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tamiya

gee that STINKS... how to remove scent smells!?

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Hi,

The smell probably comes from some cellulose thinner what was used in the varnish/laquer on the violin.

You can mask the smell with a small cloth impregnated with lavender oil put in the violin case.

Ten day remedies work by the sniffer getting used to the original smell :)

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Hi folks! 

Popping back in on this thread to report... Two years on... the damned thing still reeks of that stinky perfume!!

Its spent most of that time closed up in its case. I haven't added any charcoal nor coffee, just thought I'd try let time do the trick - but no cigar.

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On 12/7/2016 at 9:34 AM, Dwight Brown said:

Ground coffee or coffee beans can be effective too.

 

DLB

Absolutely! 

When I was delivering semi trailer loads of fresh salmon coming down from Alaska into Seattle, the trailer could not be washed out and had to be reloaded with fresh produce going back to Alaska. To get rid of the smell several cans of ground coffee was spread on the floor of the trailer before pallets of produce were loaded. We never had complaints of the produce smelling like fish, of course the trailer was refrigerated so that kept the smell down too...I would try some fresh "coarse" ground coffee. 

 

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Ozone might work - it's a strong oxidizer and will nuke any volatile hydrocarbons. Like most strong remedies, there's probably some risk, so precautions are in order. It worked great on my car after mice got into the AC, but I'd hesitate to try it on a nice instrument.

You can get an ozonator for about $75 (e.g., Airthereal). You'd probably only want it for a few minutes, so borrowing one would be a better option.

Amit Peled says you can still smell Pablo Casals' pipe in his cello.

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I saw that you said "floral", could the aroma be something such as jasmine (probably with an overtone of sandalwood)?  I've got some Javanese wooden keris sheaths that previous owners heavily hit with an incense oil preparation on the inside (it's a custom with a long explanation; for a disinterested Western audience, "for good luck" will suffice).  The stuff never goes away.  Similar beliefs apply elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia.

If somebody dosed your fiddle with jasmine oil to attract propitious spirits, I don't have a good fix for that that wouldn't possibly hurt the fiddle.  :huh:

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On 12/7/2016 at 12:36 PM, Michael_Molnar said:

At the VSA competition, there was a violin that "reeked" of propolis applied to the interior.

I love the smell of propolis! 

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On 12/7/2016 at 12:36 PM, Michael_Molnar said:

At the VSA competition, there was a violin that "reeked" of propolis applied to the interior.

I love the smell of propolis! 

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2 hours ago, Tom Fid said:

Ozone might work - it's a strong oxidizer and will nuke any volatile hydrocarbons. Like most strong remedies, there's probably some risk, so precautions are in order. It worked great on my car after mice got into the AC, but I'd hesitate to try it on a nice instrument.

You can get an ozonator for about $75 (e.g., Airthereal). You'd probably only want it for a few minutes, so borrowing one would be a better option.

Amit Peled says you can still smell Pablo Casals' pipe in his cello.

I do guitar amplifier repair and had some amps that reeked of smoke and no cleaner would touch it. I built my own ozone generator for $5 from an old pad sander and it really took care of the problem. Here is the method. https://music-electronics-forum.com/showthread.php?t=45883

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13 hours ago, glebert said:

I do guitar amplifier repair and had some amps that reeked of smoke and no cleaner would touch it. I built my own ozone generator for $5 from an old pad sander and it really took care of the problem. Here is the method. https://music-electronics-forum.com/showthread.php?t=45883

Ozone can seriously weaken wood fibers. If you try it don't leave it in the ozone for more than an hour or so.

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ExSmokers stinko I usually destink with coating liberally with bicarb soda and leaving it to bake in hot sun. Then repeat with fresh ground coffee to mask remnant smell... hasn't failed so far, might take several weeks though.

