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Removing Tobacco Odours


varney
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If I remember right, my wife bought it through a laboratory supply outfit. Admittedly, this isn't a source a lot of folks won't have easy access to. I went down to the laundry room and garage to see if we still had some, but could not find any. I thought maybe giving another brand name might help. If folks would like, I will ask Robin tonight when she gets home from the lab to see what she remembers about where she bought it.

 

Alan

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Is this just pumice?

No.

It's a special kind of mineral, as malcolmbebb said, found only in some volcanic rocks.

 

...most of the pet care emporia want to sell wet spray stuffs, but still looking.

I wonder about the effectiveness of such a mineral, as it should only be able to remove the obnoxious molecules which reach it, not extract them from parts of the instrument it's not in contact with. If it works, then it seems to me that simply airing out the instruments (with the smell escaping into the countryside, rather than being trapped in a zeolite) should be just as effective. But in order to "search and destroy", what should be needed is some sort of vapor (or liquid :ph34r:) that can penetrate crevices and wood grain and react with the odors to neutralize them.

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I find that a good thorough cleaning gets rid of most of the smell. Take the whole thing apart, brush out all lose dust (either outdoors or with help from a vacuum cleaner to avoid inhaling the stuff) then wipe over every surface inside and out with a cloth that has been very slightly dampened with detergent.

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I can add some input here. The most common and cheapest household source of zeolite minerals is kitty litter. No need to buy special zeolite products. These minerals are very good at absorbing strong smells, however, application in a concertina might introduce a lot of dust particles that could be hard to remove.

 

I've used an ozone generator for the purpose of darkening wood. It's easy to make a generator using an old transformer from commercial neon lights. Then adjust two wires to almost touch and hence create an electric arc. I put it in a closed aquarium, along with the wood, arcing like crazy for about 10 minutes. Don't look at the spark, or breathe the gas!! Wood gets tanned to the color of a brown paper bag. I don't know if it helps eliminate odors--it might, but it will cause physical changes including darkening as well.

 

However these methods seem to me (an owner of several stinky concertinas) to be unnecessary.

 

A thorough manual cleaning generally solves the problem.

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I wonder about the effectiveness of such a mineral, as it should only be able to remove the obnoxious molecules which reach it, not extract them from parts of the instrument it's not in contact with. If it works, then it seems to me that simply airing out the instruments (with the smell escaping into the countryside, rather than being trapped in a zeolite) should be just as effective. But in order to "search and destroy", what should be needed is some sort of vapor (or liquid :ph34r:) that can penetrate crevices and wood grain and react with the odors to neutralize them.

I was thinking along the same lines but not as clearly. I could believe that such an application might decrease the odor while present by absorbing molecules in the air after they leave the concertina and before they reach your nose, but I can't see it having any lasting effect noticeable on the concertina once removed.

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I wonder about the effectiveness of such a mineral, as it should only be able to remove the obnoxious molecules which reach it, not extract them from parts of the instrument it's not in contact with. If it works, then it seems to me that simply airing out the instruments (with the smell escaping into the countryside, rather than being trapped in a zeolite) should be just as effective. But in order to "search and destroy", what should be needed is some sort of vapor (or liquid :ph34r:) that can penetrate crevices and wood grain and react with the odors to neutralize them.

I was thinking along the same lines but not as clearly. I could believe that such an application might decrease the odor while present by absorbing molecules in the air after they leave the concertina and before they reach your nose, but I can't see it having any lasting effect noticeable on the concertina once removed.

 

Progress So far:

 

on least effected I have aired the reed pan assemblies for 3 days, these seem to be not too bad.

 

the bellows I have wiped over several times with a soft cloth (inside and out) which has been wetted using fabric febreeze, then they have been stored in a sealed plastic bag with tumble dryer sheets, some improvement, but how lasting? any ones guess. The action assemblies have not been started yet.

 

Dave

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I wonder about the effectiveness of such a mineral, as it should only be able to remove the obnoxious molecules which reach it, not extract them from parts of the instrument it's not in contact with. If it works, then it seems to me that simply airing out the instruments (with the smell escaping into the countryside, rather than being trapped in a zeolite) should be just as effective. But in order to "search and destroy", what should be needed is some sort of vapor (or liquid :ph34r:) that can penetrate crevices and wood grain and react with the odors to neutralize them.

