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Removing mildew from a guitar ?

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GUEST,Sleepless Dad 19 Apr 05 - 01:49 PM
GUEST 19 Apr 05 - 02:56 PM
open mike 19 Apr 05 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Sleepless Dad 19 Apr 05 - 03:09 PM
Deckman 19 Apr 05 - 03:41 PM
John Hardly 19 Apr 05 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 19 Apr 05 - 11:23 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Apr 05 - 12:58 PM
open mike 21 Apr 05 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,jennifer 21 Apr 05 - 02:20 AM
GUEST 15 Jul 14 - 08:14 AM
Alan Day 15 Jul 14 - 08:45 AM
pdq 15 Jul 14 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Jul 14 - 10:03 AM
Jack Campin 15 Jul 14 - 10:11 AM
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Subject: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 01:49 PM

I know someone selling a wonderful old { early to mid 60's } Gibson 12 string - a B45-12N. I've heard it played on many occasions and I know it has a wonderful sound. The owner is willing to sell it because it's been sitting in his closet for several years and it hasn't been played. The case has some mildew on the surface - front and back. And it looks as if there is some mildew on the fretboard as well. The interior of the guitar and the body appear to be free of mildew. So my questions are:

How do you remove the mildew from the fretboard of the guitar ?
Will it keep coming back?
Do I need to get rid of the guitar case ?

The case is not the right size { too big } and the wrong brand { Guild } so I have no problem getting rid of it - I don't want the problem to spread to my other instruments. I'd just as soon get a new case that fit it better.

Not buying this 12 string is not an option. It sounds too good. Soundwise it's the best 12 string I ever played. It has a few dings on it - but then again so do I.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 02:56 PM

You could try a 50% solution of Javex and water on the case. If you have mildew on the guitar I would try soap and water and a soft cloth and some elbow grease. If the guitar has been stored for several years in an enviroment damp enough to cause mildew you could have more serious problems so I would be careful.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: open mike
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 03:08 PM

sunshine


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 03:09 PM

I'm not familar with Javex but I'll look it up. Thanks. I checked the seams, body, neck, ect this weekend and I didn't see any structural problems anywhere. And I was looking very closly.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 03:41 PM

Trying to help here! "Guest" is quite correct. If it's been in a damp enough climate to cause this much mildew, this guitar could literally explode if not handled well. With all due respect to Open Mike, and i certainly do respect her, I suggest that you do NOT put it outside yet in the sunshine.

We're talking about dampness (water) here. The water has permiated everything, the wood, the cells, the glues, and everything.

The best suggestion I have is to wrap it in a clean and heavy cloth, perhaps a bedsheet, and place it in the rear of a seldon used closet. This hopefully will allow the moisture to slowly escape to wood pores and aclimate over time.

I wouldn't touch it for at least six months. Then, when you do finally open it up, look at what you've got. (I forgot to mention to loosen all the strings). You may have junk, or you may have something repairable.

Good luck, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 04:19 PM

Just dump the case, clean the fretboard, oil it, and live with it. It's not like even the reccurance of a little mildew is going to hurt the function -- you already know it plays. And the mildew's not going be on any of the finished surfaces, so you won't be getting it on you.

Eventually, when exposed to open air enough, it shouldn't be a problem.

Before spending lotsa money on it though I'd sure give the neck a good look. If it's moist enough to grow mildew it's moist enough to have some serious wood bending going on as well. You don't want a guitar, much less a 12 string, with a twisted neck.

Make sure you get a photo of you sitting crosslegged on the floor with it -- like Gordon Lightfoot.

...Sundown you better take care if I find you've been creepin' 'round my back stairs


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 19 Apr 05 - 11:23 PM

I have experienced a horrific 20 year plus battle with mildew.



Only chlorine bleach seems to work....and then if a spot is missed it will return.



DUMP - the case



The mildew is in furniture, books, manuscripts, photographs, plastic covers, and transpancy slides.



An antique oaken desk has been treated five or six times with bleach....all it contains are infested...this summer - sunshine will also be added.



Thankfully, the contagion is confined within a single room containing materials moved from a highly humid local where everything became contaminated.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Apr 05 - 12:58 PM

I would be vary careful about adding anything liquid, bleach included, to a guitar. I concur that careful cleaning, preferably without adding moisture, followed by careful drying (and avoiding bringing it up to concert pitch) is likely to be the first step.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: open mike
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 12:55 AM

i meant the sunshine for the case...
and thanks for the R-E-S-P-E-C-T


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST,jennifer
Date: 21 Apr 05 - 02:20 AM

Athletes foot powder once worked well on mildewy hymnbooks...


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 14 - 08:14 AM

Put it in the dishwasher.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: Alan Day
Date: 15 Jul 14 - 08:45 AM

You are being silly Guest.

What setting?

Al


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: pdq
Date: 15 Jul 14 - 08:57 AM

Earier to remove mildew from and old guitar than removing mildew from and old Folkie.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Jul 14 - 10:03 AM

This thread was started in 2005, so presumably the guitar either survived the ordeal or it didn't.

However, just in case it helps somebody with a similar problem in the future, I would like to mention that googling 'Gibson guitar maker' shows that the Gibson company is still in business. I suggest contacting them and asking for advice about the guitar they made.

They will know what the finishes are made of and what kind of glue was used.

If they can't be bothered, so be it. But I suspect somebody would help.


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Subject: RE: Removing mildew from a guitar ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jul 14 - 10:11 AM

Mildew can be killed (keeping the guitar dry enough for long enough should do it) but mildew stains are forever. Nothing will bleach them out.


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