231
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    Deer ticks can mess with your life worse than anything available commercially to keep them off you will.
     
  9. evildik

    evildik Member

    Messages:
    1,581
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Yeah. I just spoke with the shop. He said it’s a refinish for sure. The upside is that I can now ccjange the finish if I want. However, I’ll probably keep it as close to original as possible. It’s the Autumn Shade finish and I do like the way it looks quite a bit.

    Lesson learned. As someone else has said, I just hope the message reaches others before they have the same problem.
     
  10. Colnago

    Colnago Member

    Messages:
    930
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2017
    Location:
    Where am I?
    Let it cure a bit and then hit it with a buffing wheel. Should turn out ok.
    Sucks that this happens.
     
  11. derekd

    derekd Member

    Messages:
    36,890
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    Yeah, something like 30,000 cases of Lyme's Disease every year will certainly have you rethinking your stance on applying harsh chemicals.

    I've not heard if more natural solutions like @SRQGuitar suggests have been found to be effective. I know people swore by Avon's Skin So Soft lotion a decade or two ago.
     
  12. Hackdog69

    Hackdog69 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    the 'Nati
    That’s a real life relic job right there. Let it rest for a week or so before making any decisions
     
    Baxtercat, Trout26, jturner and 2 others like this.
  13. FLYING V 83

    FLYING V 83 Gibson Geezer Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,063
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    NJ, land of perpetual roadwork
    My niece wound up with rickets in her knees after being bit by a deer tick while covered in Off. Long pants & tube socks would've probably been better protection.
     
    derekd likes this.
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

    Messages:
    2,638
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    .

    As a kid had a nice watch ruined with bug spray, OFF! brand as that was nearly 95% of the market in those days.

    I saw a headline the other day about investigations into if a research lab had been working on weaponized ticks that lead to the release of Lyme disease.

    .
     
  15. SRQGuitar

    SRQGuitar Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    The CDC used to list eucalyptus cit. on there website as approved, calling it as strong as Deet but changed it to "not recommended" due to insufficient testing. There have been tests but not enough money devoted to it and a lot of pressure from the petrochemical industry. It works for me though and I've used it in the Everglades and the north woods of MN. Put it on the bottom of my jeans to keep the ticks off. If I was headed to a malaria zone in Africa I'd probably use the Deet. I used Deet in Costa Rica. For a gig? Give me some lemon eucalyptus. It's also great for keeping flies and gnats off me when I walk the dogs.
     
    derekd likes this.
  16. derekd

    derekd Member

    Messages:
    36,890
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    Thanks for the detailed response.

    I'll have to look for some
     
    SRQGuitar likes this.
  17. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,231
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    Maybe so. Not all Off is the same formula though, so she might have been better protected with a different one, or not.
    I agree that long pants and tube socks would be better, either way.
    I'd take them plus some deet, personally. The odds for getting lyme in the NE are pretty good.
     
    MLaVache likes this.
  18. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,413
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Location:
    Down At The Balinese
    I learned this being part of the bluegrass world for a while. Outdoor jams and campfires - it was a known thing not to let the bug spray anywhere near your D28.

    Hope it works out, OP.
     
  19. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,877
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I discovered the effects of bug spray many years ago after a night at the campfire with my Collings OM. Opened the guitar case the next morning to discover a nasty bubbled finish all around the forearm area. It looked ruined but I was able to fix it with some wet sanding and buffing.
     
    VooDooClown and JPH118 like this.
  20. EON371

    EON371 Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Location:
    Ohio
    The plastic melting ability of bug spray is well known in the camping/backpacking realm. Permethrin for clothing (kills ticks dead as they crawl on treated material) and picariden (mosquitos worst enemy) for skin are alternatives and don't damage plastics. Always wash up after crawling out of the bush and before playing guitar..
     
    derekd likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice