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View Full Version : How I cured my stinky uke...



OldePhart
05-11-2013, 04:15 AM
There have been several threads on removing odors from ukes and cases. Most of them involve rice or baking soda or some combination of rice and baking soda shaken inside the uke but this one has a pickup and I really didn't want loose material getting into the coiled wiring or the jack, etc. One of the ukes I purchased used was very dry when I got it but had a slightly musty, mildew smell as if it had once been very wet and then allowed to dry out.

With proper humidification at around 50% the smell got stronger, even though I couldn't find any visible signs of mold or mildew with a lighted inspection mirror.

Yesterday I had a brainstorm (yes, it was painful :) ). I poured baking soda into a coffee filter and folded it over and taped it up where it couldn't leak, then tucked it in the strings in the sound hole and closed the case. That was around 3PM yesterday afternoon. This morning the uke smells fresh as a daisy - well, actually, it doesn't have any smell at all.

I would like to find a small UV-C lamp that I can slip inside for a few hours at the next string change, just in case there is mold growing deep inside somewhere, but the baking soda in the coffee filter worked wonders - I expected it to take several days to absorb the strong odor but about 18 hours seems to have done the job quite nicely.

I also expected to have to mask any remaining odor by putting coffee in the body for a while but that doesn't seem to be needed, either.

John

The Big Kahuna
05-11-2013, 04:23 AM
I'd suggest either one of the Neutradol car air fresheners that come in a sealed plastic sleeve, where you peel back the top to reveal holes for the scent to come out, or hang a Magic Tree from the strings (on the inside of the body). The Neutradol would be my choice, as it's an odour neutraliser. Just peel it back far enough to reveal a couple of holes and take it out after a couple of hours.

I assume they sell these in the USA.

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/NEUTRADOL-CAR-ODOUR-DESTROYER-AIR-FRESHNER-GEL-SUPER-FRESH-GREEN-/00/s/MzAwWDMwMA==/$T2eC16RHJGQE9noM,B8!BQSS9Djl5g~~60_35.JPG

The Big Kahuna
05-11-2013, 04:23 AM
Good job on the baking soda by the way.

Toucan Mango
05-11-2013, 04:42 AM
I wonder if an oder eater shoe insert would work? :D

BIGDB
05-11-2013, 04:53 AM
That's a great idea. Did you put it in the sound hole or over it?

RonT
05-11-2013, 04:54 AM
Tea bag....?
R

OldePhart
05-11-2013, 09:59 AM
I wonder if an oder eater shoe insert would work? :D

Probably would - but could be counter-productive if you used a used one... LOL

@Big Kahuna - I don't know if we have that brand but we do have various air fresheners - the problem is that many of them stink worse than the uke did (I can't stand fake chemical "fresh" odors, they make me sneeze, I'd rather smell the south end of a north-bound horse). I wanted something that would absorb odor but not cover it up - I figured if I still needed to cover up any lingering odor I'd use coffee or unburned pipe tobacco - both of which are smells I like. I'm also a cheap sort and I had the coffee filters on hand and a big box of baking soda was sixty-nine cents... :)

@BIGDB - I put it between the strings and hanging down into the sound hole like I do with humidifiers.

@RonT - Funny you should mention a tea bag - I had actually considered taking the tea out of a couple of large tea bags (the big ones for brewing ice tea) and putting baking soda in them when I thought about the coffee filters.

John

RonT
05-11-2013, 10:16 AM
Just threw that tea bag thing out for effect. Don't know for sure of that use in any other odor elimination situation.
Maybe it would cleanse, maybe overpower, or both. Or just smell like Earl Grey;^).
R

bborzell
05-11-2013, 10:18 AM
I've been trying for weeks to get rid of a mango/cedar smell in my new tenor.

OldePhart
05-11-2013, 10:20 AM
I've been trying for weeks to get rid of a mango/cedar smell in my new tenor.

Bwaaa-haaa. Good luck wit dat. :)

ukuLily Mars
05-11-2013, 10:21 AM
Just threw that tea bag thing out for effect. Don't know for sure of that use in any other odor elimination situation.
Maybe it would cleanse, maybe overpower, or both. Or just smell like Earl Grey;^).
R

You could use an herbal tea, if you like the smell of mint or cinnamon or ginger or something like that.

This was a great idea on its own, though! I'm glad it worked so well. You were right to use the coffee filter, though, as it is stronger than a teabag.

mds725
05-11-2013, 04:15 PM
I've used this product to get rid of case odors. It works great at absorbing odors.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=25229&d=1309632457


It's basically, um, baking soda wrapped in a coffee filter. :)

OldePhart
05-11-2013, 04:50 PM
It's basically, um, baking soda wrapped in a coffee filter. :)

BWAA-HAAA - now that's pretty funny. I've just reinvented the wheel. LOL

John

The Big Kahuna
05-11-2013, 08:35 PM
Tea bag....?


I'd prefer to congratulate him in the usual way.

OldePhart
05-12-2013, 08:40 AM
I'd prefer to congratulate him in the usual way.

BWAAAA-HAAA - I was waiting for that... :)

John