A guitar can easily absorb odors from its environment. It stands to reason that if you have been playing in smoky bars, your guitar will inherit the smell of stale tobacco. If you buy a second-hand instrument, you may have to deal with this issue before you will feel comfortable playing it. The smell of smoke is very challenging to deal with, but it can be overcome. If you happen to be a reformed smoker or have never indulged in the habit yourself, you will find it particularly nauseating to smell stale smoke every time you pick up your instrument. This guide will focus on how to get smoke smell out of guitar.
The sickening smell of smoke can be enough to put someone who is susceptible to migraines flat on his or her back. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you are into; even the hardest rockers can be brought down to their knees by something that can’t even be seen. Never underestimate the power of the stink. Respect it, but be prepared to implement one of the suggestions listed here to get it out of your guitar on the double.
How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Guitar
1 Freshen it Up with Dryer Sheets
You can freshen up a guitar that smells like smoke by packing it with dryer sheets. Place the instrument in its case and leave it for a few days. Remove the dryer sheets and check the guitar to see if it still reeks of smoke. You can always replace the sheets and seal it up again, if necessary, to get the smell out.
2 Vacuum, Wash and Febreeze the Smell Out
Sometimes you need a three-step process to remove the smell of smoke from a guitar. Start by vacuuming it out to remove any dirt that could be contributing to the stank situation. Then wash it with a damp cloth and spray with Febreze to remove any hint of smoke.
3 Baking Soda in the Guitar Case Trick
Baking soda will get rid of all kinds of smells, and smoke is no exception. Place the guitar in its case first, and then dump a whole box of baking soda inside. Close the lid and leave it for a few weeks. Use a Shop-Vac to remove the baking soda and you should have a guitar that smells fresh.
4 Lemon Oil Solution
Cleaning a guitar with lemon oil can be an effective way to remove a smoky smell. You will need to be prepared to wipe it down a few times, though. Clean the fretboard, too, and work it in to this part of your instrument with a toothbrush to do a really thorough job of getting the smokey stink out. If you choose this solution, you will want to invest in a high quality product, such as Kyser Dr. Stringfellow Lemon Oil.
5 Activated Charcoal in the Case
Try putting activated charcoal in the guitar case to get the smokey smell out of your guitar. Some people swear by the briquets but the type used in fish tanks may be less messy to handle. Close time lid and leave it for at least a few days before you check to see if the smell is gone. If you notice the smoke is still there when you open the case, close it up again and give the process some more time to work. It may take a week or two before you see some results.
6 Tomato Juice and Baking Soda Wash
This solution involves three well-coordinated steps. The first one is to clean the instrument with a rag that has been soaked in tomato juice. Follow it up with one that has been dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and eight ounces of water. The last step in the process is to dry the guitar with a clean cloth. Work on a small section at a time until the entire surface has been cleaned.