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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Hey guys,

I picked up this '96 green dots UV from the hard case, and it now has a strong mold smell. The white spots on the fretboard are minimal. After playing it for just a few seconds, my left hand already smells like mold (bad!), and it's hard to take the smell off from the hand... let alone the guitar neck

The hard case is taking some sunlight right now, but what can I do about the guitar?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 10:15 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

EDIT: Revising my previous reply.

What did you use on the neck? Can I assume it was some kind of food/edible oil like olive oil, vegetable oil, etc? If so, don't ever do that again, because this is exactly what can happen: they can go rancid. It's usually not a huge deal if they do, but in some rare cases it can result in mold, bad smell, etc. Especially if you over-saturate the wood with it.

Whatever the case...

I'm actually not sure what you can do, but I'll tell you what I would do if a guitar came to me like this:

1. Take the neck off the body
2. Remove all the neck hardware (locking nut and tuners)
3. Proceed to steel-wool the hell out of all the wood (not the glossy finish on the front of the headstock) with #0000 steel wool. Go WITH the grain of the fretboard; same deal on the back of the neck. If you're lucky, the steel wool will suck some of the old oil out, but it isn't going to get all of it.
4. Consider hitting the fretboard wood with a light swipe of Naphtha as well (optional)
5. Give it a few days to try/air out before applying a fretboard-safe oil, if it seems dry.
6. If it still smells, try putting the neck inside a sealed garbage bag with some zeolite odor absorbers. Disclaimer: I've never tried this, but I heard someone say their tech used this to deal with a serious mold issue they had due to an excessively wet guitar.

EDIT: You might also try a mixture of 4 parts white vinegar and 1 part warm water. Dampen a washcloth with it and go lightly over the whole fretboard with it, then wipe off any excess (you don't want the neck wet/damp). You may even try a very soft toothbrush--going with the woodgrain. This might help kill any mold spores as well as any smell.

Honestly, I have no idea if this'll work. I'm just telling you what I would do to try and remedy the situation.

Good luck, and let us know how things turn out.

Last edited by webmaestro; 04-24-2016 at 01:33 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 10:42 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by webmaestro View Post
EDIT: Revising my previous reply.

What did you use on the neck? Can I assume it was some kind of food/edible oil like olive oil, vegetable oil, etc? If so, don't ever do that again, because this is exactly what can happen: they can go rancid. It's usually not a huge deal if they do, but in some rare cases it can result in mold, bad smell, etc. Especially if you over-saturate the wood with it.

Whatever the case...

I'm actually not sure what you can do, but I'll tell you what I would do if a guitar came to me like this:

1. Take the neck off the body
2. Remove all the neck hardware (locking nut and tuners)
3. Proceed to steel-wool the hell out of all the wood (not the glossy finish on the front of the headstock) with #0000 steel wool. Go WITH the grain of the fretboard; same deal on the back of the neck.
4. Don't re-oil it with anything. If you're lucky, the steel wool will suck some of the old oil out, but it isn't going to get all of it.
5. Consider hitting the fretboard wood with a light swipe of Naphtha as well (optional)
6. If it still smells, try putting the neck inside a sealed garbage bag with some zeolite odor absorbers. Disclaimer: I've never tried this, but I heard someone say their tech used this to deal with a serious mold issue they had due to an excessively wet guitar.

Honestly, I have no idea if this'll work. I'm just telling you what I would do to try and remedy the situation.

Good luck, and let us know how things turn out.
^^ +1.

Too many people use olive oil and vegetable oil on their guitars. Hopefully the steel wool + naptha takes care of it for you.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 09:38 AM
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilch View Post
^^ +1.

Too many people use olive oil and vegetable oil on their guitars.

Seriously? I've never heard of that before and don't know why anyone would even consider doing that
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 10:07 AM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

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Originally Posted by elcid View Post
Seriously? I've never heard of that before and don't know why anyone would even consider doing that
Oh yeah, just google it. You'll find pages and pages in other guitar forums of people who use edible oils to condition their fretboards--and defend it to high hell. I've always advised against it, and even wrote a blog post about the topic (I'd link the blog post, but don't think I'm allowed to here), and people argue like crazy with me.

I recently asked a guitar tech (not one that I use, just one I happen to know) what he likes to use on fretboards. Guess what he said? Yep, extra virgin olive oil.

*facepalm*

The defense you get is the same one you always get when discussing guitar-care topics: "I've been using [x] for years and never had a problem."

*double facepalm*

Last edited by webmaestro; 04-24-2016 at 01:13 PM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 01:19 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Where did you store the guitar ?
I bought a 76 Gibson Les Paul from a guy 8 years ago. He lived in a big old farm house in the middle of nowhere and when he invited me in, the smell of damp mould hit me.
When I got the guitar home and opened the case that smell hit me again. I tried everything to get rid of it and kept the case open and the guitar in a warm room. It still smells to this day, 7 years later !
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 01:50 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

I'm just dying to know how this turned out (and more curious what type of oil was used on the fretboard).

Rach, ya out there?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by webmaestro View Post
Can I assume it was some kind of food/edible oil like olive oil, vegetable oil, etc?
Absolutely not. I only use a clean cloth, because I fortunately sweat very little. In rare occasions, I use products like Dunlop Fretboard conditioner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoot View Post
Where did you store the guitar ?
It started happening after I moved to a different city, which is very humid. I never had problems like this before. I store my guitars in an ordinary room, nothing unusual or bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by webmaestro View Post
I'm just dying to know how this turned out
Since I'm really afraid, so far the only thing I have done was to clean the hardcase with some isopropyl alcohol, and leave the guitar out of the hardcase in a well-ventilated place. The hardcase is 95% good already; the guitar is surprisingly getting better, but slowly... I'll wait for more a few days to see how it goes... then possibly start the tough attack. I'm receiving such great information to start fighting it.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 02:03 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Glad to hear you're not using olive oil, heh. That was the first thing that popped into my head--because this is one of the things that can happen.

Definitely consider the vinegar-scrub idea. That should kill some of the mold spores, whereas the other stuff will only remove what's there (but live stuff may live on below the surface).

Last edited by webmaestro; 04-29-2016 at 02:08 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 02:39 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

One thing that did help was dried Cinnamon sticks put in the case with the guitar.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2016, 02:22 PM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Actually, the more I research this issue online (in case a guitar ever comes to me like this), the more I'm leaning toward the vinegar-and-water solution. I've seen several mentions of that online, as vinegar apparently kills roughly 80% of the known molds out there.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Indeed, vinegar is even indicated on some cases of skin infection by fungus.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 06:05 AM
 
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Re: Help... mold in old UV, strong smell

Its easy to kill the mould with any copper base fungicide.
Getting rid of the smell is the hardest part. Even after the mould is dead that smell goes on forever.
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