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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000353.txt from 1996/04

From: Lisa Clayton <clayton@-----.EDU>
Subj: Stinky, the bass clarinet
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 13:18:32 -0400

> Hi folks,
> I recently purchased a used Noblet bass clarinet, and I now have
> a problem; it smells.
> A really yucky, sweet smell spreads through the room when I
> open the case.
> The bass has done duty as a student instrument in one of the
> local music schools, and has probably not been properly taken
> care of, in terms of swabbing, oiling etc., so I think the smell
> originates from old saliva residue (double-yuck!!)
> I'd be most thankful for any advice on how to get rid of the smell.
> I know of the orange peel humidifier/deodorizer, but I don't think
> it would solve the problem permanently.
> Another tempting idea would be to oil it with peppermint oil :-)
> Henrik Faltstrom

OK, the homebrewer hat comes on now:

Usually smells are organic in nature, such as molds, mildews, yeasts
or bacteria. If the yucky sweet smell has a sour tinge, it's probably
some kind of common lactobacillus infection. If it has a fermented
or bready edge to it, it's probably some kind of wild yeast.
>From your description, it doesn't sound musty enough to be mold or mildew.
Because of residual sugars in peppermint oil, you probably don't want
to do that-- you'll end up with something that smells like sour Schnapps

Replace the case first, and see if that does the job.
If not, probably taking it to a repair person for a thorough
cleaning would help.

This last bit of advice is to be taken with a HUGE chunk of salt.
However, if you're desperate, and the repair person doesn't think it's
a bad idea, try this: a very dilute solution of iodophor (a common
disinfectant) will usually clean most materials up nicely. If you don't
use a lot, and clean, dry & oil thoroughly afterwards, it would probably
be an OK idea to explore. Iodophor is much, much, much less toxic than bleach
or ammonia, is used a lot in the food industries, and does not corrode.
You don't need a lot to make an effective solution. This may do the
trick, but DO ask if this is a kosher idea first. Iodophor can be had
at your friendly neighborhood homebrew store.

Good luck....

____ Lisa K. Canjura-Clayton The obligatory homepage:
/ Band=Life Virtual Barstow IS NOW ONLINE!
"There is nothing more onanistic than playing the bass clarinet by yourself"
-Steve Trier

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