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Smoke stink: a solution that actually worked for you?

river251

Member
Messages
20
I just bought a guitar on ebay. Fantastic jazz archtop. After a few days I came to realize slowly that the smell I smelled when I held the guitar is smoker smell. It's awful but I only smell it when I have my face near it. I can sniff the finish and smell it. It's a nitro finish (Eastman).

I have spent the last couple hours reading thread after thread, in which people "suggested" a million things. Nobody has said they had the problem, they did X, and it solved the problem.

Lots of people say stuff like "I put a lizard coated in baking soda and rice in my case with the guitar, and several weeks later, the smell was gone" or "I put mentholated banana skins in my case and several months later, the smell was completely gone," or "I put my guitar on the stand out in the open air on my back porch in the afternoon sun after spraying it with febreeze and rubbing it with lemon oil and carnuba polish, and then, after a few months, the smell was gone." You get my drift.

Also lots of people say you could try Ozium, Odone, baking soda, an ozone generator, rice, charcoal, activated charcoal, febreeze, tea, coffee, dessicant. Nobody who suggests these say they used it and it WORKED. Some people say disassemble the guitar, clean the guitar, one person said take it apart, put it in the oven, then freeze the neck, then put it back together, use this or that wax, cleaner, lemon oil, abrasive cleaner to remove the top layer of finish, dawn, pine sol, lysol. Nobody said they tried one of these and it made the smell gone, nada, no more, fixed, no stinkum.

One guy made a neat list of all the ways suggested on the internet since neanderthal man and gave a summary evalution of each. The evaluations were of the ilk: might work, may not work, could try it, highly recommended, might damage your guitar, sounds promising, etc etc etc.

Lots of people say, I smoke so I can't smell it, who cares about smoke, smoke makes it cool, my guitar is like that too, it will never go away, it will go away, it might go away.

So, please spare me/us. Don't post any of this stuff, it is no help.

Aside from airing it out over time (how long?), have YOU HAD this problem, and done something that WORKED in short order, like in a week or less, your very own self?

Thanks for any ideas that you know will actually work because YOU TRIED IT YOUR VERY OWN SELF AND IT ACTUALLY WORKED FOR YOU.
 
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Matt Hooper

Member
Messages
185
You could try an ozone generator, just don't breath the stuff in.

ETA: I'd get one they use for fish tanks which normally come with a tube. Stick your smelly guitar in a large plastic bag and stick the tube in. lightly seal the bag and leave it running for a few hours and see how it smells then. I've used this system on a few items and it works great. The ozone works on a molecular level and gets into every nook and cranny. They are often used for smoke damaged rooms etc.
 
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samdjr74

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,831
I had a case that stunk like smoke so I left it outside for a week open during the summer and that killed the funk
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,677
I'm in TorzJohnson's camp,...If you didn't have a touch of a 'smoke' smell on your guitar or amp. grille cloth, That meant you didn't gig much (seriously)...Dauntless AND samdjr74 set you pretty much straight...Get some GHS and guitar cleaner, wipe the guitar down and use the cleaner, and then generously rub in and off the GHS...DO NOT put the guitar back in the case without airing the case out in the daylight GOOD for a few days (at night bring the case in, and put a dryer sheet in it), 'cause...Really, that is your culprit, if you don't get the funk out of the case, it ain't never gonna' leave...Thank your lucky stars your not a Drummer also,...You've not lived until you try to get 'Bar film' off a kit that has set in a bar for a few weeks straight, Smoke, bleach, cheap perfume, and the B.S. that is slung around all week day long takes a toll, Good luck. Tom
 

cardamonfrost

Member
Messages
2,244
I loaned a guitar to someone that smoked. They had it for 5-6 months. It smelled like smoke 100%. It took a few months and its gone now (the smell, not the guitar!).

C
 

ggwwbb

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,547
I bought an amp about 6 months or so ago that REEKED of smoke.....a lady that works for a fire/smoke/water damage restoration place to me this:

Put the instrument in a large trash bag (or some sort of small, confined space), lightly wad up a full newspaper, page by page and put in the bag with the instrument, then put a small bowl with about 1/2 cup of baking soda and a few drops (doesn't need much at all) of lemon juice in it. Let it sit for 3-5 days and repeat 2-3 times if necessary.

I did it twice, the first time took out probably 90% of the stink, enough so that my wife and mother-in-law, who both have bionic noses, couldn't smell it unless they literally put their nose right on it. I did it again for good measure and it has almost no smell now.

Good luck
 

ggwwbb

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,547
DO NOT put the guitar back in the case without airing the case out in the daylight GOOD for a few days (at night bring the case in, and put a dryer sheet in it), 'cause...Really, that is your culprit, if you don't get the funk out of the case, it ain't never gonna' leave...
Great point. I'd do the same thing as above with the case separately....just put the newpaper and stuff in the case and close it for a couple of days.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,766
I had a Les Paul I bought new in 77 stink so bad from all the years in bars I finally sold it, I couldn't stand to be in the same room with it. Amazing how a few years in smoke free environments have made my nose so sensitive to smoke that I can smell someone smoking in the car in front of me, with the windows closed and AC on.

Maybe it's the 6 funeral's I've been to in the past 3 years, all lung and throat cancer victims, but I have no patience with smokers anymore.
 




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