how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

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ka_who
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how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by ka_who » Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:56 pm

Hi,
wondering if anybody has experience regarding removing cigarette smell?
I have an old semi open-pore guitar with smoke smell. I start with Dettol wipes and go up the ladder used IPA, ethanol, methanol, mineral oil, lemon oil and vodka, still stink! wondering if anybody successfully removed smoke smell from an instrument.
I have some option which considering at the moment,

1: Big Gone Smoke- Dry Smoke & Odor Eliminator (https://www.amazon.com.au/Gone-Smoke-Sm ... B001W2D1VA)
issue: has it own smell which might become more annoying

2: Febreze Fabric Refresher, I used it before at home and car, it's very effective but %90 water, I don't know if it's a good idea to spray water on the guitar body and inside. if its okay to spray some small amount of watery liquid on guitar I prefer Febreze because it's very cheap and readily available.

3: Ozone Generator/Air Ioniser (rent or professional car detailer) it sound like a very viable choice but I'm hesitant because the O3 and radical ions can damage the material ie wood finish and might darken some parts on the wood or finish. (no idea what I'm talking about )

4: good old entropy! time will fix/damage everything at the end so pretty much sure smoke smell will go at the end (before my time ens or if I'm unlucky after I'm done!)

5ish! not sure but I was thinking strong oxidizer like bleach or hydrogen peroxide could break the smoke molecules!

maybe I'm overthinking it and I should enjoy some free nichotin

thanks for any help

Al

seeaxe
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by seeaxe » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:43 pm

Never heard of anyone trying to do that but good luck. My only experience is cars - lot of Japanese imports here in NZ and often they have been smokers cars. The dealers spray them with really strong perfume (which itself is a big giveaway) but the smell always comes back, and no matter how feint, its always there. You might just have to get used to it, or get rid of it.
Richard

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ka_who
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by ka_who » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:13 pm

seeaxe, do you think watery products are ok or bad idea to use on an instrument? I found some products that claim they destroy smells but they are waterbased,
Al

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Mark McLean
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by Mark McLean » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:55 pm

Hi Al, is this an acoustic or hollow-body? If so, you might have removed most of the offending material from the outside of the guitar but still be getting lots of retained smell from the unfinished wood on the inside. Have a look at this classic tip from Frank Ford at frets.com
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier ... clean.html

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ka_who
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by ka_who » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:48 pm

Hi Mark, thanks for the reply and the link. it is a hollow-body and as you hinted, the issue is worse because of its open-pore finish. Im going to read the article now and see if I can do anything for it. again thanks

joolstacho
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by joolstacho » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:55 am

Since I gave up the fags about 8 years ago, I'd be hanging on to that fragrant smokey!

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ka_who
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by ka_who » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:23 pm

Since I been able to remove cigarette smell from the guitar, I thought it could be helpful to someone else so I'm posting my procedure. at the beginning The cigarette smell was so bad, sometimes I could smell it from a meter or more.

1: I did as mark suggested using raw rice and got rid of most dust and larger particles inside the body, I didn't use baking soda as I'm not sure how alkaline (bakindsoda) affect the unfinished wood in long term.

2: step I wiped the body and inside with lightly damped rag whit a diluted cleaning solution (about 1/4 spoon dishwashing liquid and 100ml ethanol in 500 ml water) followed by a quick-dry towel for a couple of times. every time I start whit clean rag and I could see the yellow tar and nicotine stain on the rag. I did it until the yellow wasn't noticeable anymore.

3: 1 drop of concentrated Nilodor deodorizer on a cotton ball (1 for inside and same for outside) I put everything in a big plastic bag for 48H

4: after 24h, to give the inside more air circulation, I used 2 small 12 V pc fans with a small cover 1 blow in and the other suck the air out (which I printed with PLA on a 3d printer as in the attached pictures) to force fresh air in and for 24 hours and after that, the smell was gone. you don't have to print a cover if you want to use a pc fan. you could use some cardboard or some thin wood like balsa or you could simply use masking tape and secure the fans on the soundhole. I hope this information helps if anybody has the same issue.
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Mark McLean
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Re: how to remove cigarett smell from and old instrument

Post by Mark McLean » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:46 am

Nice job, and a good outcome by the sound of it. Thanks for sharing your successful strategy. The mini fan idea is very original.

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