Just going to get to the point... My Yamaha smells like cat piss

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tbird42, Aug 7, 2018.


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  1. So my dad has a cat and also a nice Yamaha RBX-270 bass. He let me have it for a while to learn on, then he pretty much just gave it to me. It's always had a peculiar... 'aroma' to it, and it took me a while (somehow) to figure out that at some point, that crotchety old cat pissed on the gig bag for the bass, and it now reeks. And unfortunately, the smell has worn onto the Yamaha, which I do like a lot, it's a nice PJ bass I put some killer Rotosound strings on, but unfortunately the bass and killer strings now smell like cat piss. Is there any way to undo this tragedy? I've had to stop using it for gigs for a while just because, well frankly, I don't like my hands smelling like cat piss.
     
  2. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    100% wipe down with Febreeze? And/Or something like Clorox antiseptic cleaner wipes?

    Then put it somewhere warm and point a box fan right at it, for days if necessary.
     
    tbird42 likes this.
  3. Right, that sounds like a safe bet.
    Incidentally I just recently got a cat of my own, anything I could do to make my instruments less appealing to piss on?
     
  4. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Wash the gig bag, for one thing. There are products far more specific to dealing with cat pee (or "pet urine") than those mentioned above. There's at least one other thread that went into detail, let me search. Clean the bag, new strings, clean the whole bass with the strings off.

    My prior suggestions here - that was a case rather than a gig bag - a gig bag should be easily washable in the tub, if not a washing machine. Hit it with some vinegar at some point in the process, wash it well, and rinse it a lot, and turn it inside out to dry in the sun...
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  5. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Yeah, my suggestions were mainly for the instrument. If the cat peed in the gig bag, that’s gonna be tough. Deal with the bag and the bass separately and consider it a win if you only lose the battle with the bag.
     
    tbird42 likes this.
  6. Alright, a little disappointed that I can't save the strings, they were a gift.
     
  7. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    You could certainly TRY washing the strings (some folks boil old ones, so it's not like water should ruin them so long as you dry them when done) but it might not be a win.
     
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  8. I doubt the strings themselves have picked up any cat stank. The little oil you left on them maybe. A good boiling should fix that no worries.
     
  9. Throw the gig bag in the trash and get a new one. After all, it is the source of getting the cat piss on your bass and may not be worth the time trying to save it. Concentrate your efforts on the bass alone.
    I have seen under pet supplies remedies for for removing pet urine smell like the link below That said, not sure how safe it would be to use on the bass finish. Good Luck!
    https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Solut...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=G33HYD85FSRE6EYC9BYZ
     
  10. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Replace the strings. Treat the rest with an enzyme cleaner. Forget the Febreze, that's just perfume, doesn't do anything to the stink...
     
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  11. Thanks, I'll give my dad the smell-free bass and new gig bag as a late father's day present.
     
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  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Boil the strings.

    Toss the gig bag.

    Set the bass outside in direct sunlight at dusk several days in a row.

    Sunlight and fresh air are literally the ONLY things that can deal with that smell.

    Unless you live in a cooler climate than I do, do NOT set it outside at noon.

    Late day direct sunlight will still get it some UV rays to kill the smell.

    An hour or so of direct light about a half dozen times should do the trick.
     
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  13. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Take the strings off the Bass and clean them with mineral oil. Take a Rag and coat them with the oil then wipe it all off and repeat the process. If that bass has a clear poly finish, clean all glossy areas with denatured alcohol.

    Apply a light coating of mineral oil on the fretboard, about a third of the fretboard at a time. Wipe the oil right back off with a small clean rag and discard the rag. Do the same with the other two thirds of the the fretboard. Then repeat the process on the fretboard a second time.

    Really, the fretboard and the silks on the strings are the only thing that can actually absorb the odor.

    I would toss the gig bag unless it's a really nice one. If it is a nice high dollar gig bag take it to a laundromat and put it in one of those large front load washers and wash it twice with non-chlorine bleach and detergent. Then let it air-dry outside.

    That's how I would deal with it. ymmv
     
  14. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    As for less appealing to piddle on, that mostly depends on the cat. Mine like to sit in any opened case, so the cure for that is not to leave the case open, but they are not prone to marking (peeing on/in) them. If your cat feels differently, reducing its access is the best method - hang them on wall hangers, put the cased instruments on inconvenient to cat shelves, have a music closet or room that's off limits to cats. Covers can help with amps/cabs. but it's a very individual thing, and can also depend on whether you have teed off your cat in a way that it responds to by peeing on things, or if it pees on things because it feels defensive or is un-nutered/un-spayed.
     
  15. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    You can keep a cat away from a closed case by placing a open pouch of cheap pipe tobacco on or near it. They'll leave it alone.
     
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  16. As of now my new cat's favorite spot is behind my acoustic guitar rack, so I'm thinking unlike my dog, it's not afraid of instruments. I'll have to take extra measures, thanks.
     
  17. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Sounds like it wants a nice hidey-hole, perhaps one well out of the dog's path. Offer a cardboard box, or something fancier as an alternative to the space behind the guitar rack.

    Incidentally, while I think discarding at least the lining (if it's a nice enough case not to chuck the whole case) is the right response for a case that's been peed in, I see no issue with washing cat pee out of a gig bag - it's not plutonium, it can indeed be washed out or off if the item can be washed. A fancy leather gig bag would complicate that, I guess, but the ones I've met personally are pretty much nylon and foam and quite washable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  18. I'll try, he's an oddball and he's a bit unpredictable right now since he's still adjusting to his new home. Hopefully he's better than the other cat.
     
  19. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Gotta respectfully disagree on Febreze. It’s science & chemistry, not just perfume. This is a good read on eliminating unpleasant odors in general with an explanation of products like Febreze.

    The mind-blowing science of how Febreze hides your smelliness
     
  20. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The enzymes still work better, imho. Not interested in "hiding". Interested in removing.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
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