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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:08 am 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:18 am
Posts: 277
Location: NYC
If you buy used guitars, from time to time you notice that a guitar has a smell to it. This happened to me in my recent purchase of 2 used guitars. I bought a couple of ESP LTD Lynch 200 series guitars, in pretty much mint condition. A Kamikaze and a Tiger, for for $400. The Kamikaze needed a new pot. That's all that was wrong with either guitar.

When I got the guitars home, I noticed that the boxes (yes, they came in their original boxes) had a very strong smell of cigarette smoke. I immediately removed the guitars from the boxes, and put the boxes outside in the recycling. I let them sit for a day, to see if the smell was in the guitars also.

The next day, I walked by the guitars, and I could definitely notice a cigarette smell. Not strong, but if you don't smoke, it is very irritating. I, in fact, have found that I am allergic to it. I can feel it affect my breathing. So, something had to be done.

I looked up several ways to removes smells from the guitar. I almost bought an Ozone Generator (actually I still might, but for other reasons). But solution that I used was the simplest and cheapest.

I used a couple of old Chinese food containers that we saved for various uses. A pint for a mixture of water and hand soap. The other clean water.

I placed the guitar on a towel, and started washing it. The plan was wash it with a sponge and the soapy water, and quickly rinse the sponge with the clean water, and remove the soapy water. Then hit it with paper towels to completely dry it. The whole thing took about a minute per side. I did each side twice, being careful not to get any water in the cavities of the guitar. I regularly cleaned out the clean water container, which had a distinct cigarette smell every time I dumped it out.

I also did the neck and strings, basically scrubbing them with the sponge. The neck took a little longer, because it seemed dirtier and I had to continually scrub, rinse and dry after a couple of fret were done. I didn't want to leave the water on the neck, it would ruin the neck. I put extra paper towels under the strings to get rid of any water I might have missed. Thankfully, there wasn't any additional water on those paper towels.


After the cleaning, I let it sit for a while to completely dry out.

When I came back, I did a regular cleaning with guitar cleaner/wax. I also treated the neck using Dr Ducks.

After that, I walked away for about another hour, to clear my sinuses of any cigarette smell. When I came back, I smelled the guitar, and didn't smell any cigarettes. SWEEEEET!!!

I then did the other guitar. The cigarette smell is gone!!!!

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"Women and music...I'm always amazed at other people's choices" - David Lee Roth


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:37 am
Posts: 1698
Location: Germany
I'm a smoker but I don't like the smell either, I always smoke outside. Glad it worked :toast


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:12 pm
Posts: 445
I'm a smoker as well. You washed off all the mojo on the guitars. You could have just sold them to me. :roll Just kidding bro. My guitars are kept separate from my smoking area to prevent this. Glad to hear that it worked out well for you. Thanks for the tips to get rid of nasty odors.

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I strum, therefore, I can't shred!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:43 pm 
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Kramer Maniac
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:18 am
Posts: 277
Location: NYC
I opened the back cavities, and I thought I smelled a little something. I wiped them down with naptha. No smell on the entire guitar :)

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"Women and music...I'm always amazed at other people's choices" - David Lee Roth


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:26 am 
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Kramer Kingpin
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:38 am
Posts: 2643
Location: Germany
Good to hear of a rather simple way to get rid of that smell :thumbs . I´m a smoker as well but stopped smoking inside 20 years ago. I couldn´t stand the smell nowadays.

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Practice cures most tone issues.

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Great Deals with MrWhipper, JoeyM, Del Hudson, skydive69 and Kramer Classic I :thumbs


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:46 am 
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Kramer Kommander
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:34 pm
Posts: 2443
Location: ON CAN
I've had a couple cases that had the smell of cigs.
A couple bounce sheets help to get rid of it.
I did try to use that vacuum powder as well. Didn't have great results.

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But let's face it, someone buys a Kramer b/c it has a Floyd.


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