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Old 05-25-2019, 08:02 AM   #1
plgrmsprgrs
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Default Removing Cigarette Smell From Guitar?/Truss Rod Stuck (SMELL SOLVED)

I recently picked up a Sigma DR-28H acoustic for pretty cheap. Sounds and plays great, but the sound hole smells like an old ashtray in a cheap motel room. Any ideas how to get rid of the odor?

Also, the truss rod seems to be stuck. Like I said, it plays fine with the action as is. Just wondering if there are any tricks to loosen it back up?

Thanks! Kyle
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:31 AM   #2
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Loan it to some of the violently anti-shower/ anti-soap/ anti-deodorant musicians around here, I promise you will forget the smoke smell
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:47 AM   #3
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Loan it to some of the violently anti-shower/ anti-soap/ anti-deodorant musicians around here, I promise you will forget the smoke smell
LOL. Now that was funny.
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Old 05-25-2019, 01:00 PM   #4
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When I worked in hotels, we frequently used coffee grounds to get rid of odors but for a guitar...

I'd just wipe it down with a light bleach and water solution (might be easier in a spray bottle) and then rub some wood furniture oil on it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 01:06 PM   #5
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I didn't think it was possible to remove the smell but Coachz was successful with an amp. Search for coachz as the user and cigarette as the search term.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:10 AM   #6
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Don't do it !!!

Beefhearts 10 rules for guitarists
(rule no 8 is very important about smells)

1. Listen to the birds.
That's where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren't going anywhere.

2. Your guitar is not really a guitar. Your guitar is a divining rod.
Use it to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a fishing rod. If you're good, you'll land a big one.

3. Practice in front of a bush.
Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush dosen't shake, eat another piece of bread.

4. Walk with the devil.
Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the "devil box." And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you're bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

5. If you're guilty of thinking, you're out.
If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.

6. Never point your guitar at anyone.
Your instrument has more clout than lightning. Just hit a big chord then run outside to hear it. But make sure you are not standing in an open field.

7. Always carry a church key.
That's your key-man clause. Like One String Sam. He's one. He was a Detroit street musician who played in the fifties on a homemade instrument. His song "I Need a Hundred Dollars" is warm pie. Another key to the church is Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's guitar player. He just stands there like the Statue of Liberty-making you want to look up her dress the whole time to see how he's doing it.

8. Don't wipe the sweat off your instrument.
You need that stink on there. Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

9. Keep your guitar in a dark place.
When you're not playing your guitar, cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don't play your guitar for more than a day, be sure you put a saucer of water in with it.

10. You gotta have a hood for your engine.
Keep that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house, the hot air can't escape. Even a lima bean has to have a piece of wet paper around it to make it grow.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:59 AM   #7
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I had great success removing the smell for my Marshall amp. The majority of the smell is in the cloth in front of the speaker so what I did was disassemble the entire amp and take the front grill and spray it down heavily with warm water mixed with TSP, trisodium phosphate.

Then I put it in front of a fan to dry. For the rest of the amp I mixed up some warm water with dishwashing soap and ammonia and scrubbed it down with a cloth. Just a little bit of dishwashing soap. Like a tablespoon in a bucket of water maybe 1/2 cup of ammonia. After everything dried and was reassembled the smell totally disappeared. This couple hours I ever spent

I had previously tried spraying the hell out of it with air fresheners and that did nothing but make it worse

For an acoustic guitar you might have to take it to a place they can put it in an ozone chamber for a few hours. I think that's going to be your best bet
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:07 AM   #8
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A large bowl of bleach placed overnight in a musty basement always seemed to work pretty good at getting rid of that musty odor.

I wonder if you could do the same thing by placing a small jar of bleach inside the body of the guitar, cover the sound hole, and let sit overnight. Just be careful not to spill any.

As far as the truss rod goes, if you're OK with the action as is, you might want to just leave that alone. Short of removing the fret board, there's not a whole lot you can do with a truss rod.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
A large bowl of bleach placed overnight in a musty basement always seemed to work pretty good at getting rid of that musty odor.

I wonder if you could do the same thing by placing a small jar of bleach inside the body of the guitar, cover the sound hole, and let sit overnight. Just be careful not to spill any.

As far as the truss rod goes, if you're OK with the action as is, you might want to just leave that alone. Short of removing the fret board, there's not a whole lot you can do with a truss rod.
I would not do that without first researching it. It might cause damage. Maybe sell it on craigslist
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
A large bowl of bleach placed overnight in a musty basement always seemed to work pretty good at getting rid of that musty odor.
Bleach tends to kill mold et al. Might be more beneficial to place baking soda in the guitar for a few days (with the sound hole covered) which you can just vacuum out. However, cigarette smell tends to come from tar buildup, that difficult to remove film you see on car windows of smokers - I'm not sure if baking soda would get rid of that in a reasonable time from a smell perspective, since it is only absorbing the smell not removing the build up - probably worth a try.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
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Vinegar does it. A light wiping with paper towel. Still there, repeat..
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:41 AM   #12
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You could try naptha (lighter fluid, essentially). It can help to take off the tarry stuff and won't damage the finish.

