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Getting rid of "BAD" moldy odors in concertinas- My solution:

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For years we've all run across concertinas that smelled more like grandma's cellar than her attic. That funky moldy rotten smell that does not go away with cleaning, vinegar, alcohol, or other harsh remedies. 2 years ago I read an article which stated that those smells are not from the molds, but their dormant spores. Cleaning with anything other than bleach (not for concertinas!) will not get rid of the smell.  So I tried another novel approach of putting a small home Ozone Generator (This should only be done outdoors, ozone is poisonous to our lungs) in a large cardboard box. I put the partially disassembled (see photo) concertina bits inside, turned on the generator for 20-30 minutes (depends on ordor) lid closed, then turned off the generator, resealed the box for another 20 minutes, then opened the box til fully aired. The results were amazing, no more stale concertinas. I've done this 4x with no damage to concertinas or myself (hence outdoors). It actually made them smell sweet and fresh.

I'd be curious to see if it worked to eliminate the "Industrial-Revolution coal-dust smell in some antique British 'tinas


Ozone box for Concertina odors.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a concertina with bad smells.  I "soaked" the bellows in a UV light for 36 hours and fixed a small piece of charcoal filter material inside the bellows where it wouldn't interfere with playing.  The owner (very sensitive to mould and odours) declared herself fully satisfied with the result and could play the instrument once more without bursting into coughing fits


Alex West

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