Getting cigarette smell out of an amp

Discussion in 'Musical Instruments' started by CZ4A, May 11, 2018.

  1. CZ4A

    CZ4A Active Member

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    Methuen, MA
    I recently purchased a used Fender Vibro Champ XD as my first guitar amp to go along with my first guitar. It is in very good condition and sounds great, even at "barely audible over the strings" volume. However, something I didn't notice until I got it home was that it smells of cigarettes. It gets stronger once the tubes have warmed up. I don't smoke and don't like the smell of tobacco, so I was wondering if there was a way to get the smell out more quickly than just airing it out.
     

     

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  2. arts

    arts Super Member

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    Unfortunately,depending on how old and ''experienced'' the amp is,it may just be easier to take up smoking;)

    Seriously though,a quick fix may be Lysol or Febreeze.
     
    crispycircuit and Bill Ferris like this.
  3. hendertuckie

    hendertuckie Active Member

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    Spray applied electrical contact cleaner. Years ago i bought a CD player online it had the ability to play HDCD's, man it smelled. I took it apart as best I could, sprayed everything until the liquid spoils were clear.
     
  4. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Bill Ferris and avionic like this.
  5. 911s55

    911s55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Take it apart and de-louse it. Remove the chassis and speaker and get the funk out!
     
  6. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Maybe it smoked to get rid of the human smell.
     
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  7. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    stick the entire unit in an ultrasonic cleaner if someone local has one big enough.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  8. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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  9. Binkman

    Binkman Addicted Member

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    The issue is also not just the amplifier but also the cabinet. all that electronics fielding acts like a magnet and interior cab needs a 'spritzing' of H2o2 formula. The amp itself is questionable of how deep you want to go. Tubes, no issue removing, spritzing down the chassis and the underside? may have to take outside in sunlight to dry. note spritzing means a fine mist

    "Create a deodorizing, smoke-busting cleaner by mixing 1 part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with 1 part white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. ... If you're dealing with years of smoke smell buildup, you may need to shampoo the upholstery first, let it dry and then apply the peroxide and vinegar solution.", http://homeguides.sfgate.com/hydrogen-peroxide-remove-smoke-odor-upholstery-106144.html

    I've used h2o2 + distilled water instead of vinegar for light smoke odors as well as simply wiping isopro. alcohol on safe surfaces like metal chassis, beware of printing on metal chassis as alcohol can remove.
     
  10. C_D

    C_D New Member

    Messages:
    31
    When I worked in Service Department at Rane Corp. we used 100% "extra strength" cleaning Ammonia to soak all the knobs and hardware. Typically 24 hours would suffice. To clean cabinets and chassis, Simple Green and Citrus Orange work well (be very careful on front panels, lettering may be damaged). Inner electronics would get washed multiple times with 10 - 20% Ammonia and distilled water solution, then rinsed multiple times with carbonated water (don't use Club Soda, it has sodium added). Carbonated water has added benefit the bubbles will agitate the sludge, tar and other deposits. Grille cloth on guitar / bass amp combos is one of the worst offenders for holding the smoke odor. Using a 5 - 10% solution of Simple Green and water usually helps deodorize grille clothe with added benefit of restoring tension to sagging threads. Clear vinegar can be substituted for Ammonia, using similar 10 - 20% mixtures with distilled water. Completely ridding a chassis of the odor can be very time consuming as cigarette tar is extremely pungent. Patience and elbow grease will serve one well. These procedures also worked well when we had to remove animal urine from units (it happened more often than one would expect). Dry everything with warm air a few times to be absolutely sure all moisture is removed, not only to reduce electrical risks, but to prevent corrosion.
     
    John James likes this.
  11. CZ4A

    CZ4A Active Member

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    Location:
    Methuen, MA
    I didn't think this was that popular of a topic. I should have searched. Anyways, from what I can tell my Fender amp was built in 2011, so it's had about 7 years to soak in the smooth, long-lasting flavor of lung cancer :smoke::p

    I will definitely give that method a try. Thanks!
     

     

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  12. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Come-on take up smoking and you'll never smell it again, besides do you want to be a rocker?

    c0e5bb617c83b7b15d7b5a8ca6f4a585--keith-richards-film-music-books.jpg Cq_zn1ZXYAAaTqH.jpg ob_087c9f_keith-richards-img031.jpg 84860973.jpg RICHARDS_span-jumbo-v2.jpg Keith-Richards-Smoking.jpg
     
  13. Ross6860

    Ross6860 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    2011...It's a new-borne!

    I wonder what all my '55 Valco has seen?

    IMG_0206.JPG
     
  14. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " Subscriber

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    Its surprising what UV can cure ...Leave it sit outside on a clear sunny day with the covers off of it for a couple days. Give it a sunbath without sunscreen.
     
    grey likes this.
  15. Superreverb

    Superreverb Active Member

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    Not to derail, but when were you at Rane? I had an endorsement in the 90s. Still have all of my gear. 99% still works flawlessly. :)

    Ed
     
  16. 2011etec

    2011etec Super Member

    T here are several smoke bomb products out there.Car dealerships use them with great success.Put amp in small room and set off and leave for a day or hours per instructions.Kieth really doesn't look to bad for a 135 year old .:) When he finally passes away many scientists want to see how he,s made it this long .
     
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  17. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

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    Fill the back of it...and this includes all around the chassis...with crumpled newspaper. Leave it for a week....you'll be amazed by how much of the stink will be gone.
    Also, it wouldn't hurt to take some paper towels and windex to clean the glass envelopes of the tubes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    valvenator likes this.
  18. :rflmao::rflmao::rflmao:
     
  19. valvenator

    valvenator curious bystander, serious procrastinator Subscriber

    Since you said: "it smells of cigarettes. It gets stronger once the tubes have warmed up"
    Could it be the tubes aren't original to the amp and came from a smokier environment?
    I would suggest getting some rubbing alcohol from the drugstore (look for the stronger 91% stuff) and wipe the tubes down.
    Use it to wipe the chassis down too. I've used it to clean old dirty cruddy amps I got from eBay.
    You'd be surprised to see the almost new looking amps I found under all that grime.
    BTW, alcohol might wipe away some of the lettering on the tubes and chassis so if that is important to you try it out on inconspicuous areas first.

    I keep a couple of spray bottles of Isopropyl alcohol around. Use it for cleaning my lawmower and snowblower among many other things.
    Works great on spark plugs, and the best thing is, like Keyser Soze, it dissapears without a trace.
     
  20. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    Long surgical cotton swabs and cotton balls

    Chlorox Bleach

    Gas mask optional.....

    I’ve never known Chlorox to harm silk screen
     

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