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Thread: MUSTY ODOR in Featherweight case!!

  1. #1
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    MUSTY ODOR in Featherweight case!!

    I have had my featherweight for just over a year. When it arrived, I immediately noticed a nasty, musty odor in the case. I have sprayed with vinegar water, washed with vinegar water, washed with ammonia, set it in sunshine for a day, sprayed with Lysol, but nothing has helped. Any ideas on how to get rid of it? Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Canada Kate's Avatar
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    I got my FW back in November and the case had a bit of a musty odour. The machine still has a bit of an odour when I first start using it. It does not really bother me; I figure if I leave it sitting in my sewing space long enough (and not in the case), maybe the smell will eventually go away.

    It just occured to me that maybe you could try Febreeze in the case. I have not tried this myself, but you never know. Good luck!
    1951 Singer 301A - "Jean"
    1958 Singer Featherweight - "Verna"
    2009 Janome 4100QDC - Nameless


  3. #3
    Super Member ladypetite's Avatar
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    I got my Featherweight in Nov and the smell was very bad....more than just musty.....but I still can't quite figure out exactly what the smell is. Here is what I have tried so far with no success:
    1. Vinegar spray 2 days in a row
    2. 3 days in the sunshine
    4. All clay cat litter in a bowl, changed daily for a week
    5. Arm & Hammer rug/carpet deodorizer in a bowl for a week
    6. Crumpled newspaper changed daily for a week
    7. Sprayed with Febreeze

    Most of these ideas I got off of the internet, or through word of mouth, but so far, none have been successful. Since the smell is sort of like a mechanic's or engine repairperson's I am thinking that the case just may have set too long in the refurbisher's workshop and the fabric has absorbed some of those odors. I am hoping it will absorb some of mine. Right now I have it setting with a scented sheet of Bounty Fabric Softener. Hopefully that will help!?!
    A woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. by Albert Einstein
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  4. #4
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    Try setting a small bowl of vanilla in it. That has helped with odors I've had.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for your suggestions. Right now I have soap chips inside...lots of soap chips! I had not thought about the fabric softener sheets and will add some right now and will try the vanilla after guild workshop this morning.

  6. #6
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    I must have gotten lucky with mine - she smells like my grandpa's old garage - oil, grease, metal....love the smell!

    ...and I know how lucky I am, if there was any trace of mold in mine I would probably have to get rid of her as I am very sensitive to mold and mildew.

    it must be something coming from the glue they used on the fabric lining, some sort of enzyme product would probably work the best if it could get at the source - all the other things just mask the odour.

    Tea Tree oil is anti-fungal, that might work in a spray along with vinegar and water.

  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I don't have a FW, but I've heard Irish Spring soap works for wooden cases like the bentwood ones.

  8. #8
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    Mine came without a smell, but one corner is in need of some repair. Not quite sure how to do this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pippi65's Avatar
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    I had one that had the icky musty smell and what worked for me was this, first I put in a nylon about 6 or 8 charcoal chunks that you use for the BBQ grill and left them in there with the lid down for 7 days. Took them out then put in a dish with vanilla in it for 3-5 days and if it was a dry sunny day stuck it outside in the sun with the lid open. Smell went away and have never had it again. I did the charcoal trick with a water damaged grandfather's clock & vanilla too. You would never know the clock was in a flood!! Good luck. Hope this helps.
    Be kinder than necessary,everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

  10. #10
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    Try puting a little container of vinegar in case and close it. Let it set in there for 3-4 days and see if that helps.
    I use vinegar all the time for musty smells. It takes care of them.

  11. #11
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    Try changing the felt drip pad at the bottom of the FW's metal casing. It's there to absorb oil droplets. Supposedly the old oil on the felt pad can eventually become rancid. I don't know if that's true, but it'd cost so little to put in a new pad; you can order one for $5.95 from April1930s.com. Or just remove the metal plate from the bottom of your FW and use the existing felt pad for a template to cut a new drip pad.

    The smelly glue has been said to come from the old horse glue used to construct the FW cases. Again, that's just what I've read; don't know from personal experience.

    ,

  12. #12
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    From what I've read, the smell comes from the oil that drips from the machine onto the inside of the case. Be sure you have replaced the felt bottom that is on the underside of your Featherweight. You can order these. I washed the inside of my case very well with a household cleaner, then put charcoal in it and closed it for a couple of days. Then sat it outside for a couple of sunny days. Most of the odor went away.
    Karen in Kentucky

  13. #13
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    I keep a bar of irish spring in mine all the time.