 

15 hours ago, Violadamore said:

I saw that you said "floral", could the aroma be something such as jasmine (probably with an overtone of sandalwood)?  I've got some Javanese wooden keris sheaths that previous owners heavily hit with an incense oil preparation on the inside (it's a custom with a long explanation; for a disinterested Western audience, "for good luck" will suffice).  The stuff never goes away.  Similar beliefs apply elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia.

If somebody dosed your fiddle with jasmine oil to attract propitious pirits, I don't have a good fix for that that wouldn't possiblyurt the fiddle.  :huh:

I don't think it's incense oil... I'm Asian with a hypersensitive nose & think I can differentiate jasmine, sandalwood, camphor etc... plus if I remember correctly I think I pickedup that instrument from a white-Anglo household :)

 

The scent is like walking thru the scenty section of a department store (my least-liked dept, I try avoid wherever possible). Only staler :P Suspect previous learner must've simply doused herself with said perfume before playing.

I had forgotten about the stink when I reopened the case the other night, with thoughts of giving it a quick tuneup. Handled it briefly out of the case, wouldn't have been more than 5mins... after which noticed my left palm & jawbone had gotten scented.

 

Well I've accumulated a heap of too-stale-to-be-worth-brewing coffee beans & the mrs has just bought a new box of bicarb for her Xmas baking efforts :D so after I recover from Xmas food coma I should try grind up some beans, mix with bicarb and pack some little poultices to wrap around the neck and chin rest. 

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10 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

OP, some people like floral smells. Perhaps you can learn to as well?

No chance. Hypersensitive nose! :unsure:

10 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

 

I can think of worse smells, which might have been evident if a floral smell hadn't been used as a coverup. :lol:

I'm a guy, guys make smells. Guys don't cover up smells with floral stink :huh: it does not compute in Guy logic :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, tamiya said:

No chance. Hypersensitive nose! ;)

I'm a guy, guys make smells. Guys don't cover up smells with floral stink :huh: it does not compute in Guy logic :ph34r:

Do gals not emanate  smells too?

While I might prefer to rub 90-weight Harley-branded gear oil all over my body for the stink, the gals don't seem to appreciate it as much as a floral scent. ;)

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1 hour ago, tamiya said:

No chance. Hypersensitive nose! :unsure:

I'm a guy, guys make smells. Guys don't cover up smells with floral stink :huh: it does not compute in Guy logic :ph34r:

Hm...guess you're not the guy I share the elevator with at work then...

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4 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Ozone can seriously weaken wood fibers. If you try it don't leave it in the ozone for more than an hour or so.

I bet it would attack synthetic strings, fittings and varnish, too. I was going to suggest 10 minutes - but of course its dependent on the output of the ozone generator and volume of the box/bag/room you use. 20 minutes was enough for a whole car using a 5000 mg/h generator. I would start with a very short exposure and work up. With a big generator I definitely wouldn't exceed an hour; a pad sander or small generator might be safe at that level, but you'd have to experiment. If the perfume has really soaked in, there may be no safe way to do it.

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Do gals not emanate  smells too?

Heck yeah... but mostly self-inflicted on purpose afaik :P

6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

While I might prefer to rub 90-weight Harley-branded gear oil all over my body for the stink, the gals don't seem to appreciate it as much as a floral scent. ;)

meh I no longer care what girls (natural born, identifies with &/or gender fluid) think, I am what I am & I ain't changing anything to just suit their opinion! :unsure:

Dunno about Harley fluids but it's usually stickier "lubricants" that have weirder smells ;) try a whiff of Phil's Tenacious Oil (popular in pushbike world), Air Filter oil (dirt bikes, comes in a solvent carrier that evaporates leaving behind gooey mess... best wear rubber gloves) or the one that lingered on skin for longest... Castrol Hypoid 80w90 (for vintage rear differential) - dunno what additives in that, but it smells mighty distinctive. 

I decant most of those into little bottles for use outside the garage. Smells better than any perfume! -_-

 

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6 hours ago, Rue said:

Hm...guess you're not the guy I share the elevator with at work then...