Alternatively, just start smoking. You lose your sense of smell and everyone know that smoking is cool.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Bleach tends to kill mold et al. Might be more beneficial to place baking soda in the guitar for a few days (with the sound hole covered) which you can just vacuum out. However, cigarette smell tends to come from tar buildup, that difficult to remove film you see on car windows of smokers - I'm not sure if baking soda would get rid of that in a reasonable time from a smell perspective, since it is only absorbing the smell not removing the build up - probably worth a try.
The tar is the real problem, when I was in the tv repair business in the 90's, ammonia was the ticket and made the screens turn liquid yellow when cleaned with it.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Coachz View Post
The tar is the real problem, when I was in the tv repair business in the 90's, ammonia was the ticket and made the screens turn liquid yellow when cleaned with it.
I was a heavy smoker for 25 years so I agree. The old Studio Pre-late 2013 before I quit:

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Old 05-26-2019, 11:21 AM   #15
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Baking powder is a good de-odoriser. And probably safe to sprinkle inside and leave overnight? Vacuuming afterwards might be a challenge. Maybe some powdered charcoal in sealed in a bag with guitar?
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:46 AM   #16
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On the stuck trussrod, maybe have someone lend a hand pulling on the neck to relieve some of the tension while the other person wrenches the trussrod nut free. If that works out, get a new trussrod nut and wax it before installing. I have done this once on a friend's guitar.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:50 AM   #17
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I know for me I would not keep a piece that I could not get rid of the smell of. It just annoys me too much. I DO think the ozone treatment will work but will likely cost $50 or so to have them treat for a few hours. good luck.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Coachz View Post
I know for me I would not keep a piece that I could not get rid of the smell of. It just annoys me too much. I DO think the ozone treatment will work but will likely cost $50 or so to have them treat for a few hours. good luck.
Contrary to my comments in your original thread, I think it eventually goes away. I just pulled out that marshal above and it and gear that I owned for decades living in smoke, no longer seem to smell like smoke FWIW.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:53 PM   #19
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Contrary to my comments in your original thread, I think it eventually goes away. I just pulled out that marshal above and it and gear that I owned for decades living in smoke, no longer seem to smell like smoke FWIW.
It probably does over years. I would bet 6 months would not have been enough for the amp I bought. I was so nasty.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:24 PM   #20
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I was so nasty.
Quoting for fun.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:29 PM   #21
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I remember scrubbing the funk off of an amp cab once. I was a teenager, and it was an old Peavey. Remember those old Peavey's that fill up pawnshops? Like this one:



A friend had just got it in trade, and brought it to me. Course of action: Removed the amp and speaker from the cab. Placed it in the bathtub with the shower on. Went after it with a scrub brush and dish soap. 10 minutes later it looked like new. Finished it off with a good drying and some furniture polish. It looked better than any pawnshop special you ever saw.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Quoting for fun.
oops !
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:25 AM   #23
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there is a company that makes various product for getting rid of smells

https://www.smellsbegone.com/

I use one of their spray bottle in car and house and it works great... that one has no odor of its own

https://www.smellsbegone.com/product...ree-spray-12oz

amazon carries their stuff
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:34 AM   #24
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I think you will do better with ozone treatment.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:23 PM   #25
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Just exhale pot smoke at it till that predominates...
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:18 PM   #26
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Hey - thanks everyone for the ideas. Here's what I ended up doing, and it seems to have worked very well.

I remembered that my wife had a mesh sack of lava rock pieces somewhere around the house that she used to remove smoke smells in the house after leaving some chicken on the stove and forgetting it. I found the stones and put them in the guitar and left it on the stand. That was it. The cigarette smell is all but completely gone. I have to stick my nose inside the guitar to catch a hint of it. Posting a link below to Amazon in case anyone want to try them.

https://www.amazon.com/Gonzo-Odor-El...ustomerReviews

Kyle
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:41 PM   #27
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I wouldn't put bleach, vinegar, tsp, or anything other than distilled water on the body. You can dry out the top really easily, which kills the guitar.

I would be inclined to clean the frets thoroughly with fine grit steel wool, then lemon oil the fingerboard. You can get it at guitar shops/music stores.

I would also get a guitar humidifier, probably soundhole. Leave it in there for a good while. The moisture should cause the wood to expand, leeching out the stink. It'll get worse before it gets better.

I've also been able to play it out of guitars. The more you play, the more you sweat into the wood. You'll slough piles of skin cells in there as well. They'll replace the stink after awhile.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:02 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plgrmsprgrs View Post
Hey - thanks everyone for the ideas. Here's what I ended up doing, and it seems to have worked very well.

I remembered that my wife had a mesh sack of lava rock pieces somewhere around the house that she used to remove smoke smells in the house after leaving some chicken on the stove and forgetting it. I found the stones and put them in the guitar and left it on the stand. That was it. The cigarette smell is all but completely gone. I have to stick my nose inside the guitar to catch a hint of it. Posting a link below to Amazon in case anyone want to try them.

https://www.amazon.com/Gonzo-Odor-El...ustomerReviews

Kyle
Charcoal?
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:44 PM   #29
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Charcoal?
" . . . made of non-toxic, volcanic minerals . . ."
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:05 AM   #30
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I remember scrubbing the funk off of an amp cab once. I was a teenager, and it was an old Peavey. Remember those old Peavey's that fill up pawnshops? Like this one:



A friend had just got it in trade, and brought it to me. Course of action: Removed the amp and speaker from the cab. Placed it in the bathtub with the shower on. Went after it with a scrub brush and dish soap. 10 minutes later it looked like new. Finished it off with a good drying and some furniture polish. It looked better than any pawnshop special you ever saw.
That Peavey is a cool amp. I had one of the early Classics, before they had the colored knobs, and it was loud and crunchy. I ended up giving it away when I moved out of state.
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