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Last week a friend told me that her dad was a sax player years ago and asked if I would check out the horn. Today she came by. I did not recognize the case which was an old one, for certain. It had a canvas cover that unzipped with a rigid, wood case underneath. I opened it to find a lovely Balanced Action alto in pretty nice shape. There was also an old Leblance clarinet fully assembled and hung by straps from the cover. The piece was a vintage Brilhart Tonalin. I have a 70's vintage Mark VI but have never held a BA. The action was pretty good. But the damn horn has that awful moldy smell that goes with decades in a case. I immediately filled up, and it wasn't from joy.
I would love to give that horn a blow, but the mold is just too nasty. Is there anything I could rub the body down with that would kill it without affecting the finish.
Thanks.
David
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Just leave the horn outside the case for a day or two and then see. Usually the mold smell is more from the case than the horn.

If its the horn, not sure getting rid of the smell would make me want to play it- and then, not sure it would play.

A good overhaul (which it almost definitely needs) will include a cleaning, and the horn will play after too!
 

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i just had the problem with a trombone where the case had mold inside....the trombone is easy to clean....i suppose if this happened to a sax the pads would be toast....
 

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You could leave a couple of open baking-soda boxes in the case for a few days (of course, put the case where it won't be moved so the powder doesn't dump out). Maybe that will suck the foul odors out. I agree about the overhaul, too. A complete tear-down and bath, and changing all the pads, corks and felts will probably make that horn a beaut. DAVE
 

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The whole baking soda, odor absorbing thing is a myth, created by Arm and Hammer to sell more baking soda. Don't waste your time with that.
 

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Myth? Marketing hype? Maybe, but I used that exact method years ago to get an extremely foul dead-fish odor out of my police car (a LONG story) and it worked. DAVE
 

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Yup! We had a crime-supression detail in L.A.'s Harbor Area and I parked and locked my car at the station and teamed up with another sergeant. When I got in my car at end-of-watch, I had another officer with me to give him a ride home (we all had our assigned home-garaged vehicles so we could go anywhere in the city at any time we were needed).

On the drive home, he lowered his sun visor and a huge dead fish fell into his lap. We had a laugh over that. But what I didn't find was the second dead fish under my seat. The next day when I opened the car, it was overwhelming. The thing had swollen up in the heat and burst all over the floor boards (rubber mats like all fleet-cars). I tried the best I could to clean it up but drove all the way into town with the windows down. I was going on vacation that day, so I parked the car at our headquarters (where the Staples Center is now) and left it for two weeks with those open boxes of baking soda. Sure enough, when I returned, it was okay. Boy, did the lieutenant chew our butts over that caper. I knew who did it (and so did he). We STILL laugh about that to this day. DAVE
 

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I have seen crawfish shells placed in the outer area of the air breather of a new 77 Plymouth Fury patrol car.... mine.... It took me 2 days to locate where the smell was coming from. I did pay back the favor a few months later.... :)
 

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Killer pun, Dave.

Nothing purposeful (I don't think...), but I had a dog throw up directly into the recirculation intake under the driver's seat like he was aiming for it while my AC was on. That took a while to clear out.
 
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