View Full Version : how to remove stinky smell from a uke

06-16-2009, 02:00 PM
This is a really stupid question, but I do hope someone could help with this.

So, I lent my new uke out to a friend (a good one, of course, who loves ukes) for a few hours, gig bag and all.

Then last night, I noticed this sweat smell on the gig bag (I think it's one of the gig bags that come with ponos), and to a lesser degree, on the uke (probably from the bag?)!

I'm pretty sure my friend didn't do this on purpose (it is after all, pretty damn hot around here :D), but I need to get rid of this smell - it stinks! What should I do? I love my new uke, but I hate the smell.

- Can I wash the gig bag (washer preferably, or hand wash if not)?
- Should I try 'airing' the uke out somehow? How do I do this?
- Is there some kind of strong smelling thing (but nice smell) thing I could put in the bag to dissipate the sweat smell?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Harold O.
06-16-2009, 02:06 PM
You can wash the gig bag. If you must use a machine, do it on a gentle cycle. Or throw it in with a bunch of towels. Cold water. Turn it inside out for air drying outside.

Wipe down the uke with basic guitar cleaner. Let it sit out for a day or two.

Hose down the friend before loaning the ukulele out again.

06-16-2009, 02:08 PM
Stick some (unlit!) incense in the gig bag for a couple days. Or, wipe the bag down with an antibacterial wipe. You can use instrument polish on the uke to drown out the unpleasant smell.

Learned all of these when a friend got a new guitar that smelled to high heaven. It was made in some country we were only vaguely aware of and the smell of the glue and the foam in the case was just too much.

06-16-2009, 02:21 PM
Baking Soda.

sprinkle it on the bag.. let it sit overnight and then vacuum off.. repeat as needed.

06-16-2009, 02:27 PM
I recently got a used Risa Solid Soprano, and apparently the previous owner was a smoker! :eek:

I sprayed the gig bag thoroughly with Lysol, inside and out, and let it air out in the fresh air and sunshine. Now it's as good as new!

06-16-2009, 03:40 PM
I bought a gig bag off e-bay and when I received it,it was smelly. I sprayed it with rubbing alcohol,aired it out and it worked great!

06-16-2009, 04:28 PM
wow, thanks for all the quick replies! I'll definitely try them out. Phew! Forums to the rescue.

And yes, I will hose friends down before ever lending out my uke again. Great tip. :D

06-16-2009, 04:28 PM
there is a spray called pureayre and it's our cure all for all stinky things...

We had a stray spray in our car and the smell was enough to gag you. Sprayed that stuff on til everything offending was wet, let dry and all gone.

It is genious for all boat smells, including diesel stench.

Stinky dog? Spray right on them, not toxic in the least.

Love this stuff.