Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How to remove cigarette smoke and musty smells from collectibles

If you are an avid collector, chances are, this has happened to you...

You finally find an item you've been looking for a long time. You count the days until it arrives. When it is delivered, you open the package in glorious anticipation... and then... UGH... it reeks of cigarette smoke or some other musty smell.

If it is a common item, you can return it. But, what about tough-to-find items in otherwise good condition you don't want to return?

You may be tempted to "Febreeze" it or use some other product to mask or cover up the smell. These methods typically do not work well, and you risk staining the item when spraying it with any chemical.

The key is using baking soda because it doesn't doesn't mask odor; it absorbs odor. I have used this method to successfully remove undesirable smells from books, comics and baseballs.
  1. Dump a box of baking soda in the bottom of a Tupperware container big enough to hold the item. Avoid a container that is excessively large.
  2. Put a wire rack or something in the container to suspend the item above the baking soda.
  3. Place the item in the container and seal it tight.
  4. Give it a few weeks to a month and check the item. If there is still smell, replace the baking soda with a fresh supply and give it more time.
This method should work to remove most, if not all, of the nasty smell.

Good luck!