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BluesKing777

Stink Guitar

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My latest Gibson LG3 is absolutely wonderful to play and sounds incredible, but there is a small problem - it really stinks!

 

It looks clean and I've cleaned and polished it again, but the stink is coming out of the woodwork. I'm getting the feeling the last owner wouldn't let go of it after he/she croaked (and I may be the same!), and said croaking was done in a pile of puke, which (possibly after they sawed the owner's fingers off to release the guitar), was put back in the guitar case pukey wet?

 

It was fine when I first started playing it upon arrival, but the end of last week were incredibly hot then stormy and really humid extreme stuff. One day it got to 92% humidity (Outside - I have aircon which works to a degree but not like a nice normal day's weather). This is when the stink started to come out of the wood of the guitar. The weather has returned to normal (ish), but smell has stayed.

 

Any guitar friendly de-ponging stuff out there that works, please?

 

 

I shall suffer for my art and guitar if I must, but......

 

 

BluesKing777.

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A dish of bicarbonate of soda, sat in the hole... job done!

 

I agree with that one. Put an open box of baking soda (NOT baking powder) inside the body of the guitar, but be careful not to change the position of the guitar so that you spill it on the inside. Eventually, I suspect the guitar will have to be aired out for an extended period of time. I had a similar problem with my old L-7, which was owned by a heavy smoker for 60 years.

 

The L-7 came in a remarkably heavy and well-padded original 1947 gig bag which still stinks of smoke. I saved it in case any member of this formum wants it, but I am so sensitive to cigarette smoke that I couldn't use it even if I wanted to.

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We need to listen closely to ParlourMan's smell advice - look at the outfit he wears in his avatar! (Is that day wear or nightclubbing gear?)

 

 

I apologise that I did not mention the guitar has a DeArmond soundhole pickup permanently mounted in the hole. I thought someone would put me on to a can of super smell spray for smelly guitars to zap around, and not a dish of loose powder - even though PM's biCarb is the trusted old method.

 

 

I am agonising over keeping the pickup - Lightnin' Lives! - or have an invisible Fishman pickup put in when I let go of the guitar for longer than an hour to take to the luthier.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

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Good advice on this issue. Also, pure vanilla (the kind you use for cooking) will do the same thing. With the vanilla, I think if you just put it nearby in a bowl/cup it will absorb the smell.

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Of course I could take to wearing an outfit like ParlourMan's, perhaps with some holes for the ears so I can hear the guitar, and possibly black for the 'Man in Black' look, or is that Coca Ninja? Could start a trend?

 

 

There is a lot of mention of getting rid of cigarette smoker smells from guitars and their cases on the internet. I am an ex smoker so would not even notice that smell - I am the weird guy hanging around the smokers getting a drift or two with a bit of guitar conversation outside at the Blues Club....

 

 

No, this smell is 'old puke', and it is not coming from the soundhole (I don't think) - it is emanating from the top and side of the guitar right nearest my nose!

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Quite a few years ago, over at the Acoustic Guitar Magazine guitar forum, a fellow told a story of being at a gig where he placed his acoustic on a guitar stand during a break, and a drunk wandered over and puked right into the sound hole of the instrument. The forum thread went on for years and was often quite humorous. However, there were many many suggested remedies, including the aforementioned baking soda in the sound hole, as well as Fabreeze, apple slices, etc. I remember the guy said he finally got it to the point where it didn't immediately smell and he traded the instrument at a guitar shop. Perhaps you now own the "Barf Guitar"!?

 

I'm going to search the archives of that forum. It was a classic thread.

 

UPDATE: I just posted a thread over at the AG forum asking if any of the old timers over there remember that discussion. I'll let you know if I discover anything.

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My 1968 SJ. had a strange smell when I bought it – both guitar and case. I tried to cope, but it soon went to my nerves as vintage guitars are supposed to smell – if not good, then interesting.

