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getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:29 am
by chansherly212
i played at a pub this st paddy's, and just a couple of people in front were smoking, and i come back and find that my bag smells, my clothes smell, my flute smells, and my concertina as well, ugh, whenever i draw the bellows, i get a whiff of the thing. i've no problem getting rid of the smell of my other items, since i can wash them, but not a good idea at all to wet the bellows on my rochelle which is made of cardboard, any advice?

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:08 am
by benhall.1
It's not so much of a problem any more here in the UK, thank goodness, what with the smoking ban in pubs 'n' all. Used to be, though. I used to find that instruments stank for a day or two after, but, if I left them out of the case, and with the case left open as well - it went after a day or two. You could try combining that with burning a scented candle or two near the thing. There are some you can get over here that claim to be deodorising, which might help.

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:23 am
by Don Roberts
I agree, so long as you haven't had repeated exposure to smoke, you should be able to rid the box of odor by just playing a few times in a clean air enviornment and leaving it out of the case with the case open as well.
good luck

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:08 pm
by mutepointe
A couple of years ago, I was given a Bhastari concertina that must have lived it's life on the shelf of the world's greatest smoker. The only reason that the person I knew even had this instrument was that they collected brass and the corner brackets were so yellowed with nicotine they looked like brass. You would not believe the nicotine build up. The dust build up (between the bellow ridges) looked like felt. The smoke smell was way too much.

Short story. I used Febreeze. No harm was done. I didn't scrub the bellows or anything. I just sprayed. This concertina took multiple treatment and a serious airing out.

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:25 pm
by MTGuru
I just wish Febreeze were available in an unscented variety. The base odor neutralizer ingredient does work and is available in commercial form, but not in a consumer product that I know of. As it is, the Febreeze perfumed scents may be worse than the stink you're trying to get rid of. I have a formerly mildewed concertina that now smells vaguely of French vanilla.

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:59 pm
by Nanohedron
MTGuru wrote:I just wish Febreeze were available in an unscented variety.

Actually, it is "available" (or it used to be, for all appearances), but it's hard as hell to get ahold of. There's precious little of it ever gets stocked, somebody snaps it up straightaway, and the rest of what's available in its monumental prevalence supposedly suggests that I must be an eccentric because I don't want my stuff to smell like a whore. Grrrr. :swear:

There are products other than Febreeze that offer unscented, too, but offhand I can't recall which ones. Oh, yeah: Oust has (or had, as the case may be) an unscented product. I'm always looking for them, usually unsuccessfully.

There's a product (probably the same one basically as what's in those mentioned above) that's used in the mortuary industry. Completely odorless, and it does a remarkable job at getting rid of unwanted smells. It doesn't mask them. If you can get it, that's the way I'd go. You'd probably have to buy it in gallon quantities, though; but all you'd need is a spray bottle, and you'd be set for a good while. I used it for sprucing up used cars (smoky-smelling ones in particular) in the auto repair shop I used to work at, and I swear by it. Those babies came out smelling fresh indeed, and I don't mean a pine or lemon or any other scent: just the car - no perfume, no smoke, nuthin' but pure clean. It never ceased to amaze me. Plus, it's as neutral as water on the things it touches, and it doesn't irritate skin, eyes, or lungs. How can you beat that?

It'd probably get rid of that vanilla stink in your 'tina. :wink:

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:23 pm
by Nanohedron
Aha. Looks like this is probably the same product but without the awkward funerary associations: http://www.nogc.com/naturesair.php

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 4:16 pm
by ducks
would it be feasible to use bicarb? It works on many weird odours.

(sorry, I'm only lurking here due to a harmonica-playing daughter. I know it's an old thread, but I'm weirdly fascinated by smell-removal.)

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:30 pm
by s1m0n
ducks wrote:would it be feasible to use bicarb? It works on many weird odours.


I believe it does, although I've never actually used it for this myself. Baking soda / bicarb it is.

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:02 pm
by mutepointe
The worry that I would have with baking soda is if a person was going to shake it all over the concertina. Then vacuuming or blowing away every little bit from every nook and cranny would end up being a problem too. That's just a guess on my part.

I never clean my car and I once shook a whole giant box of baking soda all over the inside. The smell was gone but the white powder looked like my car had a 70's disco party. Getting all of it out didn't happen. It's like that tinself that you find all year after Christmas is long gone.

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:34 pm
by Julia Delaney
[ Thread revival ]

Bicarb didn't work well for me. Becky Deryckx from WA state send me some cedar sachets that seemed to help. I put one inside the bellows and put the concertina back in the box with two more sachets packed around it. I also left the instrument open and out of the case. I think the odor has to be tolerated. Over the course of a couple of months the odor will dissipate.
I never, ever, let a smoker try one of my flutes!

Re: getting rid cigarette smell from bellows

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:10 pm
by mutepointe
Sunshine and charcoal are two other options. Small boxes of charcoal can be had in aquarium pet stores. Making a sachet would solve getting rid of charcoal dust.