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dkstott
06-18-2012, 06:42 AM
Hi all

I just picked up Kala KA-JTE-M Mahogany Tenor Archtop Jazz Ukulele with gig bag in great condition off of E-bay.

as soon as I opened the shipping container, I knew that it had come from cigarette smoker. WOW, the uke and the bag smell!!

Any suggestions on getting the cigarette smell out of the ukulele and the gig bag?

Dave

OldePhart
06-18-2012, 07:00 AM
Leave the uke outside the bag for a few days to a couple of weeks. Fabreeze the heck out of the bag and leave it open to air out for the same period of time.

The uke should recover with time - if you're extremely sensitive you may be able to smell the smoke in the wood for a long time but it will fade. The bag may or may not recover depending on what it's made of and how bad the exposure was. The good thing is that gig bags aren't expensive.

John

monahan
06-18-2012, 07:39 AM
Activated charcoal (http://www.amazon.com/Fridge-It-Naturally-Activated-Charcoal-Absorber/dp/B000I1UXPS/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_c)? You may be able to get the charcoal sack out of the plastic and put it in the sound hole.

peewee
06-18-2012, 07:44 AM
Here's what I tried (successfully):

Use a plastic polish on the outside, pour some dry uncooked rice inside and shake it around to get rid of dust and grime.
Gently Gently.
Ditch the bag, or bleach it . Or leave it in the sun.

OldePhart
06-18-2012, 07:55 AM
Here's what I tried (successfully):

Use a plastic polish on the outside, pour some dry uncooked rice inside and shake it around to get rid of dust and grime.
Gently Gently.
Ditch the bag, or bleach it . Or leave it in the sun.

You know...this is not something I've tried but it might be worth a shot if nothing else works. Use the rice like peewee suggests but also add some ordinary baking soda. We use baking soda to absorb odors in the fridge - seems like you could put some in the uke with the rice and gently shake it around a bit - maybe leave it for a couple of days shaking every few hours. After emptying, use some clean rice to help get the rest of the soda out. Might leave a bit of residual baking soda in the pores of the wood inside the uke but I wouldn't think that would actually hurt anything...

John

dkstott
06-18-2012, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the suggestions

The gig bag is currently hanging off of a tree branch in my back yard.
It's been there since Saturday evening and still smells.

The uke smelled really bad at first... I left it in our sunroom over the weekend... it's improved to the point that my wife will let it in the house now.



Dave

Freeda
06-18-2012, 08:05 AM
Maybe throw the gig bag in the dryer with a damp towel and several dryer sheets?

mikelz777
06-18-2012, 08:30 AM
People might freak out a bit at this suggestion but I would wet a cloth, squeeze all the water you can possibly squeeze out of it so it is just damp and then wipe down every exposed surface of the ukulele. There's probably a film that's covering the uke caused by the smoke in the vicinity of the uke and getting rid of that would probably help a lot. The case, you might have to ditch it. It probably doesn't lend itself to washing.

Shazzbot
06-18-2012, 08:57 AM
I sure hope you can get the smell out.
Any chance of sending it back?

Note to self:
Always ask a prospective seller if they are a smoker.
Many heavy smokers seem to be oblivious to the fact that everything they own and wear is offensive to many.

Another note to self:
Never ever even think about taking up the habit.

Paul December
06-18-2012, 09:36 AM
:) I have a solution that definitely works...
...Cedar Chips
#1 Pour cedar chips inside the case, then put it in a sealed garbage bag with more cedar chips in it, this way you treat the inside & outside.
#2 Store the uke in a case with cedar chips in it (you can take it out for playing).
I got a uke used that not only smelled so cigarettes, it was stored next to a cat box :eek:
I did this for about a month...
...Both retained a pleasant and natural cedar smell for a couple weeks after I stopped, and eventually faded-away to no smell at all.
Do not wet the case, nor treat either with dryer sheets of Fabrize, it blends to an absolutely repulsive combination.

RyanMFT
06-18-2012, 09:48 AM
I used the rice trick on a uke which had a TERRIBLE smoke smell. I had to do it a couple times because the rice came out so filthy, but it worked really well. If you use white rice, it will leave a little white residue. I used brown rice the second time and it didn't leave residue.

I got a gig bag with a mandolin which came from a chain smoker's house. The bag reeked, and I knew I would have to throw it out, so I tossed it in the washing machine. I washed it twice, and then hung it in the sun and it worked. Figured it was worth a try because the gig back would have been un-saveable anyway.

Nickie
06-18-2012, 05:17 PM
Cigarette smoke is just about the grossest smelling thing in the world, makes me wanna vomit. I'd have to burn them both... yuck.

mm stan
06-18-2012, 05:24 PM
Yes I agree clean it first then try the rice then auto hanging air freshners or a drop of perfume or scented pine or lemon oil...

webby
06-18-2012, 05:57 PM
why not take up smoking ?

ricdoug
06-18-2012, 06:19 PM
http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AvFBcnVQ2.tQ2NsjIytKkFObvZx4?fr=yfp-t-701-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=vinegar%20smoke%20odor%20remover

itsme
06-18-2012, 07:09 PM
Note to self:
Always ask a prospective seller if they are a smoker.
Many heavy smokers seem to be oblivious to the fact that everything they own and wear is offensive to many.
Yes, if smoke smell bothers you, you should definitely ask up front if it's been in a smoking home.

However, I will admit I still smoke, just not indoors. I don't want it around my cat or my husband or lingering in the curtains or my instruments or anything else. Guests who smoke also have to go outside to do so.

