Saxophone Forum


by jlb
(8 posts)
10 years ago

Smelly Cases

Does anyone know of some sort of mini ozone machine that one could put in smelly cases to get rid of that "old horn smell"? If there is not such a thing in existance, what other suggestions does anyone else have to deal with this problem?

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  1. by kneejerk52
    (397 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Smelly Cases

    you can try carpet cleaner, scrub it in and then use a wet vac to clean it out. i did this with two old alto cases i reconditioned. if you let it air out for a couple of days preferably in front of a dehumidfier it comes out pretty good. also for ripped and damaged outside of a case, if the wood underneath is good you can remove the old canvas, sand the wood and finish it. you would not believe how great this looks.

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  2. by gardenshed
    (20 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Smelly Cases

    1. Charcoal. (artists or barbecue) 2. Coffee grinder, charcoal for the grinding of. 3. Sprinkle into empty case. 4. Close case & leave overnight. 5. Hoover case very thoroughly. Works for trainers, don't see why it should be a problem with a sax case. Charcoal catalyses the chemicals that cause the smell. For 'Long term protection'=charcoal in a sock! What wrong with the smell of jazz anyway?

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    1. by The_§ax
      (147 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Smelly Cases

      Yeah, that smell of jazz! awesome!! It matters how much it smells, i have had some vintage sax cases smell nice with that old smell, but then there are the strong vintage smelling cases, that make you want to throw up!!

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  3. by definition
    (963 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Smelly Cases

    I usually go and get a new case for the horn. the protec contoured, the Hiscox, SKB, and BAM are just a few. What type of horn is it? I ask because that may make a difference if you buy a new case because not all horns will fit every case

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  4. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Smelly Cases

    Well, there's the smell of super-old bare brass and there's the smell of mildew. Unfortunately, once that stench is in the fabric and padding, there's not really much you can do to alleviate the problem. I've used Lysol and left cases in the hot sun for a few days which helps some, but it never fully goes away and will unfortunately come back. You're only ever treating the surface anyhow. The best thing to do is get a new case. The money will be well spent in comparison to whatever frustrating efforts you go through. You will have to clean the horn extremely thoroughly and maybe even change the pads to fully get rid of the smell. It's good to keep the old case in the event you choose to sell the horn. Keep your nice new replacement case.

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Smelly Cases

      I'm a college student, so I know a little about smelly furniture and stuff. Febreze should work fine, smoker friends have used this to get the “smoke” smell from stuff. I also use cologne, which only masks the smell… but enough will overpower anything. Baking soda would work (I’ve heard) and I think they make little packets just for removing smells from stuff. I don’t think I would get a new case unless, of course, it REALLY smells bad, or is in bad shape. I personally can think of many things (maybe not better things) to spend $50 or more on but we won’t go there.

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      1. by definition
        (963 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Smelly Cases

        "I personally can think of many things (maybe not better things) to spend $50 or more on but we won’t go there." Haha nice, I think I know what you mean... I would def get a new case, but thats my opinion. Febreeze will clean out the top layer with smell, colonge will cover up but do you want your horn to smell like your colonge/perfume? And with either solution the smell will come back. Another option you have is to get the case re-upholstered, but that would probably cost more than a new case. I would get a new case, I hope this helps you!!

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Smelly Cases

          Hi Jessica, One thing I have done before is to take a car air freshener and put it inside of the case. It does help. I wouldn't get the case wet. I had a C Melody case that had mold inside of it from being kept in a basement. I soaked a rag with warm water and resolve carpet cleaner and tried cleaning the inside of the case. What a mess! The lining started coming off, and the color of the lining came off and it warped the compartment cover. The case probably isn't worth re-upolstering. Like definition said, your best bet is probably to just buy another case. Is this for the Chu Berry tenor? The SKB cases are nice and not too expensive. You can buy them online at www.wwbw.com. I like the rectangular shaped case best because it has a lot more room in it, and it should fit your Chu tenor just fine. Jim

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        2. by jlb
          (8 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Smelly Cases

          It is actually for my C mel. which I will probably make a post about in a forum thread soon. I was hoping to stay with the original case, but the comments are well taken that it will just continue to smell. It is kind of like that episode of Seinfeld when he gets the car back from the valet and it smells and they can't get rid of the smell. "It's the beast!!" :) I am sure the smell would just get into the pads and I would have a smelly horn again. Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions, though!

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        3. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Smelly Cases

          have you tried to rip out the case? I have a old softside case that I've "fixed" a few times, and my yahama case is just styrofoam covered in velvet. Both weren't too hard to work on... Besides, you have nothing to loose if you're getting a new one anyway. if you're lucky it would be $4 in fabric (wallmart) and $10 for some 990 3m spray glue stuff. if you're not lucky it would be like the carpet on my jeep which is over a inch thick. It was nice beacause that was the extra inch my amp needed to go under the seat, but it sucks if it would ever get wet (again) and start to smell.

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      2. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Smelly Cases

        [I would def get a new case, but thats my opinion. Febreeze will clean out the top layer with smell, colonge will cover up but do you want your horn to smell like your colonge/perfume? And with either solution the smell will come back.] you don't spray a lot of colonge... what if it does come back? then you're out of some febreeze and a few puffs of colonge. Which are both way cheaper than a new case. [Another option you have is to get the case re-upholstered, but that would probably cost more than a new case.] read my other post...

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      3. by SelmerParisPassion
        (59 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Smelly Cases

        How can you not love the old horn smell??? Ah... the musty saxophony whiff that greets you everytime you open up your case to pull out a vintage gem... But maybe that's just me. Yeah, I'm with chiamac- new case=no old horn smell.... mostly because it's new... So you just have the smell of glue, plastic, and other adhesives... Mmm. Yum. You could just spray it with an odor neutralizer and then go grab a car air freshener and stick it in there. Not on the sax, but maybe in an old reed box or something. Ghetto sax freshener... it works. Christie

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      4. by eman19
        (131 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Smelly Cases

        I ended up changing the case on my alto because of the smell. One of my teachers said his hand stunk for a week after touching my horn=o). But it started to get really funky about a month ago, so I got a new one. Also I wanted a cases that I wasn't affraid would devalue the horn, since the orginal case was in almost mint condition (except the smell) and I didn't want to f it up.

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      5. by west
        (242 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Smelly Cases

        Personally i love the old case kinda smell, but if you must get rid of it, then get some of those round balls you put in shoes and just toss it in your case. those things really work and the smell is not always a smell you'd expect of a foot.

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