Removing Musty Smell from a Guitar Case

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sub City, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Sub City

    Sub City Supporting Member

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    I recently got a nice vintage Fender case, but it has a musty smell. The case is real clean, with no spots or stains. I set it out in the backyard today for several hours under a partly sunny sky; still has the smell. Any suggestions on removing the smell, i.e. sprinkling baking soda, Nature's Miracle, Ozone Generator, more days under the sun, etc?
     
  2. BONGKARMA

    BONGKARMA Member

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  3. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

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    Let it air out with febreze when you can and throw a couple of dryer sheets in there while it's closed.
     
  4. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

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    Charcoal. Sunlight has UV rays which help also.
     
  5. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I once used the stuff for getting pet smells out of furniture, worked well.
     
  6. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

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    Sunlight and Febreze are good starting points, but sometimes not enough. As a next step, I'd sprinkle baking soda then vacuum out well. That will get any solid crap out. Then for the odor, use vanilla extract. Get 2 or 3 ramekins (i.e. very small bowls) and fill each one halfway with PURE vanilla extract (not imitation). Set them inside the case, put the case somewhere that it won't be disturbed (you don't want to spill inside the case obviously), close it and let it sit for 48 hours. You should notice a big difference after that. If the smell is really bad then you might need to repeat this process one or two more times as necessary.

    I once bought a guitar that came reeking not only of smoke but I believe a cat actually lived inside the case for a time. Cat hair and cat pee smell like crazy. I was extremely pissed. Then a wise friend turned me on to the vanilla extract trick. He said he learned it when doing high end home remodeling -- it gets paint etc. odors out of homes too. But where Febreze totally failed and sunlight wasn't enough, vanilla extract worked like a charm.
     
  7. Sub City

    Sub City Supporting Member

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    I wonder what it is about vanilla extract that makes it so effective?
     
  8. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

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    I don't know. That's probably a question for a chemist. But I do know it works.
     
  9. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Fart repeatedly in the case and close it after each fart. You won't be able to smell the mustiness after that.
     
  10. droptune

    droptune Member

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    A friend of mine details cars for a living. I had a flood at my shop in 2004 and many late model Porsches were destroyed. Some were salvaged but they sat for a while and stunk really bad. I asked my friend about the interior and he said to sprinkle a 50/50 mix of baking soda and cinnimon. Trust me. It worked.
     
  11. JefeMaximo

    JefeMaximo Huge Member Silver Supporting Member

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  12. DoctorBob

    DoctorBob Member

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    Throw a Bounce Dryer Sheet (a laundry product) in and close the case for a day or so. It will take it out totally. The Bounce leaves it's own not unpleasant aroma, so then leave the case open and that will air out then you're all set.I did this in my musty smelling old Gibson acoustic guitar's innards and it worked like a charm. Guaranteed.
     
  13. sixesandsevens

    sixesandsevens Member

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    It's the association with cookies that makes you forget about anything else. ;)
     
  14. serial

    serial Member

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    I had an original Dan Armstrong lucite bass case that smelled like Casey Anthony's trunk.
    Sun, Febreze, etc failed to remove the stench for two solid months of trying, although it was masked a slight bit by the Febreze. Bounce dryer sheets eventually worked, but nearly a 1/2 of a box closed up in the case with lots of silica gel bags sitting in my garage from October until April.

    Wish I'd known about the vanilla trick-I was getting desperate!
     
  15. Donovan

    Donovan Member

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    You can try taking it to a dry cleaner that uses ozone. I called a local dry cleaner that has an Ozone chamber. They said if I could leave the case for a couple of days they could put it into the Ozone Chamber with other stuff they were treating and it it would cost about $10-$15.
     
  16. DaveNJ

    DaveNJ Supporting Member

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    I have a really nice Calton case that came with a used Collings CJ I bought a year ago. It wall had a heavy cigarette smoke smell to it. I tried the dryer sheet - didn't work. THe place I bought it from told me to soak it in febreze and put it out in the sun - did it for days last summer - still no good. I then used baking soda - just dumped the whole box into the case and shut it. Went through three boxes over three weeks - worked a bit, but it still smelled like smoky febreze (note to self - good stripper and/or band name).

    I ended up leaving it open in my garage - been out there for a few months - that seems to have done the trick...

    Wish I knew about the vanilla trick or the hot chick in ToneBrokerBill's post above...
     
  17. rw 1969

    rw 1969 Member

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    I have been down this road - as the previous post illustrates this can be really difficult - for set in smells Febreze is a waste of time as is airing in sunlight. Good luck - never tried the vanilla/ baking soda - try it but just don't waste too much of your time on the issue as sometimes nothing works!
     
  18. SNick

    SNick Member

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    Go to a hardware store and get some activated charcoal. Put it in the case until odor is gone. It will remove the smell without covering up the smell with another smell. Yup, it works with musty wood in older chests of drawers, steamer trunks etc. a guitar case is easy, wood is hard to get musty odors out of. Charcoal works.
     
  19. anthonybay

    anthonybay Member

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    I have a bottle of Fender Case Deodorizer (formulated exclusively by Meguiarar's). I don't know if they still sell this but it worked for me.
     
  20. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Tried Summer's Eve?
     

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