Stinky guitar case

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by speedicut, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    The last few days I've noticed a smell coming from my 6120DSW.
    I'ts kind of a weird, sour smell and seems to be coming from the surface not the inside.
    I get a little whiff of it from the case too.
    Two questions:
    1) what do I have sitting around the house that would remove the smell from the guitar? (cleaners like windex, a little soapy water on a paper towel, etc)
    2) what to de-stink the guitar case? I also have another 6120 case that is kind of musty smelling. I could spray some Febreeze in it but would this ( or any other chemicals) hurt my finish? Maybe some baking soda? I think that might be a little messy.

    Currently, I'm storing the guitar in the musty case and letting the sour stinky one air out.
    Also, what the heck could have caused this?
    My guitars stay in their cases in the safe and only come out for playing and then right back in the cases.
    My practice time comes right after a shower so it's not coming from me!!

    Anyway, it's sho 'nuff funky and I need some guidance ( or a clothespin for my nose ) quick!
     
  2. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    London...ish
    Open your case, take the guitar out. Pop in a shallow bowl containing some bicarb of soda.

    Leave for a few days, remove the bowl (and soda) when the the smell has be gone.

    It's a common problem.

    M :)
     
  3. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    This may sound a little bizarre but there is a pet shampoo called "Skunk-Off" that will work like a charm. Put a capful of it into a bowl of hot water, wash the inside of the case and let it thoroughly dry. The smell will be gone.
     
  4. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    Thanks guys..
    I'l try the soda first since I have some of that on hand and if it's still there I'll get the Skunk Off
     
  5. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    If you can, get the case outside open on a sunny windy day a few hours will help. I've noticed that quite a bit on the new cases Gretsch uses. The longer it's closed the stinkier it gets. The guitar picks up the stink. I actually sold a guitar because I couldn't get that smell out.
     
  6. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Country Gent

    Sep 18, 2011
    Mississauga, Canada
    As a bonus, it keeps skunks out of your guitars. Buggers.
     
  7. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    What would be a good way to clean the guitar itself?
    I'd like to use some common cleaning stuff I might have around rather than waiting for UPS to deliver something from Amazon....but I don't want to mess up the finish.
     
  8. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    A medium size bowl of hot water with one drop of a good dish soap in it. Soak a soft cloth, wring it out and wash the guitar. Let dry. Polish it with Meguiers Ultimate car polish. Use sparingly and it gives the guitar a beautiful shine, won't hurt the finish, gives great protection and a bottle lasts for many years.
     
  9. MacStevenXIII

    MacStevenXIII Synchromatic

    Age:
    38
    955
    Jan 9, 2009
    Boston
    Put a dryer sheet in the case and pop one into your guitar through the f-hole
     
  10. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    It sounds more like a mold/living smell than a chemical/dead smell.

    For a common household cleaner, try white vinegar. This is an all-purpose cleaner that sanitizes, disinfects and de-stinks. Dilute with distilled water as necessary (although tap water if fine). I would definitely do this with the case, inside and out, then run let it air out with a fan blowing on it.

    I have NOT tried it on guitar finishes, so I cannot promise that it won't affect finishes, particularly nitros. However, this website says vinegar is safe. http://www.premierguitar.com/articl...op-101-safe-ways-to-clean-your-guitars-finish

    Note that the vinegar smell will go away pretty quickly; circulation/blowing a fan will help.
     
  11. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Henry, I don't think I would trust vinegar or any acid on a delicate guitar finish. One mistake!
     
  12. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    I understand, that's why I provided the caveat and the link. It's a matter of science and the only real information I have found about vinegar on guitar finishes is that it is fine. I've seen many guitar techs suggest 1 part vinegar to 2-3 parts water for fretboard cleaning as well.

    Diluted vinegar is used for a lot of delicate applications. In fact, that is why many people prefer vinegar over common cleaning fluids which are much harsher and/or leave a residue.

    But it's your guitar and I'm not providing a guaranty!:p
     
  13. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    The sour smell actually reminds me of vinegar...
     
  14. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    Both my Gretsch cases and the Gibson too smell like vanilla ... quite nice.

    A good harmless method of getting rid of a bad smell is coffee powder, no joke. I would try that first.
     
  15. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Vinegar smell will go away pretty quickly.

    Would you describe it as chemically (new car, cheap new rug/furniture smell) or organic (musty, mildew, mold)?

    I think u need to figure out if it is a living or dead smell. Different solutions.
     
  16. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    It's an organic style sour smell.

    My Duo Jet from Wildwood smells like vanilla...I guess they spray something in the case. Very nice!
     
  17. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Germany
    As I said, try coffee powder ... I often used it in the fridge, if I forgot to get rid of something, that was no longer good and began to smell ;)
     
  18. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Don't put your guitar in any musty or mildewy case. Musty means there is something growing in your case; you don't want it to immigrate to your guitar.

    Check for moisture wherever you store your guitars/cases. I had a guitar case that I stored under the bed in a carpeted room. Unfortunately, I put the guitar under there before my carpet had completely dried and a couple weeks later, the case had mold in it and stank. Moisture (and its partner in crime, heat) is the main culprit for an organic stink.

    There are many ways to de-stink and clean the case - if the case is salvageable. Don't use anything that will leave residue - and your goal is to REMOVE the stink, not cover it up. I wouldn't use febreeze. I would look into baking soda, vinegar and lemon - natural products that are good with stink and getting rid of mold. Lots of recipes online - perhaps follow instructions for upholstered furniture. If the case is not too expensive, I would apply liberally to the interior, and dry it completely with a fan.

    Clean the guitar thoroughly as I would be very concerned about something starting to grow inside the guitar as the wood is susceptible to mold and the interior is not protected like the exterior.

    If you play after you shower, I would let the guitar air out before storing it as after a shower, your skin is usually warm and moist and will actually be releasing moisture into the air, creating humidity around your body. Some of that moisture will transfer to the guitar, will be sealed in the case, and become food for organisms.
     
  19. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    PS I am kinda paranoid about mold, so perhaps take my advice with a grain of salt :)
     
  20. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    Alabama
    It's never been near moisture so I don't think it's mold.
    It may just be the fuzz in the case. It has a faint smell when I stick my big nose right in the fuzz ( can I say that on this forum?)
    I'm thinking about setting it outside in the sun tomorrow and see if that helps....maybe a little ultraviolet light and an airing out might do the trick.
    Meanwhile, a little dish detergent on a slightly damp paper towel worked on the guitar.
     
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