  14. #14
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    Thanks so much to all of you for your tips in making that musty odor go away! I appreciate your help! I plan to try all the tips. Right now I have soap chips and fabric softener sheets in the case with it closed. I will be trying the vanilla next and the charcoal tip. You all have been a great help!

  15. #15
    Member Honeycat's Avatar
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    Good morning~

    Some great tips here, though must of the unpleasant smell in my case has dissipated now after several years.

    I had not heard that rancid oil from the machine can be a cause. My understanding from the FW Yahoo Group is that it's usually the glue used to adhere the fabric lining to the walls of the case. In any event, I have GOT to remember charcoal for situations like this. Last time, I used a bunch of saved silicon packets and found a little relief with that.

    ~April
    Last edited by Honeycat; 01-18-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  16. #16
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    try foot odor control it works great just close box and let set and just leave it in change about every six moths it just takes a half at a time
    Brenda( AKA Memaw)

  17. #17
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    My featherweight came with the worst musty smell you can imagine. I took a paper bag cut the top off filled it with charcoal, not the kind with lighter fluid in it, enough that I could stick it down inside the case between the machine and wall of the case ,stuck in two sheets of bounce dryer sheets and closed it up. The smell is almost gone. I have changed the charcoal and dryer sheets a couple of times but when not in use I just put the charcoal and dryer sheets back in an leave it until the next time I use my featherweight. My DDIL use this method when she had a musty smelling her basement so it was worth a try, I had already tried fabreeze, outside in the sunshine, washing with just about anything I could think of that wouldn't hurt the finish. Worked for me hope it works for you.

  18. #18
    Super Member psychonurse's Avatar
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    Some have suggested on other sites that the odor comes from the felt inside on the bottom being caused my the old oil.

  19. #19
    Junior Member judys's Avatar
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    One more thing that has worked to eliminate odors for me is to sprinkle dry (unused) coffee grounds in and close it up.

  20. #20
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    I thank it is the old grease that they used in the motor. I have three of those FW and ever case smelled when I got it and I put a bowl of coffee grounds, maybe 4 tablespoons each time in the closed case. Changed 2or3 times in 2 weeks and odor was gone. I new this because I had been on vacation one time and ref. went out smelled terible had it fixed under warranty and like to have not found anything to get rid of the odor but coffee grounds new out of can worked.

  21. #21
    Super Member jpmaroni's Avatar
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    Vanilla, great idea.

  22. #22
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    i'll tell you a trick i read years ago and it works in several different situations with odors from various things. get a small vanilla scented votive candle, set it on a piece of foil in bottom of case, light it of course, prop the lid partially open, leave for couple hours and the smell will definitely vanish. be sure and keep a close watch on it while lit for obvious reasons. I did this when I painted the inside of my closets. but used a larger in the jar candle and closed the closet door. takes the new paint smell away for good.
    donna
    love people and use things, don't use people and love things

  23. #23
    Senior Member Highmtn's Avatar
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    Find someone with a good o-zone filter - maybe you can even rent one. I have an Eco-Breeze O-Zone filter and it's way effective on moldy/mildew odors. I purchased a vintage set of encyclopedia's a few year ago and when I got them home they were grossly MUSTY! I put them in a room, set my Breeze o-zone filter on "sanitize" and closed the door. After the recommended amount of time I aired the room out..and the books were FUNKY SMELL F-R-E-E!!

    I'm not an Eco-Breeze dealer, or affiliated with them in any way. I just know I've had mine produce some miracles! Another time I rented a place that had had a smoker in it. IT SMELLED SOOO BAD! I used my o-zone filter for 4 days, setting the levels up a little high when I went out and turning it down when I came back...and in a week there was not a TRACE of nicotine odor left! It never came back either.

    Maybe you have a friend who has one. They are great!
    "It's a *fine line* between HOBBY and MENTAL ILLNESS"~ Dave Barry

  24. #24
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    Not sure if it will work in all cases, but I have put a bar of Dial soap into musty smelling antique containers for weeks or months and it worked for me.

  25. #25
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    The carcoal works wonders. When we stored a freezer for two years we put charcoal in the nylon. When we opened the freezer it was fresh as the day we sent it to storage. Also try coffee grounds in a nylon, that help when we had water damage after our basement flooded. We used it after the carcoal and it helped with the moldy smell. Good luck.

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