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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having recently acquired a terrific old vintage horn with original case, I encountered the old curse -- stinky horn and case.
First I gave the case the several-days-of-direct-sunlight treatment, and cleaned it thoroughly. Then the horn (a straight soprano) was thoroughly cleaned/washed inside and out. I used naphtha (lighter fluid) to clean the pad surfaces. Then the departure: I sawed a block of cedar into domino-sized slabs, and placed four of them under the horn in the case. I put the sawdust that was generated into a small cotton bag, and dropped it down the bell of the horn. I'd say that the "musties" problem is 80% licked, and the horn is much more user-friendly.
For my larger horns, I found that creating a "sausage" of cedar shavings (check the store's pet section) stuffed into old nylon stockings, and placed strategically within the case, goes a long way toward making an old case very pleasant to open. Drop one of those cedar sausages down the bell of the horn, too!
I've never found a way to totally get rid of the stinkies, but this method goes a long way toward that goal. My wife lets me keep my new/old horn in the house now!
 

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The block of cedar will work fine, but depending on the fine-ness of the grain of the sawdust vs. the mesh webbing grain of the nylon, I'd be cautious to the wood dust adhereing to oil within the key mechanisms. Might not be a problem, just be careful here. Just the block alone should suffice IMO. ;)
 

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How about carefully placing an open container (maybe open baggie) of baking soda in the case with the horn in it? That old trick has had many applications over the years and has always drawn out odors. DAVE
 

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While IMO baking soda works "ok?" for odor, my fears about the cedar dust applies with baking soda, which is extremely fine. And if it gets spilled in the case, it's a real pain to get out. It sticks to anything wet, greasy, or oily, and gets into every nook and cranny it can. As such it can really mess up an instruments mechanics and you can never get it all out of the case if spilled. Thumbs down from me. :(
 

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Well - YES, if you just put the baking soda in there then bounce it around and carry the whole thing to the gig. But what I meant (and assumed others would consider) was to isolate the whole thing with the baking soda inside for a few days and LEAVE IT ALONE. DAVE
 

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I suppose I look at things like Murphy did. Between the kids and a dog, anything is possible around here. :shock: Also fwiw - I gave it a thumbs down because baking soda has never done anything but retard the case funk for a week or so at most. And once the sax goes back in it without repad/cleaning, it's definately smelling funky again. We have yet to find a solution to mold and it's odor. And we have tried everything possible we know of. :?
 

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There is a product sold in pet stores called Natures Miracle that does wonders with some pretty foul smells. You may want to give that a try.
 

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Carpet fresh and leave the case open outside in the sunlight for a few days. This seems to work great for me.
 

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That's my odor eliminator of choice, too, Grumps.

One time I did the Lysol, Febreeze, leave in the sun for a week under a crystal pyramid technique and all that happened was the case got peed on by a wild animal. For real. So after that was over with, it smelled like mildew, lysol, febreeze, and pee instead of just mildew.
 

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The old case funk question is one that is important to cover, however, especially in the case of vintage instruments that don't fit well into new cases (Conn curved sopranos that have the neck permanently attached, C-Melodies, F-Mezzos, some Baris, etc).
 

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I have used all of the above and also, charcoal, alcohol, skunk smell remover, Cedox pet odor remover, burning incense in the case, and steam vacuuming. Nothing gets the whole job done. I want to try ground coffee in a sachet to see if at least the remaining smells are masked with an odor I'm fond of.

David
 

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A friend of mine who does instrument repair suggested placing orange peels in the case. Change out the peels as they dry. I don't know if the peels absorb the odor or just mask it.
 

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Well, I havent found this to be a problem to fix, we used move around alot when I was in the military, and you would always put a lemon flavoured tea bag into empty fridges ect. When I get a smelly case remove the instrument and clean it seperatley, we wet vax the case which is really just a vacuum cleaner that uses water, like they do with couches ect, put it in the sun to thoroughly dry out for a day, then put two tea bags of lemon tea in the case and close it up. When you want to use it, nice and fresh and clean smelling, hasnt let me down yet.
 

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I found that using a scented dryer sheet or two - buy the expensive, strongly scented ones - really help in this regard.
 
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