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Thread: Smell in vintage Singer 301

  1. #1
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    I bid on a Singer 301 on Ebay. It arrived in the mail today. A very pretty cream and tan machine. Seems to run good and looks great. However, it smells musty. I've had it on the porch all day but it still smells. On Ebay, it said it had been cleaned and serviced. They must have held their noses when they cleaned it or couldn't smell. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the smell. The case and the foot pedal all smell. Should I leave it open or put a box of baking soda in the case and close it for a few days. I'm open to suggestions. Just don't want to mess up the machine. Thanks

  2. #2
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    I know that when I worked at a car dealership if a trade vehicle had an offensive aroma we would put in a couple of dryer sheets and close the vehicle up and it usually worked wonders.

  3. #3
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    I found that if you leave the machine out it will eventually get rid of the smell, or I just got use to it. Now the case, I put dryer sheets, coffee beans, baking soda and no luck for me. hopefully someone else has a good idea.

  4. #4
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    I'm dealing with a similar problem with some books and magazines I bought used. Except that they seem to be saturated with cologne.

    I tried baking soda, but so far that hasn't helped. Now I have them packed up in a box with kitty litter and a charcoal block that I bought at Walmart for about $4. The box was sealed up today and I will let it sit like that for a few days.

    The charcoal may work well for you, and it won't put dust in the mechanical parts of the machine. With the books and magazines, that is not a concern, but I wouldn't use either the kitty litter or the baking soda with a machine. Of course, if you're thinking of putting the baking soda boxes in, but not sprinkling baking soda around the machine, that's not a problem.

    I sure hope you can get the smell out of the machine. Maybe you can return the machine - doesn't sound like they mentioned the odor in the ad.

  5. #5
    Super Member BeeNana's Avatar
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    Below is a recent topic that might have some valuable info for you and your machine.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-74084-1.htm

    Besides changing the pad under the machine I have put a bar of the old 'safe guard' soap in the box (wrapped in a cut off stocking or in a sock).

  6. #6
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    You might go to the Vintage Machine area and think about taking it apart and recleaning it as there might be something inside that is causing the smell. There might be a felt pad under the bottom of the machine that has absorbed something offensive. Just a thought.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions. For tonight and tomorrow, I'm gonna let it air out. Then tomorrow night, I will close it up with a box of baking soda and leave a couple of days. If that doesn't do it, then I will follow up with charcoal in the closed case for a couple of days. Then if that doesn't work, I'll try the bar of soap and close it in the case. Surely, one of those will work. Thanks for all of the suggestions. I got the machine for about $150 and it has a case (a little beat up), a large box of attachments and the machine is really pretty.

  8. #8
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    Thanks so much to BeeNana and Aurora. I took the bottom off of the machine and there was a felt lining that stinks like crazy. It also felt a little moist. I have taken it out, left off the bottom and airing everything out for tonight in the garage. Hopefully, this will do it. I just need to find out where to order another felt bottom. Do any of you know a good store to order vintage parts from. I'll have to confess that I got into an Ebay frenzy and won three 301 machines in the last week. I didn't think I was bidding high enough to win all three but I did. I got two beige ones and one cream and beige one. Didn't get a manual with any of them but am going to buy one. I'm going to order the DVD about cleaning featherweights and 301s and do it myself. (I also bought a featherweight on Ebay in February - Billy is cleaning it now.) I need to stay away from Ebay (but it sure was fun).

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The first thing I would do is get rid of the case. When that old glue goes bad, there isn't much hope. For the machine, clean it with a good cleaner - I used Oxyclean - and replace the felt pads. April1930sshoppe.com has replacement parts. I didn't have to replace anything. AnnieRose came with a coating of cigarette smake - no odor. She cleaned up very well. I didn't get a case. AnnieRose travels in a wheeled case from JoAnn's. It's a little big, but it works.

    I'm having some trouble with a bentwood case on a Singer 128 that has a musty basement smell. Irish Spring soap seems to help.

    I downloaded a free manual for both machines from Sewclassic.com

  10. #10
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Lucky you! 3 of them....that had to be fun!

