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Thread: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

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    This a 2007 Gibson Hummingbird that was submerged in the Missouri river. Apparently a troubled man handcuffed himself to the steering wheel and drove into the river with his guitar in the case in the car. The family would like it repaired. Every brace is at least partially loose, the binding and back came off almost effortlessly. The neck joint seems solid and the finish is near miraculously clean. I'll need to replace the bridge plate, it appears that is was left at string tension as it dried out and the plate is tent shaped, the bridge came off cleanly. The top will need to be flattened and all braces re-glued. My concern is how to get the mold cleaned out as permanently as possible. What have you guys done in situations like this? Thank for any advice.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    I would go with UV light, once it's dead, it's dead. There may still be some below the surface, but anything that would kill that would be bad for the glue joints or finishes.

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  4. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Have you seen the steri pens using UV light to purify water? I wonder if something like that would work. There are mold eating enzymes that might work like used in homes to remove black mold but I do not know how it would affect the glue joints or finish if it got on it.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Set it in the sun, you are going to glue it back together anyway, if something else opens up glue it. Sun should kill mold.
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  8. #5

    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Something called Microban has been recommended by a mold remediation specialist, I'm going to give it a try first. Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Whatever you use, I would follow it with at least one careful washing of denatured alcohol, maybe two.

    That's got work written all over it. At least it's easier to pull a bridge plate from the inside than from an assembled instrument.
    Remember that Gibsons are built with a fair amount of radius to the top.

    I replaced the back on a 2008 Gibson last year. I made a temporary mold from a piece of rigid insulation and kept the instrument in the mold until I glued the new back on. It held its shape very well.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    If the Microban doesn't do the job and since it's already apart and I'm sure will need some major work I would consider some sort of enclosure (outside your house or shop) where you could enclose the pieces and expose them to a few days of bleach fumes, not the liquid part part of the bleach. Mold is a living thing. Bleach will kill it. That's an unusual situation you've got there.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    That's got work written all over it.
    Yep, a lot of work. Really sad story, too.

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  15. #9

    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Thats a clean back removal, nice work

    Steve

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Cleaning Mold From Inside a Guitar?

    Here's an article. I was thinking that an "Ozone Chamber" treatment might help. It seems it still needs another step besides this. I'd Get some advice from a mold remediation pro. They may have such a chamber already set up for furniture or other precious things from floods, IDK. Post hurricane Michael around here, usually they just throw them away.

    https://www.noai.org/mold-remediation-ozone-generator

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