Removing nasty odour from bass and case...any tips???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lefty_400, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. lefty_400


    May 18, 2005
    Both my P-Bass and its case have a fairly heavy odour that I am trying to get rid of. The odour reminds me of those little boxes of raisins kids hate to get on Halloween. The worst part is, the damn smell sticks to you and whatever clothes you are wearing!

    I will admit I don't stringently wipe off the bass after playing, never have since I bought it used about five years ago, yet I never noticed any smell until it appeared in force last year. Also, I treat my Rick and Jazz basses the same way and they don't have any strange odours.

    I've dosed the case in Febreze several times over, and it seems to be working.

    Any ideas on how to get the smell off the bass? Believe it or not, I've wet a cloth in febreze and rubbed the bass down, but the smell is still pretty strong. I know once I put it back in the case it'll reinfect the case, sending me back to square one.

    Any tips guys?

  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains:
    put some pipe tobacco in it...
  3. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    If you can't ditch the case, trying sticking a dryer sheet or two in it. That sickly raisin smell sounds like old sweaty stank. That'd have to be a lot of sweat!
  4. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Can you leave the bass out of the case for a few days. If it is some bacteria or other life form, use direct sunlight exposure, particularly on your case to kill it off. Should be a dry day when moisture won't help the little buggers grow.

    While your case is cooking, I would wipe down the bass, particularly the body with some alcohol wipes, nothing to serious but a good wipe down and let it air dry out pretty good.

    Before bringing the two together, give the case a good sniffing. If you catch a whiff of the old musty, then either prepare to part with it or keep it in the sunlight a little longer.

    Had a musty smell on a '77 Ripper I added to the family recently. Vacuumed out the case like a maniac and left it out in the 90 degree SoCal afternoon sun. Worked for me.
    Sixpack324 likes this.
  5. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    +1 to direct sunlight. Pick the hottest day you can find and a perfect spot to let the case bake for a few hours or more. For the bass, maybe those new Clorox cloths (they come in canisters that remind me of "Wet Ones") to clean and disinfect it...?
  6. playibanez


    Apr 3, 2006
    MobileHolmes likes this.
  7. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Yorktown, VA
    If it is bacteria-ish stuff...try Lysol. Let it dry THEN put it out in the sun. Between the two...bacteria doesn't stand a chance.

    I like the pipe tobacco idea for my clean smelling case. :)
  8. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    if you have access to a Sharper Image Ionic Breeze (or a copy of one), place the case and the ionic breeze in a closet for a few days.. with the Ionic Breeze on high.. ionic breezes give off ozone (O3) and will kill the smell.. you can put the bass in there also..

    i've done this more than once, and it works great..
  9. Domestos or Morrison's home brand (Trust) anti-bacterial kitchen cleaner, the one in the squirty bottle!
  10. Exposed to the sun but, not for drastically long periods of time; and at night put some Arm & Hammer baking soda in a pie dish with the case closed. Obviously make sure its lying down and the bass is out.
    Sixpack324 likes this.
  11. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    for the bass, I'd give it a good cleaning with naptha, changing the cleaning cloth as needed. the naptha won't hurt the finish and will remove whatever residue is causing the odor. I'd be inclined to remove as much hardware as possible before cleaning. repeat as necessary until you're satisfied with the results. after it's clean, I'd use some of the Dunlop 65 polish on it.
    TMARK likes this.
  12. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    all good answers...
  13. heatheroo


    May 22, 2008
    Ephrata PA
    put a dish of coffee grounds in the case overnight.
  14. hasadari


    Jun 23, 2005
    an open box of baking soda for a few days. Or a bottle of Polo.
  15. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    I emptied half a bottle of Fabreeze in one of mine and left it open in the garage for a couple of days. Then I doused it again and waited another couple of days. Seemed to work. I kept a couple of bounce sheets in the storage compartment for another few weeks.

    The smell is 90% gone now. It was really smoky and someone must have poured a pitched of beer into it at some point.

    Blech!:spit::D Cigarettes and Polo. Nice combo!
  16. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Yorktown, VA
    Bah ha ha ha :eek:

    One drop will over power almost anything.
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  17. poomwah


    Jan 26, 2008
    shouldnt we be asking what kind of finish he has before we start having him pour stuff on it?
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  18. lefty_400


    May 18, 2005
    It's a 1978 P-Bass so its a Poly from my understanding of things. I did a little side research after reading the comments and it seems Poly can take whatever Nitro can take and then some.

    Tomorrow I'll try the Naphtha lighter fluid on the bass and see if it gets the raisin funk out...If it doesn't maybe I'll go Monterey on it in the backyard and film it for youtube! :D
  19. kenjikun


    Apr 27, 2008
    One of the main causes of bad odor is moisture. I suggest the following:

    1. After using the bass especially after a gig, wipe-off the sweats that accumulated in the bass before putting it back in the case.

    2. Put some moisture absorbent materials in the case (similar to those we see in medicine bottles.

    3. Put CHARCOAL especially BAMBOO CHARCOAL in the case. Why? It Regulates Humidity:
    When put in refrigerators and drawers, bamboo charcoal absorbs odor and hazardous substances in air. Placed in vegetable section of fridge, and it will absorb ethylene gas and keep vegetables and fruits fresh. Also, the charcoal keeps your clothes and shoes dry and comfortable.

    4. Lastly and most important: Take a bath before going to a gig:D
  20. Thread revival... (I did my search!)...

    I bought a used bass and the bass and case smells like pot. I don't smoke and I really don't like it. I've taken the bass out of the case permanently and wiped it down with guitar polish. It has new strings and does not see any smoky environments anymore. I've Febreezed the case, but that has not done too much.

    Any more suggestions?