I was thinking along the same lines but not as clearly. I could believe that such an application might decrease the odor while present by absorbing molecules in the air after they leave the concertina and before they reach your nose, but I can't see it having any lasting effect noticeable on the concertina once removed.

 

Progress So far:

 

on least effected I have aired the reed pan assemblies for 3 days, these seem to be not too bad.

 

the bellows I have wiped over several times with a soft cloth (inside and out) which has been wetted using fabric febreeze, then they have been stored in a sealed plastic bag with tumble dryer sheets, some improvement, but how lasting? any ones guess. The action assemblies have not been started yet.

 

Dave

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...the bellows I have wiped over several times with a soft cloth (inside and out) which has been wetted using fabric febreeze

FWIW, the issue of "Consumer Reports" that arrived in today's mail contained a write-up of their lab attempt to recreate the findings depicted in this advertisement. The results were not encouraging.

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I've used an ozone generator for the purpose of darkening wood. It's easy to make a generator using an old transformer from commercial neon lights. Then adjust two wires to almost touch and hence create an electric arc. I put it in a closed aquarium, along with the wood, arcing like crazy for about 10 minutes. Don't look at the spark, or breathe the gas!! Wood gets tanned to the color of a brown paper bag. I don't know if it helps eliminate odors--it might, but it will cause physical changes including darkening as well.

 

Children, do not try this at home ! ph34r.gif

 

ps I hope you don't live in Cheshire, more specifically anwhere within, say, a 5 mile radius of my telescopeunsure.gif (OK I just checked, Seattle should be far enough away)

 

Chris

Edited by spindizzy
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...sprayed a neutral kind of deodorant spray inside the bellows. It helped to chase away the bad smell (or it damaged my smelling abilities).

A story (one of many) about Linus Pauling, multiple Nobel prize winner who later became obsessed with vitamin C:

 

A certain company (I don't have the details) was advertising that its room deodorant spray "kills odors". Pauling investigated and then took them to court, having demonstrated in his experiments that all it really did was "kill" a person's sense of smell, so that one couldn't detect
any
odors, good or bad.

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...the bellows I have wiped over several times with a soft cloth (inside and out) which has been wetted using fabric febreeze

FWIW, the issue of "Consumer Reports" that arrived in today's mail contained a write-up of their lab attempt to recreate the findings depicted in this advertisement. The results were not encouraging.

Viewing the advertising video you linked to, it looks like these poor folks' ability to detect the smells of goat, armpit, and fish has simply been overpowered by the intense stink of an artificial "forest" smell.

 

I do wonder what percentage of their experimental subjects had that reaction and whether others either could detect the three test odors or possibly even gagged at the intensity of the "deodorant" perfume. Did those particular experimental subjects perhaps already have a weak sense of smell, so that all they could sense was the stronger perfume? I'm reminded of an elderly couple visiting a friend of mine, to whom they remarked how nice it was that their body odor had become less pungent as they got older. He politely didn't tell them that their odor was in fact undiminished; it was their sense of smell that had grown weak.

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I've used an ozone generator for the purpose of darkening wood. It's easy to make a generator using an old transformer from commercial neon lights. Then adjust two wires to almost touch and hence create an electric arc. I put it in a closed aquarium, along with the wood, arcing like crazy for about 10 minutes. Don't look at the spark, or breathe the gas!! Wood gets tanned to the color of a brown paper bag. I don't know if it helps eliminate odors--it might, but it will cause physical changes including darkening as well.

Ozone is an extremely reactive form of oxygen. Very dilute concentrations in air can indeed react with complex organic molecules and oxidize them to odorless (and possibly harmless) byproducts as diffusion in air brings them into contact with each other. But the more common term for "oxidize" is "burn", and ozone in higher concentrations can be extremely dangerous. Wood is hardly the only substance that it can scorch ("darken" by burning); your skin and lungs are also candidates.

 

Commercial generators for home use produce only very little ozone, and I'm fairly certain that they don't use electric arcs to do so. (Ultraviolet light, maybe?) Such an arc can also produce other ions and free radicals, potentially including nitrogen oxides and some pretty nasty organic byproducts of those same complex odor molecules we want to be rid of, if they're in high concentration and enter the arc itself. So I would advise against using arc-generated ozone for "deodorizing" a concertina, especially in a poorly ventilated room.

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