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  #1  
Old 04-08-2011, 07:15 PM
saneff saneff is offline
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Default How to get rid of musty smell?

Fellas I bought a gorgeous used Guild from a friend. It is in great condition and is basically unused. My luthier has already been over it.

Anyway, it has I guess been in a musty old case for most of it's life and so the case and the Guild have that old smell.

Any experience with how to get rid of it? This Guild sounds great but I don't like the smell.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:28 PM
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patticake patticake is offline
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leave the guitar in a room with lots of air flow and have patience. also get it a case that doesn't smell musty, but don't put the guitar in it till the smell is gone. and don't put the guitar in the musty case or it will make it worse again.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:29 PM
Aaron Smith Aaron Smith is offline
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New case, fresh air, sunshine.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:34 PM
dane dane is offline
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Way back when, it was a common practice to put half an apple in the case. It helped a little to hydrate the guitar and made the case smell like apple.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:48 PM
Neal Neal is offline
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Pound or two of rice, dry. In the soundhole, shake it around, leave it for a day, vacuum it out.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:49 PM
gmm55 gmm55 is offline
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A new case, but don't store the guitar in it until the smell disipates otherwise you might stink up the new case. Cedar chips perhaps, but whatever you do, do not use mothballs.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:52 PM
saneff saneff is offline
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What about just Fabreeze or something in the case?
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:58 PM
skatalite skatalite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saneff View Post
What about just Fabreeze or something in the case?
I've never had good luck with Febreeze, in any way. Smells always come back. Or, you'll end up using too much that the lining of the case will get sticky and moist.

Just let it air out for a couple weeks.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:02 PM
gmm55 gmm55 is offline
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Personally, I have no confidence in Fabreeze. There is no magical chemical that will eliminate musty smell. Such deoderizers are usually a mask of some sorts. In addition, I once contacted the manufacturer to ask what was in Fabreeze, to no avail. We should all think twice about using a secret product, since you don't know what the heck is in it.

Cedar chips and/or fresh air (i.e., leave it out of the case) would be my approach. Strong sunlight can help kill mold spores in the case. I'd leave it outside in the sun for a few consecutive days (take it in at dusk, lest a pesky raccoon takes a liking to it) but a new case might still be the best option if the smell is very strong.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:09 PM
Opa John Opa John is offline
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Anybody ever dump about half a box of baking soda in the sound hole, shake it all around, wait a few days, vacuum it out with a shop vac?

I've never tried it either, but I don't know why it wouldn't work.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:29 PM
pgilmor pgilmor is offline
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a nice fragrant sachet of coffee grounds removes almost all odors. once the bad smell is gone, substitute mahogany sawdust for that great out of the case experience.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:40 PM
Wisp Wisp is offline
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oops double posted

Last edited by Wisp; 04-08-2011 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:42 PM
Wisp Wisp is offline
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Interesting dilemma. I like the baking soda idea.

First you have to kill the mold that is causing the smell. Try baking soda like someone suggested. If that doesn't work, try making a solution of baking soda in water and misting it inside the guitar or wiping the inside with a cloth dampened with the solution. Then use a small fan inside the guitar to air it out and keep it dry. Don't use so much as to make it very wet inside.

Other things I would try are vinegar, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, rubbing alcohol, naphtha on a rag and doing a wipe in the inside. You can also make a solution or mixture with water and mist the inside to penetrate the little crevices. Then air it out, dry the residual moisture with a fan immediately.

For the case I'd probably either throw it out and get a new one or if you can't afford a new one, just leave it out in the hot sun open for a few days. I wouldn't leave your guitar in the hot sun though, that could damage it.

I like the wood dust after as someone suggested for a pleasant smell.
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Last edited by Wisp; 04-08-2011 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:25 AM
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Myself, I'd avoid putting anything wet inside the guitar.

Mildew (which is likely producing the musty odor) is very difficult to eliminate. You can stop the smell if the mildew is inactive but if the humidity goes above 70% the mildew will reactivate and start producing odors again.

If none of the suggestions above work, look into ozone. A session in an ozone chamber will do the job. Look under fire restoration services in the yellow pages.
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2011, 08:47 AM
Zorker Zorker is offline
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Leave the guitar out inside and the case open outside if you can for a couple of weeks. Vacuum the case every couple of days, then put an Arm and Hammer frisge box in the case for several days.

I just did 2 smoker cases and guitars in the last year. It worked.
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