De-odorizing smoke smells and cleaning hardware

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ggvicviper, Jan 30, 2013.


  1. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey guys, I have a US-made G&L L-2500 that I just got yesterday for $800. It's a NICE bass, but it's very much a road warrior bass. With that, it has some road warrior bass personality, including a slightly worn neck and a couple of dings. Most importantly though, it was owned by a player who was a heavy smoker. The bass has a moderate tobacco smell, and the pickups and hardware could use a serious cleaning.

    Any tips on eliminating the bass odor and what to use to clean the hardware and pickups with? I wanna get this thing looking (and smelling) much newer/cleaner, especially considering it's a bass that's only from 1999.
     
  2. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

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    I bought a Ric here on TB that smelled like smoke pretty bad too. I cleaned it with guitar cleaner including using QTips in the tight crevices, then let it sit outside on a day it wasnt raining/freezing, on a stand for as long as I could. This, for me, helped get rid of the smell. I also removed the strings and cleaned the board really well too.
     
  3. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool, I'll try to find some guitar cleaner. Anyone know how to get the gunk/rust out of pickups and hardware?
     
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    for the chromed hardware, Mothers Mag Wheel Polish does very well.
    for cleaning the rusted pole pieces, a carefully used piece of fine emery cloth tape works well, and then protect it with a teeeeeeeny bit of machine oil applied with a q-tip.

    for cleaning, sadowsky have several grades of cleaner/polish that I like very well.
    just airing it out, out of the case helps.
     
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  6. bassdog

    bassdog

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    I hate playing in smokey venues. That said, I do on occasion. When I get home I usually wipe my bass with a few alcohol preps. That takes care of the immediate issue of lingering smoke smell. Don't know how that would do with a look term exposure issue. Give it a try. My basses are Am Standard J and a parts PJ. I have not seen any issue with the finish as a result of the wipes on either bass.

    Bob
     
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    Alcohol...yeah, I wouldn't do that, myself.
    ymmv.
     
  8. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Oh, and Chef, I know you like your G&Ls. This one is a Cherryburst with a matching headstock and a rosewood fretboard. I'll post pics of it once I clean it!
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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  10. Crater

    Crater

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    I bought used, giagantic 70's Acoustic bass combo, and it came with a flight case (!!!). Once I got it home and opened it up, it smelled like 10 years' worth of stale cigarette smoke and sour beer smell. I let the amp and cab "air out" in my garage for a couple of weeks, then I sprayed and wiped down the amp's tolex with Febreeze. It never went away completely, but it got to where it wasn't noticeable unless you purposely 'sniffed' the tolex.

    I'm pretty sure G&Ls are finished with polyurethane, a little rubbing alcohol won't hurt in the least (but test on an inconspicuous spot first just to be sure). DON'T use alcohol to clean a nitrocellulose finish.

    I've also read you can leave a scented dryer sheet in your case and that helps to de-odorize a guitar.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    "dryer sheet in the case"

    I'd be more inclined to do that.
    I know alcohol shouldn't hurt a poly finish, I just don't like that, personally.
    There are plenty of good cleaning products.

    ymmv, etc.
     
  12. Kevin aka Kebo

    Kevin aka Kebo

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    Dryer sheets - We just got in a repair on a bass that was laying on dryer shhets.. It micro bubbled the finish. Alcohol - not too keen on.. As mentioned the mag wheel stuff is good on metal stuffs but not gold finished. Not a retailer or endorsee but the Dunlop product line has a nice series of cleaners that works great.
     
  13. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Call me Marc or Marky Potatoes. Gold Supporting Member

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    What's good for gold finished hardware then? I actually have a RBX-5 with gold hardware that could use some cleaning.
     
  14. wcoffey81

    wcoffey81

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    if the bass is just going to be sitting there here is a cheap method to try: buy a bag of charcoal briquets (like kingsford for a grill). put the bass in a large garbage bag with a hand full of the briquets. every couple of days throw away the used charcoal and replace with fresh . each batch of the charcoal will absorb some of the smell. it's cheap and old fashioned but it works. just use a little common sense when placing the charcoal and the bass in the bag
     
  15. zhollywood

    zhollywood

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    A few months ago I bought a Breedlove acoustic from eBay and it smelled like a kitty litter box. I got rid of the smell but it took almost a week.
    1. Change the strings. It helps, trust me.
    2. Do not store it in it's case. It'll only mingle in it.
    3. Clean it with some polish like Dunlop 65 and let the thing air out for a few days to a week. Also, let the case air out.

    After doing this I managed to eliminate any gnarly smell from both the guitar and the bag. It straight up smelled like kitty litter and crap. What is wrong with some people!?
     
  16. Osprey

    Osprey

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    I used to play with a guy whose wife was a big fan of those air fresheners that are plugged into electric sockets. I left a speaker cab there for a couple of months: it took years to get rid of the stink of air-freshener.
     
  17. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

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    Put baking soda in the case without the bass in it and let it air out seperate.
     
  18. Kevin aka Kebo

    Kevin aka Kebo

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    For gold plate,
    Old school trick.. Use a brass instruments cleaning rag
    Maybe a touch of vinegar and water
    Jewelry cleaner
     
  19. svtb15

    svtb15

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    I have an Ozone machine that is great for killing smoke smells.....
     
  20. oldleftybass

    oldleftybass

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    I got a Gibson SG a few months ago, it's a '97 and had been a real road warrior- dings, cracks, repairs, smokey. My nature would be to take it apart and start cleaning, polishing, replacing, but this thing has so much Mojo that I'm enjoying just playing it as is. Just looking at it and smelling it (I'm not a smoker) tells its life story. So I'm letting it alone- it's earned it.
     
  21. sbpark

    sbpark

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    I just picked up a '76 P-bass that was covered in grime and smelled like cigars. I used Fabreeze on the inside of the case. I sprayed it generously and let it sit opened up overnight to dry.

    I used Brasso metal polish on the tuners, knobs and frets and everything came out real nice. i've also used Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream in the past (used to use it to polish engine cases on my Triumph) and it also works great and is awesome for polishing up frets as well. I'm sure others will scoff at this, but I used Pledge furniture polish with lemon oil for the body and fretboard, then put it outside in the sun (out of immediate direct sunlight so it doesn't cook) so the UV can do it's thing. Think it came out real nice.

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