  11. #11
    Super Member BeeNana's Avatar
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    Sandra G. I have sent you a PM.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I had a featherweight case that smelled like that. I put the machine in the case along with a couple of OdorEaters brand shoe insoles (the ones with charcoal in them) and left it for a few weeks. The case and machine have been odor-free ever since. Charcoal absorbs musty odors, and the insoles make it easy to keep charcoal inside the case. Works for me.....

  13. #13
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    Charcoal is the best.

  14. #14
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I am almost embarrassed to admit that I don't mind the old musty smell of my 301. :oops: It kinda is an old smell that makes me think of my mamaw's and aunt's basements where we played as kids.

  15. #15
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    I was given a FW and it smelled BAD! I tried baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, I set it in the sun (in over 100 degrees) for many days. I changed the felt pad, that helped a lot as far as the machine, but the case was still so bad that I couldn't be near it. Then I read about using deodorant soap. It worked!! I put a bar in the case for a week or so, in a big garbage bag tied shut, I would open it during the day, so moisture wouldn't build up and cause mold. It is in my sewing room as we speak, no smell. Don't give up on it.

  16. #16
    Member Bessie's Avatar
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    A few months ago I purchased a Featherweight and the case had a musty odor. After a good bit of research online, I saw information to place it in a plastic bag with a bar of Safeguard soap (specifically said it had to be Safeguard soap) and leave it closed for 3 weeks. It totally eliminated the odor. I also have an antique commercial thread cabinet that had an odor and I now keep a bar of Safeguard soap in there and no more musty odor smell.

  17. #17
    Super Member laalaaquilter's Avatar
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    Since you say musty it may be damp. What about using the packets of silica that come in your shoes or medicines?

  18. #18

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    Fresh air is the best way to rid your machine of the musty smell, warm sun really helps.

  19. #19
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    I too, got a F. W from the thrift store I work in. The minute I came in the room and smelled "the smell" I knew there was a featherweight in the room. I later learned that it is that drip pad underneath the machine. Ordering a new one will help. I just opened my case, and the "smell" is gone. I liked the idea of the odor eaters with charcoal.

    I ordered my new drip pad AND A QUARTER INCH FOOT from the following..

    www.221parts.com They are located in New Port Richey Fl.

    search that or e-mail is [email protected]

    Good luck.

    Julie Woods, Port Orange Florida

  20. #20
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    Me again. Yes, as Pieces in Missouri just stated, leaving it out in the fresh air works for the case. I kept putting my case out in the sunshine for several days. However, if you don't a new drip pad, you will still have the problem, I would think. Thanks. Again, Good Luck.

  21. #21
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    I just purchased a Singer 301 and before it arrived I purchased a new felt pad for it. They are listed now on ebay, same seller I used, for a couple of dollars plus shipping. I had read somewhere that this smell was a problem and anticipated it would be a problem on mine as well. When mine arrived no smell at all, but installed the new felt pad anyway. It is a very easy thing to do and I feel better that it has a new pad. I also purchased a set of new rubber feet for the machine bottom. I am using my machine as a portable and the rubber feet had become dry and brittle and the entire machine would slid when I sewed on it. The new rubber feet are great and hold the machine in place. They are also available on ebay.

  22. #22
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    Hi

    I had the same problem with the 301 and a featherweight. I replaced the oil drip pad on the underside of the machine and that helped a lot. I bought them online from a company (in Florida I think) that sold fetherweight parts. Inexpensive at about $3.00 each and very simple to replace. Take off the bottom and check to see how dirty/oily the pad is. If you think this could help, then google to find a seller. Dryer sheets and exposure to air will help too.

  23. #23
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
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    DRY SUN! I left my FW case out in the sun and sprayed the inside with an antibacterial spray 2 day running all day, no problem since! Also sent you a PM,

  24. #24
    LindaaJR's Avatar
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    Put it in a sealed box with ckrinkled up newspaper for a few days. See if that works. Good luck, take care.
    Linda

  25. #25
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    Hints from Heloise - wad up newspapers in the case - will remove the odors.

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