Doubt it.

i have habit of, when entering the lift last... I don't turn around. I keeping standing with back to the closed door looking at everyone else who has turned around. Keep staring back until just before my floor... then greet them "have a good morning all!" and bow out backwards through the reopened door.  :lol:

Worked better 20yrs ago. Nowadays everybody's just starting down into their phones. <_<

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4 hours ago, Tom Fid said:

I bet it would attack synthetic strings, fittings and varnish, too. I was going to suggest 10 minutes - but of course its dependent on the output of the ozone generator and volume of the box/bag/room you use. 20 minutes was enough for a whole car using a 5000 mg/h generator. I would start with a very short exposure and work up. With a big generator I definitely wouldn't exceed an hour; a pad sander or small generator might be safe at that level, but you'd have to experiment. If the perfume has really soaked in, there may be no safe way to do it.

Have not played with proper ozone generator before... closest would've been a highvoltage transformer that emitted a plasma halo when it was powered up.

But ozone is just an oxidiser, isn't it? Essentially "ages" the material faster than normal; it sterilises by ripping oxygen out of proteins & damaging living cellulose cell walls.

 

Given that 2yrs hasn't degraded the stink, I don't like its chances. :( 

i suspect perfume isn't made from degradable components? After all (afaik!) it's formulated to sit around for years in tiny transparent bottles exposed to light... and I don't hear much about perfumes "changing scent" as they age in the bottle - which suggests they're pretty chemically stable.

 

I think firstly need to draw out what's soaked in with some poultice pad. 

Was thinking of steam to "open up the pores" but don't think wood would survive the steam cleaner.

Alternately I could ship it off to the tropics for a spell in high humidity... trouble is my family home there is loaded with wood with frequent attacks from termites & borers... too high risk of infestation. 

 

 

The weirdest thing of it all is... the instrument actually DOESN'T noticeably stink whilst it's sitting in the case. Open the lid and it's not like a perfume wearer has entered your room - It just smells "woody" or "leathery" like any other instrument. Otherwise I'd have immediately noticed it when I inspected briefly it before purchase, and would have promptly walked away. 

The scent just rubs off the neck & chinrest. After putting back in case, I'd have gone washed my hands several times & taken a shower... then still detect "hmm what's that smell" for rest of evening. 

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23 hours ago, glebert said:

I do guitar amplifier repair and had some amps that reeked of smoke and no cleaner would touch it. I built my own ozone generator for $5 from an old pad sander and it really took care of the problem. Here is the method. https://music-electronics-forum.com/showthread.php?t=45883

How much ozone can a powertool generate? :) must it be AC only or can a DC brushed motor do the same?

Just had a Google around... can buy China ozone room air cleaners for $60-80ish. 

Can also find on banggood the guts of said cleaners for $20ish... they just look like a neonsign transformer hooked up to 'ceramic' plates... guess you'd just blow air thru the corona field. Seem to be rated for 9-20g/hr.

Hmm... 

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1 minute ago, tamiya said:

How much ozone can a powertool generate? :) must it be AC only or can a DC brushed motor do the same?

Don't know how many g/hr, just know it worked pretty well. After 15 minutes in a non-walk-in closet I could smell a bit of that "after a spring rainstorm" bit of ozone smell when I opened the door. AC or DC should be fine as long as you are getting the sparking. 

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39 minutes ago, glebert said:

Don't know how many g/hr, just know it worked pretty well. After 15 minutes in a non-walk-in closet I could smell a bit of that "after a spring rainstorm" bit of ozone smell when I opened the door. AC or DC should be fine as long as you are getting the sparking. 

Might try! Got plenty of power tools but none spare to donate to cause.

But in a different hobby I'm a vintage RC car collector/hoarder freak ;) and since we've moved to brushless motors, there's a mountain of brushed 1/2hp three-pole DC "RS540" motors laying about unused. Could wire a bunch up and blow air thru them.

Probably sound like a giant swarm of bees! :D 

(still be better to hear than my cat-strangling attempts to play violin!)

 

otoh... $20 to banggood and they run silent... hmm

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