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Cleaning pet urine from bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SeattleDiver, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. SeattleDiver


    Jul 19, 2007
    Okay, this one is probably a new one for you guys...

    I just bought a used 62 reissue from a post on craigslist and when I played it, it was outside with the wind blowing, plays great, some minor cracks in finish, etc., but otherwise excellent.

    I got it home and opened the case and Peeee U! Apparently the previous owner had a cat or dog who, at least once, favored the bass as it's litter box...:crying:

    I need to clean it, but what can I use that will not destroy the finish or the wood. The smell seems to come from the fingerboard as well and I'm concerned the pet bacteria has penetrated the wood.

    Please advise...

    Seattle Diver
  2. bassksun


    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    Petco has a large assortment of enviro-friendly pet odor destroyers. They are water based and seem to work pretty good. The Hartz products are pretty harsh IMO.

    Good Luck
  3. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
  4. Uh, wow. Yeah, that's a new one.

    I would take it to a luthier or carpenter or something like that. For all you know, since wood is porous, whatever Fluffy sprayed on that baby might be stuck. Odor solvents might just mask the odor and not reverse the damage.

    Contact the original owner and find out what happened, and take it to a luthier. If they say that the damage is irreversible, get your money back (I doubt they disclosed that something turned it into a fire hydrant). If the damage is fixable, decide what you want to do.

    This reminds me of when my mother bought some gems on eBay, and the box reeked of Mary Jane.
  5. RADUB1


    May 11, 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Wow, a bass that has built in FUNK!

  6. DanielM


    Jan 6, 2007
    oddly enough not a first for me... my aunt's (now ex) boyfriend has a load of guitars and basses (nice guy, I should look him up some time) anyway he has a Gibson Black Beauty which was/is his pride and joy, sadly one of his dogs urinated on it... no idea how he got the nastyness off, but I think it was just a soap and water job because he was at hand. but for yours where it has really gotten funky I would suggest one of the afore mentioned Petco products...
  7. Cat urine stains show up when you shine a black light on them. That is all I will say.
  8. As suggested, something like "Odor-b-gone" from Petco in the case and maybe just wipe down the bass with the same stuff, with several LIGHT applications on the rag, but not letting it soak in.

    Maybe some of the dry chemical stuff; but I would try it on some sample woods first, or just on the back in a controlled spot.

    Also, sunlight and fresh air do wonders, with moderation.

    Good luck!
  9. About bacteria, urine is sterile, so you should be good there.

  10. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    For the bass:

    Remove strings.
    Mild solution of Lysol or Mr Clean
    Use lots of elbow grease.
    Rinse with sponge and clean water.
    Lemon Pledge or some kind of funiture polish.
    New Strings

    Try the spray on carpet cleaner. Let dry and vacuum out.

    Yeah, that one is a first.
  11. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    Pledge? wooooo... I dont like the sound of that.
  12. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader" Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
  13. Do you think an open thing of baking soda inside the case would do any good?
  14. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've used in on furniture worth a boatload more than my basses.
    VĂ³ila, the antique highboy really rocks now! And,
    the funk - unreal!

  15. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    That does not mean urine is always bacteria free... i.e urinary infections or any other disease. But if it's old urine it's just the smell thats the problem. Just keep cleaning it and toss the case if that got hit too. eventually it should be ok.
  16. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    I think soap and water should do the trick, just use a damp rag.

    If it still smells like piss, wash it some more and place it in an extra bass case you might have along with some airfresheners.

    I wouldn't trust a nitro finish with chemicals.

    Just my 2 cents
  17. Lucas G

    Lucas G

    Jan 14, 2007
    masury, OH
    nature's miracle all the way!
  18. DigthemLows

    DigthemLows Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Sacramento CA
    throw the case away, you'll never get the smell out..........get a new case, they're cheap!

    And Natures Miracle!!!
  19. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader" Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    and, for anyone concerned, Nature's miracle is an enzyme; not a chemical:)
  20. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Cases can just sometimes smell really bad. Outsourcing of gas in new cases can deaden strings. The case that came with my '51ri smelled like cat pee. It had not been peed in. It was the case. It went to another home.

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