View Full Version : That new case smell .... what to do?

05-13-2011, 08:25 AM
I recently bought a new Kamaka tenor, which came with a new Kamaka hard case, and a new Kamaka concert, which came with a new Ko'olau case. Both cases smell like new stuff made out of plastics and glue. I've been airing them out, but when I close either case for any significant amount of time and then open them again, that "new case" smell is back. I was wondering two things. First, does anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of the smell? Second, does the smell affect the ukulele when it's in the case? Wood is pourous, and I'm worried that my new ukuleles will end up smelling like the cases smell now. Mahalos in advance for any information/suggestins/advice!

05-13-2011, 08:39 AM
I just aired mine out and with time the smell went away. Enjoy your Kamakas.

05-13-2011, 08:44 AM
I always make my personal ukes not only a musical treat, but also an aromatic treat. I have already created great memories for my grandkids. I have always had fond memories of my grand father, as well as my dad whom used to smoke pipes. I used to love to sniff grandpas and dads pipes when I was a kid. Smell has VERY strong ties to memories, both good and bad. Every time my grandkids come over, they want Grandpa to break out the ukes and play for them. As soon as I open the cases, the first thing they do is stick their heads in the cases to smell them. They would say, "Grandpa, let me smell your ukulele...". I also smoke a pipe, and love aromatic tobaccos. I smoke a mixture that I mix myself of Amaretto and Vanilla Black Cavendish. I put small sacks of tobacco in my uke cases. I also put a couple drops of Eucaluptus oil in my humidifiers (it also is aromatic as well as combats mold or fungus growth). When my cases open, the air fills with these aromas. When the wood resonates as I play, it also creates these aromas. I have a hard time keeping my grandkids noses out of the sound hole when I play, lol.. They will grow up with memories that will last much longer than I will of their grandpa playing the uke, and the smells associated with it.

Point is, try some euculiptus oil in the case.. It does fight off odors and mildews.

05-13-2011, 09:06 AM
That smell is actually not good for you, lmao. It's the smell of PVC plastic, which contains many dioxins.

05-13-2011, 09:25 AM
Here's what you do. Send the Kamakas to me and I will keep them away from those cases until the smell goes away. Probably take a year or so to air them out.

05-13-2011, 09:28 AM
I've had 2 custom built Ameritage cases and the first one had a rather funky smell, but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't stand it, so I just left it be. The case was made almost 3 years ago and I think some of the smell is still present. The uke has not acquired the case smell. That was an oddball case though. The rest of my Ameritage cases (I have 5 total) all smell very pleasant.
I think some cedar (I saw some aromatic cedar balls at Target recently) might help improve the case smell.

mm stan
05-13-2011, 09:32 AM
Aloha MDS725,
Let them air out a week and throw a hanging car air freshner in by the headstock...cut the package and keep it inside of it.. as it is not good on the finish of your uke..I like pine ....MM Stan

05-13-2011, 09:42 AM
I think just airing them out over time would work...I also actually like the smell of my new case, smells all new and reminds me of times gone by..not that I spend long sniffing them!

05-13-2011, 10:18 AM
Activated charcoal from a pet store or bounce dryer sheets may help with the case closed. I'd just leave the cases open to air out, though it may take a while.

05-13-2011, 12:26 PM
I've got the problem with a gig bag I got with a used uke. The plastic smell is really bad, and clings to the uke for a half hour or so after I take the uke out to play. The smell coming up from the uke is actually strong enough to make me slightly nautious - and usually smells, odors, gasses, and so on don't really bother me that way.

If anybody comes up with a solution, let me know. I haven't tried fabreze yet because I keep forgetting to buy some. If something doesn't work I'm going to buy a case and this gig bag can go stink up a landfill!


05-13-2011, 12:46 PM
New cases sometimes smell while the glue gases off.
Leaving the case open helps. I have also used fabric sheets, but time and open air are really the best solution I have found.