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  #1  
Old 12-27-2007, 12:26 AM
molpie molpie is offline
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Default killing mold

Hi all. I'd love some advice. My brother gave me a guitar that's been sitting in his basement and has mold on it - most notably inside (white circles). I've read about various ways to neutralize the moldy odor (think I'll try baking soda), but would like to also be able to kill/remove the mold due to allergy concerns. One thing I was told is to take fine steel wool to the inside and the fingerboard, and then to rub it down with boiled linseed oil. Being a complete novice in the guitar arena, I thought I'd seek additional opinions.

I've brought the instrument to a dry climate which should help stop the further growth of nasties, but have I already introduced spores into my home simply by bringing in this instrument (and its rank-smelling soft case)?

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome...

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2007, 12:36 AM
djam djam is offline
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Here is an article from Frets.com that you might like.
Cleaning the Inside
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2007, 12:49 AM
dahn8 dahn8 is offline
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What type of guitar is it? I dont know if the guitar has any sentimental value or is expensive, but if its a cheap guitar, it might be better just to purchase a new one and toss it.

It might cost a bit more in the short term, but it would be less of a headache and may prevent additional costs from additional mold treatment (if it spreads) or allergy treatment.

but i'm not a mold expert or a luthier so take my suggestions with a grain of salt
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:10 AM
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Default Not linseed oil

Don't put any linseed oil inside the guitar! It will act as food for anything growing in there. Plus, it will have a negative effect on sound.

If you follow the Frets.com suggestions and still have an odor, look into an ozone treatment - a fire restoration company will be able to help you.

Ed
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2007, 07:42 AM
tholmes tholmes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molpie View Post
Hi all. I'd love some advice. My brother gave me a guitar that's been sitting in his basement and has mold on it - most notably inside (white circles). I've read about various ways to neutralize the moldy odor (think I'll try baking soda), but would like to also be able to kill/remove the mold due to allergy concerns. One thing I was told is to take fine steel wool to the inside and the fingerboard, and then to rub it down with boiled linseed oil. Being a complete novice in the guitar arena, I thought I'd seek additional opinions.

I've brought the instrument to a dry climate which should help stop the further growth of nasties, but have I already introduced spores into my home simply by bringing in this instrument (and its rank-smelling soft case)?

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome...

Thank you!
Here's a thread on this subject from over at the UMGF. Good advice IMHO.
http://p082.ezboard.com/ftheunoffici...icID=486.topic


Tom
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:30 AM
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Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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It seems to me that using grains to scour the inside of the guitar will not prevent mold's return in a few months. I was wondering about using ultraviolet light to kill the mold but a boric acid treatment seems to be more of a long term solution.

I would never apply chlorine on any part of my guitars and would not use oil on the inside of the guitar. Oil has damping properties that could adversely affect the sound a guitar produces.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2007, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molpie View Post
Hi all. I'd love some advice. My brother gave me a guitar that's been sitting in his basement and has mold on it - most notably inside (white circles). I've read about various ways to neutralize the moldy odor (think I'll try baking soda), but would like to also be able to kill/remove the mold due to allergy concerns. One thing I was told is to take fine steel wool to the inside and the fingerboard, and then to rub it down with boiled linseed oil. Being a complete novice in the guitar arena, I thought I'd seek additional opinions.

I've brought the instrument to a dry climate which should help stop the further growth of nasties, but have I already introduced spores into my home simply by bringing in this instrument (and its rank-smelling soft case)?

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome...

Thank you!
Hi Molpie...
First of all, welcome to the group. There are amazing folks around here. We are glad you are on board.

Perhaps one of our luthiers will chime in. They are more conversant with the workings of these babies than we. As for me, I don't have a clue. The only mold we ever see is on an occasional orange or piece of cheese (we live in semi-arid country). Sorry to not be of more help.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2007, 01:36 PM
molpie molpie is offline
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Thank you for the input (and welcome). At this point, I'm thinking of doing the (lightly applied) steel wool (using mask while I do this), boric acid, baking soda approach, and am counting on the dry climate in which I live to prevent any future mold growth. I probably won't do anything for a bit, though, while I mull things over and wait for the guitar to settle into its new climate. (Any further thoughts are certainly welcome!)

