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Need help! Cigarette smoke?


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On 1/6/2021 at 11:59 PM, lachenal74693 said:

It might work, but the downside is that you will possibly end up incinerated with smoke coming out of

your boots...

Easily solved: don't wear boots.

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Leaving it out to air

 

putting some charcoal (like the bamboo charcoal suggested above, or even home made charcoal or briquets without lighter fluid impregnated) next to it in a box

 

lightly rubbing it down with a dry rag

 

giving it some time

 

playing it a lot to move the inside air with a window open (sorry, winter)

 

and the ozone cleaner suggestion above if you are in rush,

 

are all suggestions that spring to my ex-smoker's mind.   It has been 35 years for me but I smoked as did my dad before me and none of the instruments or other items we used to smoke around have any odor.   It does take time.  But not that long.   You will smell it for a month or so if you keep airing it and playing it. But it will dissipate.

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I’ve recently acquired an instrument and a tobacco/ cigarette smell is definitely noticeable. It’s getting a lot better by leaving it outside of it’s case and changing the case. I had a spare one as it’s previous one had the same smell.

but it’ll take time

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I am just now remembering a conversation with a relative whose entire household plays ice hockey (I live in Canada after all!).  Each family member has a duffle bag filled with gear, and it gets pretty rank after a season of sweating into it.  They take it all to a business that provides ozone cleaning and deodorizing for athletic equipment. The business has some kind of ozone chamber (SaniSport is the brand name).  Doing a local search, I see that there are even mobile providers who do house calls.  You live in a hockey playing part of the world (yay Bruins!)- maybe there's one in your area!

Edited by Bill N
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In support of the Ozone treatment, many house inspectors have ozone fans designed to de-stink houses. We recently hired one to get rid of the mouldy smell in our car after we had a drain repaired. The inspector guy said he usually uses the machine to de-stink houses before a sale (cigaretts) or after a fire (smoke).

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29 minutes ago, Halifax said:

In support of the Ozone treatment, many house inspectors have ozone fans designed to de-stink houses. We recently hired one to get rid of the mouldy smell in our car after we had a drain repaired. The inspector guy said he usually uses the machine to de-stink houses before a sale (cigaretts) or after a fire (smoke).

Not sure what a hefty dose of ozone would do to all of the organic compounds in a concertina. See: https://www.nachi.org/ozone-generator-hazards.htm

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On 1/18/2021 at 6:21 PM, Don Taylor said:

Not sure what a hefty dose of ozone would do to all of the organic compounds in a concertina. See: https://www.nachi.org/ozone-generator-hazards.htm

 

Yep. Ozone is a very strong bleach/oxidising agent, so approach with caution.

 

In addition to the organic compound, would it also accelerate rusting of the reeds? Not saying it would, just asking the question.

 

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In another life I used to clean up jukeboxes and pinball machines that had lived in smokey bars all their life. I would suggest a trip to the pet store to get some kitty litter (the kind that claims to have odor killing additives)and a box of activated charcoal like they use in aquarium filters.Fill a couple small baggies of each and toss them into the case. Give them a couple weeks to work and I think you'll see (smell?) a big improvement. 

 

 

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I'll second the kitty-litter suggestion.  I bought an old accordion on-line that arrived so smoky it was unplayable.  I tried lots of things but the kitty-litter in the case was the one that seemed to work.  Even so, it's amazing how long-lasting tobacco smoke is - I still seem to catch the occasional whiff, years later. 

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On 1/24/2021 at 5:50 AM, JayMiller said:

In another life I used to clean up jukeboxes and pinball machines that had lived in smokey bars all their life. I would suggest a trip to the pet store to get some kitty litter (the kind that claims to have odor killing additives)and a box of activated charcoal like they use in aquarium filters.Fill a couple small baggies of each and toss them into the case. Give them a couple weeks to work and I think you'll see (smell?) a big improvement. 

I thought of kitty litter too, as I've used it in musty smelling violin cases, but it is good to hear it works for smoke.

 

I'd be concerned about the citus cleaners.  I use them a lot around my house but they are very strong, don't interact well with unfinished wood  (Like the inside of your concertina) and don't seem to be particularly fond of leather.    If you like the smell of orange or lemon you could put a tiny bit of lemon or orange OIL furniture polish on a dry t-shirt rag and test a small area.   These oils do some surface cleaning, but are not designed to have the "grease cutting" properties that the cleaners which are designed for cleaning your kitchen or your workshop are famous for.  Grease cutting = drying out leather and wood.

On 1/24/2021 at 5:50 AM, JayMiller said:

 

 

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If the odour comes from slowly evaporating tars and oils, then perhaps a warm, lower humidity and high altitude  environment would help.

Well, help with that specific problem at least.

 

-maybe placing the concertina in a vacuum for a while would achieve a similar effect.

It might have some interesting effects on the wood too. I guess it would depend on how well the instrument was designed.

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On 1/29/2021 at 6:38 AM, simon ds said:

-maybe placing the concertina in a vacuum for a while would achieve a similar effect.

It might have some interesting effects on the wood too. I guess it would depend on how well the instrument was designed.

However well the instument may have been designed I suspect that "how will this react in a vacuum?" was not forefront in the designers/builders mind at the time! 🙂

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Sorry to add to the fear and woe, but I have had several older instruments (including guitar and EC) that did not obviously smell of nicotine/smoke at first, but when played frequently  began to slowly release the dreaded miasm of stale cigarettes. Presumably the vibrations of playing can progressively trigger the release from deep within organic substances such as wood or leather. Reminds of an old jazz musicians joke: No wonder there is widespread air pollution when so much of it has passed through saxophones.

 

Robert

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So.. got some of the bamboo charcoal odor eaters. They way it came was too big to fit in the case. So I had to open it up. Take out some charcoal and stuff it in there.

 

I have the leather a very light once over. Just in case.. it has now been 2 days. And so far no noticeable improvement. I know that this is probably the painfully slow and unbearably steady process. But also the least intrusive. So we will see what happens.


i will report back at some point.AFBEBD16-5CFA-41BF-9F97-F1A5FB64E870.thumb.jpeg.ef3d9733c73845f3fc744290024eb8ab.jpeg

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