 

Day after day I experimented to get rid of this mix between lousy cleaning-fluid and something that could have been cheap Portuguese perfume added by the sellers wife to make the guitar leave the house quicker. Tried a hot damp cloth - nothing, moved further to vinegar, then dish-soap – I even turned to dry Irish whiskey (the bottle is still to be seen on my profile page) - but still nothing helped. As it was in the middle of summer the lawn was being cut and suddenly an idea came by. Why not stuff the box – not with socks – but with fresh green grass - and I'm talking ordinary grass folks ! So that's what I did. Went down and gathered 2 bags and filled up the old Southern Jumbo + case. Then waited till it dried out. The result was convincing – as if the many blades and straws had sucked a great deal of the mal-odeur out of the woods while drying and left its own as it happened. Afterward I aired the open case outside a night or 2 and considered it fixed. Okay there's still an echo of the 'original' scent about the instrument, but it changed drastically. Also there are remnants of the '09 harvest in the case - apropos MichaelR's How Do You Clean, , , thread.

I have the feeling it won't be removed ever. . . .

 

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Let's see......cigarettes, mildew and mould........old socks.....these are a few of my least favorite smells on a guitar.....I have a little negative Ion fan that works pretty well set it up right t the sound hole, put a drop of Sandlewood oil on the inside and underside of the sound hole......fresh air.......(not in the sun fresh air) ...getting rid of the case (often the culprit)

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Quite a few years ago, over at the Acoustic Guitar Magazine guitar forum, a fellow told a story of being at a gig where he placed his acoustic on a guitar stand during a break, and a drunk wandered over and puked right into the sound hole of the instrument. The forum thread went on for years and was often quite humorous. However, there were many many suggested remedies, including the aforementioned baking soda in the sound hole, as well as Fabreeze, apple slices, etc. I remember the guy said he finally got it to the point where it didn't immediately smell and he traded the instrument at a guitar shop. Perhaps you now own the "Barf Guitar"!?

 

I'm going to search the archives of that forum. It was a classic thread.

 

UPDATE: I just posted a thread over at the AG forum asking if any of the old timers over there remember that discussion. I'll let you know if I discover anything.

 

 

Oh, just perfect!

 

I could have the Barf Guitar that every guitarist in the world knows about except guess who?

 

I suppose that explains why I have the true Golden Sounding guitar - it sounds wonderful but with a hitch.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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My 1968 SJ. had a strange smell when I bought it – both guitar and case. I tried to cope, but it soon went to my nerves as vintage guitars are supposed to smell – if not good, then interesting.

 

Day after day I experimented to get rid of this mix between lousy cleaning-fluid and something that could have been cheap Portuguese perfume added by the sellers wife to make the guitar leave the house quicker. Tried a hot damp cloth - nothing, moved further to vinegar, then dish-soap – I even turned to dry Irish whiskey (the bottle is still to be seen on my profile page) - but still nothing helped. As it was in the middle of summer the lawn was being cut and suddenly an idea came by. Why not stuff the box – not with socks – but with fresh green grass - and I'm talking ordinary grass folks ! So that's what I did. Went down and gathered 2 bags and filled up the old Southern Jumbo + case. Then waited till it dried out. The result was convincing – as if the many blades and straws had sucked a great deal of the mal-odeur out of the woods while drying and left its own as it happened. Afterward I aired the open case outside a night or 2 and considered it fixed. Okay there's still an echo of the 'original' scent about the instrument, but it changed drastically. Also there are remnants of the '09 harvest in the case - apropos MichaelR's How Do You Clean, , , thread.

I have the feeling it won't be removed ever. . . .

 

 

 

I think Em7 may be having a laugh....

 

 

The great Australian solution would be to pour beer in it, followed by whisky and if that doesn't work: Piss on it!

 

 

That'll fix it!

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I think Em7 may be having a laugh....

You're right, I'm looking back at this and have some kind of laugh.

Every detail rings true though. . . .

It was a strange struggle -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We need to listen closely to ParlourMan's smell advice - look at the outfit he wears in his avatar! (Is that day wear or nightclubbing gear?)

