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09-16-2014, 11:42 PM   #1
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Help with a stinky dslr

I just got a used K-30 for my wife's birthday. It's great other than it reeks of menthol cigarettes. I've tried cleaning it but the rubber grips and the rubber around the eyepiece still stinks. Does anybody know of any tricks that could help neutralize the smell?

09-17-2014, 12:10 AM   #2
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I know mythbusters did a test with vodka removing the scent of smoke, but that was with clothes not electronics, but it should be fine for the rubber.

The smell will eventually go away on its own, but introducing a new, more pleasant smell (like new car!), may speed up that process

Otherwise I'll take it off your hands :P
09-17-2014, 12:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I know mythbusters did a test with vodka removing the scent of smoke, but that was with clothes not electronics, but it should be fine for the rubber.

The smell will eventually go away on its own, but introducing a new, more pleasant smell (like new car!), may speed up that process

Otherwise I'll take it off your hands :P
If I wanted to know how to get nasty smells out of stuff I would definitely heed the advice and experience of a Zombie Seriously!

Stuff I've heard can work: Febreeze, Ozite, enclosing the object with cat litter, and even wiping down with vinegar.
09-17-2014, 12:16 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
and even wiping down with vinegar.
I'd rather have the over powering scent of menthol than vinegar, and I hate menthol. I personally wouldn't even attempt this one, at least Vodka smell isn't extremely overpowering.

The others seem more nostril friendly.

09-17-2014, 12:51 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
I just got a used K-30 for my wife's birthday. It's great other than it reeks of menthol cigarettes. I've tried cleaning it but the rubber grips and the rubber around the eyepiece still stinks. Does anybody know of any tricks that could help neutralize the smell?
Spray some air freshener / odor remover on a paper towel, and put them in the same bag/case as the camera. That should help get rid of the odor. You could also give the camera a gentle shower and keep it out in fresh air as much as possible.

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09-17-2014, 01:09 AM   #6
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Maybe these general tips will help? Alternately, this was mentioned in a thread specifically regarding this situation:
QuoteQuote:
I do have a solution for you! Buy a bar of Irish Spring soap. Cut the top off of the box but leave the bar of soap in the (now-topless) box. Put the camera and soap into a larger box, close it up, and leave for several days.
09-17-2014, 01:40 AM   #7
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A raw, cut, onion is said to absorb the smell of paint etc, when decorating. Could try that in a box with the camera. The onion smell will not transfer.
09-17-2014, 03:06 AM   #8
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I had a friend that worked for a used car dealer and they used charcoal (the kind used in aquarium filters) in cars that smelled like smoke. They would actually loosen the edge of thecarpet in the back seat and put a little under the carpet. He said the smell would be gone in a couple of days.

09-17-2014, 05:19 AM   #9
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I have bought a lot of used equipment: camera equipment, amateur radio equipment, guitar amplifiers, etc. that smell like an ashtray. Exposure to clean, fresh air will take the cigarette smell away. It may take weeks-to-months, but I prefer not to add any smells when I am trying to take away smells.
09-17-2014, 05:57 AM   #10
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Alcohol is your best bet for the menthol - it's extremely soluble in alcohol. It will probably get some of the smoke aroma, too. I'd use 99% isopropyl alcohol myself, with gauze or a cloth to limit the lint and dust paper towels can leave behind. The rubber eyepiece is removable, so you can get inside as well. The alcohol shouldn't be too harmful to the synthetic rubber parts, but don't soak it.

Rubber holds aroma well, so it might be a while before all the aromatics evaporate. Even the synthetic rubbers will hold the menthol.
09-17-2014, 06:40 AM   #11
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Residual Oil Remover works very well removing the offending deposits. The other solutions leave the deposits and mask or neutralize the odor.

It is available in a spray bottle and a liquid dropper bottle form at B&H. I immediately use the liquid method on lens cleaning paper for every used camera item I receive.
09-17-2014, 06:53 AM   #12
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if you end up using any sort of alcohol/vodka, i'd follow with some plain water. i'd rather dilute it than let any residue sit on plastic or rubber. i've seen too many pieces of acrylics and rubber crack from continual alcohol exposure. an occasional exposure is probably not detrimental, but it's not 100% innocuous
09-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #13
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If you put it in a box with some Oxyclean, then a paper over that to prevent dust, the camera in a plastic bag with the top open but the box closed for a few days to a week or so the smell will go. I got a doll that was like that recently. She was smoky and smelled a bit damp and mildewy besides. Used to be I'd have to throw away dolls that had been in a smoker's house because nothing would get that smell out of the clothes or the doll vinyl but this particular doll she was a long coveted doll for me and hard to find I just decided I wasn't going to give her up without trying. A week later she smelled a bit like Oxy, but a couple of days later, once completely out of the box she just smelled fresh and clean and there wasn't a whiff left of the smoke or mildew smells on her or her clothes...
09-17-2014, 06:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I'd rather have the over powering scent of menthol than vinegar
I would suggest vinegar and rubbing alcohol 1:1 on a clean cotton cloth followed by water with dish soap and finished with fresh water and a dry cotton cloth. The vinegar odor is not persistent.

I have used that process to successfully remove tobacco residue from cameras and lenses without damage to paint or plastic parts.


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09-17-2014, 06:04 PM   #15
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How about getting a box of baking soda (open it up a little) and put the camera together in a plastic bag and leave it for several days?
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