Smoke gets in your eyes! :-(

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rapisme, May 11, 2018.

  1. Rapisme

    Rapisme Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    So I recently discovered that some people find that when they receive an instrument that has that smoky odor. My question if they really wanted the item,
    Whether it's a bass or a body or neck or pickups..
    What is the best way to clear that odor. Polishes, solvents,etc.

    Curious to hear what some would do if they really liked there purchase!
  2. Christine

    Christine Guest

    Aug 3, 2016
    I would give it a clean with warm water and white vinegar, just wipe it down but not any bare wood. Then leave it out of it's case to get some air around it and it will eventually go
    gebass6 and Rapisme like this.
  3. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I had my '68 Precision Bass stolen, and when I actually recovered it, it smelled like smoke in a HUGE way. Because it's painted in Nitro, I didn't want to clean it with anything. The worst thing you can do is keep it in the case. I took my bass out of the case and hung it on my front porch during the day (Spring time) for a few days, and the smell went away. The best way to get rid of tobacco smoke smell is to be around a lot of vegetation. Plants and flowers suck the smell right out.
    ELynx and Rapisme like this.
  4. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yep. The same holds true for even the furriest of cases and cabs.

    Sunlight (if it's not too hot), fresh air, and time.

    Simple. Effective. Free.

    If we're talking about a bass, what I do is set it out in the shade until just before dusk. Once the sky starts to turn amber I set it right out in direct sunlight. At that time of day, the sunlight has to pass through more of the Earth's atmosphere so it is somewhat "filtered" through the gasses in the air (same reason sunset and sunrise colors are so cool). You are much less likely to cause finish cracking because of lower temps and less direct UV light.

    If it's a case or a cab, right out in the noon sun in fresh air. That works even faster.

    UV light is an amazing thing.

    Nothing else has ever worked for me. Nothing.

    Even back when I played gigs in smoky bars, I would wash my jeans and shirts and they still smelled like smoke. A few hours in the sunlight (either before or after washing) and the smell was gone gone gone.
    ELynx, JGbassman, Rapisme and 2 others like this.
  5. Grabber smelled a bit like puke when I got it. I found a piece of cucumber under the 'guard.

    15 years on, the control cavity still smells like puke.
    JGbassman and Rapisme like this.
  6. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Inactive

    Mar 1, 2018
    Hey, that a haiku!:

    Grabber smelled like puke
    Found a piece of cucumber
    under the pickguard
  7. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    That would be a deal breaker for me. I hate cucumbers. Don't want to smell them or let them touch my food.
    Microbass and Christine like this.
  8. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    The old road warrior days, smoke and stale beer, some unidentified stuff caked on, drunk girl puked on your bass...last week, blood from wacking a drunk upside the head with your bass during Freebird, some leftover shrimp in your case from the wedding buffet, what is that stain, and why is my case dripping? Four roaches from two months ago in the accessory compartment...
    Nowadays- Ooo, my case isn't minty fresh, I should get some Fabrese.
    Fishheadjoe, basscapes, ak56 and 3 others like this.
  9. Christine

    Christine Guest

    Aug 3, 2016
    Me too, I always check under the pickguard for cucumber before I buy a new bass :roflmao:
    ppiluk, JRA, charlie monroe and 5 others like this.
  10. Christine

    Christine Guest

    Aug 3, 2016
    I broke a brand new Les Paul doing just that in 77, 2 weeks old and the very first gig. Broke in half and the guy's teeth were everywhere; I got arrested too. I carried that reputation around after that and no bugger ever came anywhere near me :roflmao:
    wesonbass and jchrisk1 like this.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    We fabricated a contraption from a common shipping box and ozone generator to deodorize rental medical equipment ( can guess!). Gas will permeate surfaces where normal cleaning agents won't. Works well but a decent unit can cost some major coin.

  12. I bought the bass from Germany... I was 13/14, it was other mint condition and a bass I wanted. We’ve done hundreds of gigs and countless rehearsals and practice hours since... just don’t put my face too close to the pick up. :hyper:
  13. Rapisme

    Rapisme Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Any more comments folks cause I would love hear more.
    For those of us ostracized smokers be it legal or unhealthy I’m curious how folks deal with getting a piece of equipment that could have spent a good part of life being in let’s say a smoke filled bar or stoner rehearsal space.
    Sorry not trying to offend but I’ve had a couple of instances where a buyer complained. FWIW I find it hard especially when the buyer made a lower than listed price and grabbed a steal!
    Idk, consider that people buy used stuff all the time. Just give it time and air it out! Can’t be that hard? Can it?
    Hopefully or maybe not this doesn’t open a can worms..
    Ok that’s my rant, we’re now back to our regularly scheduled program...
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I think sympathy for smokers is in short supply. I won't own a car from a smoker, and if I bought a bass from one it would be worth 1/3 to 1/2 as much, and would have to be thoroughly deodorized before using it.

    Let's face it, in today's world everything a smoker owns is worth only pennies on the dollar.
    fhm555 likes this.
  15. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I’m sure this insightful reply will go a long way toward helping the OP with his dilemma.

    Well done!
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    While this may be a bit harsh, i’d say it was a fair assessment of people in my nephew the drummers age group (20 somethings), at least it’s his opinion and every one of his friends I’ve met. They see smokers as a pathetic underclass, killing themselves to support megacorps and the fed. They seem to feel differently about coffee, but most of them use coffee. Go figure.
    Not trying to get preachy here, but if something has it’s hooks in’s kinda like wearing leather shoes while bemoaning the slaughter of cows.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
    basscapes and Rapisme like this.
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I think my comment was a statement of fact: everything owned by a smoker is worth pennies on the dollar.

    When selling a bass or other belongings, adjust asking price accordingly and provide full disclosure about the smoking status.

    In terms of adjusting expectations, I think this is a reasonable response. While I don't mean to be unnecessarily blunt, this is a self-inflicted situation and it's realistic to acknowledge it. The phrase used above, "ostracized smokers," is a reflection of reality in much of the US.
  18. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    This post is just as helpful as your last.
    You’re on a roll. Did you save anything up for Act 3?
    Guiseppe likes this.
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'm still trying to figure out your point, other than throwing wet blankets. It appears your primary interest in is criticizing my posts. You have made no other comments in this thread.

    I have made the point that an instrument owned by a smoker is worth less at resale because it repels non-smokers. Some of the good folks who post here need to grasp that fact, although many do "get it."

    If you actually have anything positive or helpful to contribute to the thread, the floor is yours.
  20. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I am criticizing your posts. For two reasons.

    The first reason is that you are being disingenuous. Cigarette smoke does not do irreparable harm to bass guitars. They are sealed pieces of wood. They can be cleaned and deodorized, which coincidentally, the OP is asking about best practices to accomplish.

    Several other posters have made good suggestions, one of which I had come to make myself.

    The second reason is that this is not the first time I have seen you do this type of thing recently. Another TBer asked about securing property in a rehearsal space and specifically stated that hauling gear back and forth was not an option.

    What did Pilgrim do? Posted not once, but twice that there was simply no option other than hauling gear back and forth. Naturally, the posts were constructed in the same haughty, lecturing tone as above i.e. “ comment was a statement of fact”. See the pattern developing?

    I’ve got news. If you were making a statement of fact, nobody would be paying thousands and thousands for 50’s, 60’s or 70’s Fenders. Those basses have been permanently ruined by your standards.

    How about making a concerted effort to make positive contributions to the topic at hand instead of dropping “your truth” in ways that suggest the other posters have no clue.
    Guiseppe, Rapisme and jhb138 like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 22, 2021

Share This Page