In the meantime, I am planning on visiting a guitar store just to see what a new entry level instrument would cost...

Thanks, again.

M.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2007, 02:29 PM
Neal Neal is offline
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So, what kind of guitar is it? It's not one of those pre-war Martins that someone left in the basement for years, is it?
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2007, 02:35 PM
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I suggest you consult with a "mold abatement" contractor. These are the specialists who deal with mold formation from various causes, including post-flood.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2007, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molpie View Post
Thank you for the input (and welcome). At this point, I'm thinking of doing the (lightly applied) steel wool (using mask while I do this), boric acid, baking soda approach, and am counting on the dry climate in which I live to prevent any future mold growth. I probably won't do anything for a bit, though, while I mull things over and wait for the guitar to settle into its new climate. (Any further thoughts are certainly welcome!)

In the meantime, I am planning on visiting a guitar store just to see what a new entry level instrument would cost...

Thanks, again.

M.
As one who has done "mold removal" I would say that you have the right idea with a dry removal method. I DO suggest as your guitar settles into it's new environment that you maintain a humidity level above 46% AND put a dusting of baking soda inside the guitar. Before no more than a week goes by put on some rubber gloves, dry sand the mold, blow all the dust out and you shouldn't have any more problems. Forget the boric acid. Forget any and all sprays. People think that spraying clorox on mold over basement walls will kill mold. It does not. Clorox is over 65% water. Mold spores are alive and will actually, in 1/5000 of a second, explode into the air "before" the spray makes contact. I think you'll do just fine.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2007, 03:40 PM
3rd_harmonic 3rd_harmonic is offline
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maybe ultraviolet
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2007, 05:09 PM
Guitar Hack Guitar Hack is offline
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The best way to kill mold is clorox. Mix it with water about a cup to a gallon of water and if you put it on the guitar inside make darn sure you wring it out good and just have a damp cloth. Not too much because you are running a balancing act between killing the mold and damaging the guitar. Clorox is one of the best mold killers around bar none.

Do not use baking soda it will give the mold something to eat.

I used to work in the medical field and used clorox on a water treatment system to kill, well mold and other bacteria.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:04 PM
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Having worked in post-Katrina Mississippi, bleach/water does work to kill mold. It's used regularly for this purpose. I would do a combination of what has already been suggested: take the guitar home to your not-so-moldy home. Spray it with the bleach/water and let it dry. Then I would use a 000 steel wool inside and dust it out. Clean the outside with the bleach/water wipe it down then I would probably oil the fretboard and wipe the entire outside of the guitar with a good guitar cleaner/polish. I use Dunlop but Martin and others make great products.

If it's a valuable or treasured guitar, contact a local luthier and have him/her do the work for you if you're worried.

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  #15  
Old 12-27-2007, 09:31 PM
jlkitch jlkitch is offline
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Dry techniques are "OK"; but, they may not be as effective as you wish. You probably will not be able to get all of the "musty" small out. For sterilization of complex structures a gas would work better. There are two gases which we used in the cleaning of the Hart Senate Office Building (for anthrax). The first, chlorine dioxide, is too corrosive for use on a guitar. The second, ethylene oxide, is often used on delicate artwork (We used ethylene oxide on Senator Daschle's Bear rug that was hanging in his office). Either of them are, by nature of their utility, dangerous to work with and toxic to almost all living things. If you have a museum nearby, they probably have a contact for a sterilization contractor or company. When I wortked at the University of Georgia , they had their own facility with a sealed chamber for exposure and gas neutralization facilities.

My advice is to try the rice and baking soda method (Only a few very differentially specialized organism can feed on sodium bicarbonate and I don't believe that it will be a problem with most molds and fungi if you remove the obvious residue.) and if that is not satisfactory, investigate the cost of a ethylene oxide treatment.

NOTE: Please, take this from an expert, DO NOT TRY TO PERFORM AN ETHYLENE OXIDE STERILIZATION, even if you can get the gas.
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