TheCraftedCow
06-18-2012, 09:09 PM
Go to your local auto parts store to get one of the auto air fresheners in the flavor of your choice and stick it inside of the uke. Wiping off the ouside is really a good idea. Lemon Pledge won't hurt the outside, and it will improve the smell of it a lot to get rid of the coating of tar on the outside. The idea of the cedar chips will work for the bag as well

frets alot
06-19-2012, 02:22 AM
You've gotten alot of great suggestions.....I'd probably just replace the gigbag to prevent the leftover smell from getting back into the uke.

That said....How do you like the uke itself? Got pics?

Kem
06-19-2012, 04:08 AM
Re. the "just let it fade" possibility: I've done that with one uke. I can still smell the smoke (I first got this particular uke about a year and a half ago from a smoking luthier, and I also sent it back to him for repairs at one point; it was returned to me, freshly en-smokened, around Christmas), but very faintly. I have to bring the instrument right up to my nose, and even then, I think I may be imagining it. However, it does take a bit of a wait for the smell to fade if you don't use one of the remedies covered above.

OldePhart
06-19-2012, 07:05 AM
Cigarette smoke is just about the grossest smelling thing in the world, makes me wanna vomit. I'd have to burn them both... yuck.

Heh, heh. I think maybe you've had a bit of a sheltered life. I agree cigarette smoke, especially stale "old" smoke, is pretty nasty. But, it smells like roses compared to some things I've been exposed too... :)

JOhn

Shazzbot
06-19-2012, 09:34 AM
Another note to self:
Stay out of OldePhart John's rose garden.

dkstott
06-19-2012, 10:53 AM
Thanks for all the tips. I stripped the strings off of the uke and then used guitar Polish on the body and then used Petros fingerboard oil on the fretboard.

Restrung it with Worth browns and it sounds awesome. Its louder than my Kala KA-KT but without the telltail laminate sound.

The smell is gone from the ukulule!!! The gig bag got hosed down and scrubbed at the local car wash do it yourself place. The bag is hanging out to dry, I will check tonight after work.

Dave

OldePhart
06-19-2012, 12:16 PM
Another note to self:
Stay out of OldePhart John's rose garden.

BWAAA-HAAA - you don't know the half of it!

Ukuleleblues
06-20-2012, 03:38 PM
Also if the uke play a little jerky and fidgety and sees irritable you may need to put it on the patch for a while.

redranger
03-07-2013, 05:35 PM
Wow, this is just the question I was going to ask. Thank you so much for the suggestions. I scored a previously loved, yet kinda stinky, uke today off of Craigslist, and was wondering how to get rid of the scent. I am going to try these suggestions. It is nice to know that the situation isn't hopeless!

UkeKiddinMe
03-07-2013, 05:38 PM
Buying an instrument from a smoker would really upset me. I think I would just have to flip it again.

The Big Kahuna
03-07-2013, 07:19 PM
Upset how ? Because it smelled of smoke, or because you have a moral objection to it ?

drbekken
03-07-2013, 08:59 PM
In the old days, there were not many non-smoking musicians. Quite a few used or vintage instruments have been exposed to cigarette smoke. The odor will fade with time, and if the instrument is good....well, be patient.

Mivo
03-08-2013, 01:24 AM
Cigarette smoke is just about the grossest smelling thing in the world, makes me wanna vomit. I'd have to burn them both... yuck.

It's strange how times change. :) When I grew up in the seventies, everyone smoked -- my parents, my grandfather, pretty much everyone in the family or among friends. When I was a teen in the early-mid eighties, everyone still smoked, all my mates, teachers. I never took to it, though I carried around a pack of MBs, because it was the "in" thing to do and I could offer girls a smoke (I had my first or second computer at the time too, but geekiness wasn't half as sexy as Marlboros). It just wasn't ever for me, but I never minded. Even today I don't experience smoke as disgusting. In a way it gives me this familiar, comforting "back then at home" feeling.

However, I am extremely turned off by alcohol fumes or beer smells, which unfortunately is so socially accepted that it probably won't fall out of favor in my life time! I guess everyone has their strong turn-offs.

UkeKiddinMe
03-08-2013, 01:58 AM
Upset how ? Because it smelled of smoke, or because you have a moral objection to it ?

;)
Because of the smoke. I grew up in a smoking household and didn't know how foul things were - until I moved out
and would then return to visit my mom.

Even after cleaning the instrument, I know I'd still smell it. :)

Uke182
03-20-2013, 11:04 AM
Thanks for all the tips. I stripped the strings off of the uke and then used guitar Polish on the body and then used Petros fingerboard oil on the fretboard.

Restrung it with Worth browns and it sounds awesome. Its louder than my Kala KA-KT but without the telltail laminate sound.

The smell is gone from the ukulule!!! The gig bag got hosed down and scrubbed at the local car wash do it yourself place. The bag is hanging out to dry, I will check tonight after work.

Dave

Thanks! I just bought a used uke from Craigslist and it too smells like smoke. Have you used the rice trick?

Nicko
03-20-2013, 11:57 AM
Use the uke as kindling to get the gig bag burning properly. Together they should keep you warm for a few minutes anyway. Might sound cool as the strings snap in the flames. Don't sit too close to the fire. You'll get hot knees. And your clothes will smell of smoke, and you know where that ends up now.

;)

PeteyHoudini
03-20-2013, 01:20 PM
;)
Because of the smoke. I grew up in a smoking household and didn't know how foul things were - until I moved out
and would then return to visit my mom.
Touché!!!

Petey

UkeKiddinMe
03-20-2013, 01:49 PM
Use the uke as kindling to get the gig bag burning properly. Together they should keep you warm for a few minutes anyway. Might sound cool as the strings snap in the flames. Don't sit too close to the fire. You'll get hot knees. And your clothes will smell of smoke, and you know where that ends up now.
;)

Niiiiiiice. :)

lakesideglenn
03-20-2013, 02:02 PM
Drink heavily...