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  #1  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:53 PM
Stephenwolf Stephenwolf is offline
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Default Any tips for cleaning the inside of an archtop? Possible mold?

I picked up an old Kay today. It plays great and sounds great. But when I got it home I noticed a strong musty smell coming from the inside and it's been making me sneeze. I shined a light on the inside and there is a ton of white spots and other strange spots. I'm assuming its mold. Does anyone have any tips for cleaning inside an archtop? Most solutions I've found are for guitars with a soundhole and seem like they would be tough to pull off on an archtop. The best I've found so far seems to be rice and baking soda. But again this seems like it would be a pain to get back out of the f holes. And I don't think it would be worth it to get the top or back taken off. Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2020, 10:18 PM
OregonJim OregonJim is offline
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I once had this problem with an old archtop, but it was black mold. I filled a garden sprayer with a commercial mold killer solution made for wood (sorry, can't remember the brand name). Anyway, the sprayer had a nozzle attached to a flexible tube. I just inserted it into the f-holes and sprayed all over the insides. Then flipped the guitar over and let any excess liquid drain out. The mold was gone immediately and the guitar was back to normal in less than 24 hours.
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:52 AM
slide496 slide496 is offline
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I used an non-allergic mold killer that I applied with a long handled fan brush several times, aided by a light and guitar mirror I got from Stewart McDonald. The guitar was from 1939 so I did not want to take a chance on loosening the braces.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:05 AM
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fazool fazool is offline
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In addition to chemical reactions, cleaning usually involves some mechanical means as well. Scrubbing is difficult because you can't get at the insides.

I've heard clever ideas like putting sand or rice inside the guitar and shaking it, so it acts like an abrasive and scrubs the insides.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:41 PM
Stephenwolf Stephenwolf is offline
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Would there be good way to get the rice and baking soda back out of the f holes?
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:23 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenwolf View Post
Would there be good way to get the rice and baking soda back out of the f holes?
place a shop vac hoe over the holes and blow air in the other holes it will come out
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Old 05-06-2020, 03:49 PM
icuker icuker is offline
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I've taken a piece of hardware store variety of tubing and taped it to a vacuum attachment to get at lint etc in the far reaches of my guitars. Never used it on my archtop but with a small enough tube it should work to get sand or rice out. That is if you don't have a shop vac like Fazool suggested.
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:15 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Spraying seems to be a good idea. Chlorine bleach should also do the trick but not sure how much if any dilution may be needed. The most important thing is to remove the source of moisture because spores in this enclosed space can survive all treatments and grow again if it is damp. If it is a laminate and not a carved top then it won't need humidification so just keep it as dry as possible.
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