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How to freshen a violin case?


MingLoo
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Does anyone have any recommendations to freshen a violin case? I acquired some cases from an estate sale, in a little town known for dust storms, and the cases are basically clean and bug-free, but there's some dust and lint.

I was wondering if Febreeze (the fabric spray, not the room deodorizer) would be appropriate?

TIA

Ming

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I would not use a liquid spray of any kind. I would worry that the liquid would bond any loose dirt or dust in the case to the case lining, or possibly that the spray, once dry, might leave a residue that would interact with varnish.

For the dust, a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool attachment works well. Just make sure that the vacuum is not too powerful to avoid ripping the lining from the case shell.

If, after vacuuming, there's a musty smell, try some deodorizing techniques of various levels of possible harm.

Level 1: Leave the opened, vacuumed out case outside in fresh air for about an hour or two. If that doesn't help:

Level 2: Sprinkle dry baking soda all over the inside of the case, close case, and leave baking soda in case for a day or two. Then vacuum the baking soda out thoroughly. If that doesn't help:

Level 3: Arm and Hammer, the baking soda folks, have some deodorizing powders for rugs that carry a slight fragrance. Try filling the case with one of those powders, leave it for a week, and then vacuum out. Make sure you select a powder whose fragrance you are willing to live with.

After a level 2 attempt, try level 1 again before going on to level 3.

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Be careful with fresh dryer sheets. This was recommended to me once for deodorizing smelly books. I guess it depends on the brand of sheet, but residue is an issue. It might be better to use ones that have gone through the dryer, but that kind of kills the deodorizing properties.

There are lots of spray deodorizers, but again, don't know about residue. The baking soda is a good idea... just vacuum it out when you're done, no scented oiliness to worry about.

You might as well stick a chicken or turkey in the case if you are deodorizing with rosemary... put it in the oven at 375... oh yeah.

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I believe Dmitri Musafia suggests compressed air - not vacuuming.

You definitely want to be careful if you try vacuuming to avoid pulling lining and ornamentation away from the shell. I have a crevice tool vacuum attachment that has a slit on the side to lower suction power but provides enough suction to pick up dust without damaging lining. I've used that vacuum head extensively on a Musafia case with no bad effects.

Like any recommendation about a tool, the user needs to use caution and common sense. If you tell two people to use a soft cotton cloth to wipe off their fiddles, one of the two will do just fine and the other will manage to leave visible scratches in the varnish from all the excessive rubbing.

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Skiingfiddler's suggestions are all good. If you have an air compressor, you could also blow the cases out with compressed air.

Do you mean something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Slime-COMP04-Portabl.../dp/B000ET6ZNI/

I'm not good with machinery, and I don't want to get something that I will hurt myself or someone with, or blow a hole in the floor.

This is the cheapest one I could find on Amazon, but "Slime" isn't a particularly good name for a company...

For a few dollars more, here's another, perhaps better one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ET9SA...d_luc_sim_01_03

Can this contraption be used to inflate bicycle tires? If so, I'm sold; I've always used the "walk the bike to the gas station" method.

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Can this contraption be used to inflate bicycle tires? If so, I'm sold; I've always used the "walk the bike to the gas station" method.

From what I see in the inflaters you've pictured, the only thing they'd work on would be tires which have what are called schrader valves, the kind you find on fat tired bicycle tires and car tires. The devices you've pictured would plug into the electrical socket in a car and could not be plugged into a normal house electrical socket.

If you want to try something that works like an air compressor would work for your violin case, try a hair dryer with the heat turned off, if that's possible. Start with the weakest blowing strength, cranking up only if it seems necessary. The strongest blowing setting on a hair dryer may not be enough blowing power, or maybe it will be. If not, you can look for something that produces a stronger stream of air.

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From what I see in the inflaters you've pictured, the only thing they'd work on would be tires which have what are called schrader valves, the kind you find on fat tired bicycle tires and car tires. The devices you've pictured would plug into the electrical socket in a car and could not be plugged into a normal house electrical socket.

If you want to try something that works like an air compressor would work for your violin case, try a hair dryer with the heat turned off, if that's possible. Start with the weakest blowing strength, cranking up only if it seems necessary. The strongest blowing setting on a hair dryer may not be enough blowing power, or maybe it will be. If not, you can look for something that produces a stronger stream of air.

I'm grateful that you told me that; I would not have known that, and I nearly bought the thing. These are not expensive cases, but student violin cases such as SAGA SV-175's come in; I still favor the Febreeze treatment, as suggested.

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Does anyone have any recommendations to freshen a violin case? I acquired some cases from an estate sale, in a little town known for dust storms, and the cases are basically clean and bug-free, but there's some dust and lint.

I was wondering if Febreeze (the fabric spray, not the room deodorizer) would be appropriate?

TIA

Ming

++++++++++++++++

Let the sun dry it. Vacuum it.

If you use chemical, be sure it is harmless to breathe.

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