 

 

It was actually valentines night, but that's another story...... ;) ;)

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BK...Lots of good remedies! Be sure to let us know which one works for you [thumbup] I am sorry that you ended up with the Barf Guitar. It is all over the internet now.....the whisperings and rumblings and snickering, that the Barf Guitar is in your possession #-o .

I have done much research on the origin of the Barf Guitar. My theory is that it was owned at one time by Bart Barf, bassist for The Dry Heaves. Your guitar was used in the 1993 recording of their hit single, 'Choking on a Lude'

So let not your nose, be troubled. You now own a piece of Punk Rock history [laugh]

Their LINKMy link

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What type of odor?

 

Mold/mildew?

Old Whiskey/beer?

Cat Pee?

 

The type of odor might determine the odor eliminator.

 

A drop or two of chlorine bleach in a humidifier before closing the lid on the case might be enough to kill mold.

 

Other odor soaker-uppers, fresh coffee grounds or baking soda in a sachet bag hung in the sound hole. Change every couple weeks.

 

A sachet of cedar chips might be a help to mask the offensive odor.

 

Is it the guitar or the case. The unfinished wood can soak up odors from the case. Some here have commented that they thought the odor problem was in the guitar, when, in fact it was the case. Remove the guitar from it's case, then hang it on the wall for a while to see if the odor dissipates. If the case, then still stinks, it's the case.

 

If the case, I'd try removing the guitar from the case for a while, then a generous dusting of baking soda right into the fabric, close the case and let it absorb for a spell, then vacuum. Reat as necessary. Too, a stinky case may just need to air out. Store it in a well ventilated garage or yard barn, with the case opened for a while. Be aware that it may pick up odors from your outdoor storage area. i.e. if a garage smells of gasoline or parts cleaner, the case will take on that smell... so be careful where you store it.

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If the case, I'd try removing the guitar from the case for a while, then a generous dusting of baking soda right into the fabric, close the case and let it absorb for a spell, then vacuum. Reat as necessary. Too, a stinky case may just need to air out. Store it in a well ventilated garage or yard barn, with the case opened for a while. Be aware that it may pick up odors from your outdoor storage area. i.e. if a garage smells of gasoline or parts cleaner, the case will take on that smell... so be careful where you store it.

 

CAUTION: Baking soda is extremely abrasive, and can/will damage the finish of your guitar. I would not put it loose on the liner fabric of the case: you will never be able to vacuum up all of it. It's like putting your guitar in a case whose inside is coated with fine sand.

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At the local shop, I was looking at the products keeping in mind the advice from forum members for getting rid of the 'barf' stink - and they didn't really have anything nice except Tea Tree Oil.

 

I used this once before many years ago at an office - the laser printer was next to me and gave off a variety of horrid smells until one lunch time I came back with Sandalwood oil, Tea Tree Oil and a handful of other stink killers. The Sandalwood I really like the smell of, but it didn't help the problem. 3 drops of the Tea Tree Oil fumigated the whole office and soon had 333 staff saying: 'What's That Smell?"

 

 

So when I saw the Tea Tree Oil at the local shop, I thought: "AHA!"

 

2 drops on the offending outside area, 3 drops through the soundhole, and a sprinkle in the case - job done, smell overwelmed, gone, my whole house smells of TT Oil. I will probably need to apply it again some time next year....

 

Also good for rashes and smelly feet etc etc.

 

http://www.thursdayp...e/Tea-Tree-Oil/

 

 

BluesKing777.

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"Some people actually call that smell "vintage perfume""

 

If you bottled it, it just may sell on these guitar forums. As for the Aussie method... Is that a weekly application?

 

I have a bouzouki that I bought from a lazy cat-owner. The smell came from the case. I found a baking soda concoction that is designed for pet-odors at the grocery store. Sprinkled it into the case and closed it up. It took weeks to get rid of the fragrance, but once it was gone so was the kitty smell. It works great, but don't use too much!

 

Willy

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