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How do I get rid of smoke smell from a model?


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#1 OFFLINE   americanaut

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:10 AM

Hi guys,

I just received an Exoto model I bought on eBay, used. Even though its condition was described as "1 - Collection worthy" and perfect, it's quite dusty, has paint rash and smells like it lived inside a cigarette box :-( I can live with the paint rash (the model is probably around 20 years old), I can remove the dust, but what can I do to get rid of that awful smoke smell? Any ideas?

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#2 OFFLINE   ferrariforever

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:27 AM

I had a similar model.
I put it in a display box, left the cover open for 2 hours a day. After 3 months the smell is largely reduced.
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#3 OFFLINE   jazzy426

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:28 AM

Umm that’s a bit tricky I once received a model in similar condition it was reeked of stale cigarette smell. But it was easy for me as it was a simple Bburago and I took the whole thing apart rinsed some parts with water and wiped them with wet wipes. Left it out in open area for a while and the smell eventually went away. But it is probably hard in your case as I won’t dare to imagine the amount of efforts for dismantling an Exoto, and putting them back.

One old trick my mum taught me is to ground coffee to absorb the smell. I don’t know if that would work well in your case but we used to do that on old musty drawers. Pour some ground coffee in a cup and let it sit for a while until it absorbs the smell. Raw onion worked too we once bought 2nd hand bedside tables which reeks of curry powder smell and the onion did its job removing the smell after several days.

Perhaps try removing as much dust as you can from the model with moist wipes and cotton buds for hard to reach areas  first as the surface dust would have trapped some of the smell

#4 OFFLINE   StratosWRC

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:04 AM

Had a smoke stinkin exoto and I ended  up selling it. Smell never went away, I couldnít stand it
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#5 OFFLINE   Maarten Mercedes

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:40 AM

I once bought a 1:18 Minichamps Bentley Arnage that had a smoke smell. As the model was not worth a lot by that time I cleaned it with pure dish soap en removed the soap with a wet microfiber window cloth. I have to say that 90% of the smell was gone. I don't know if this will work with an Exoto, as the Minichamps Bentley was quite a solid model with thick paint and the model had no photo-etch detailing.

With real cars they use ozone generators. They place them inside the interior for one night and most of the smell will be gone. Does anybody have an idea if placing a generator in a big box together with the model might work?

Edited by Maarten Mercedes, 12 December 2019 - 06:41 AM.

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#6 ONLINE   cwbs

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:42 AM

I read somewhere - and it might have been on this forum actually - that baking soda i supposed to absorb odours.

Try laying enough baking soda at the bottom of a plastic container with lid, then place the model in the box with all parts opened, cover the box and leave it for a week.

I'd recommend not placing the model straight on top of the baking soda, maybe make a wire frame to keep it suspended.

Cigarrette odour is disgusting, I'm glad I stopped smoking some 25 years ago.

#7 ONLINE   T1000

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:46 AM

The house DIY sites say charcoal absorbes cigarette smells.
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#8 OFFLINE   americanaut

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:17 AM

Thanks guys, for all your great ideas! I heard coffee ground helps with odours in cars - might be worth trying that one first and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, I can try the onion, baking powder or charcoal, too. Or leave it outside for a while (protected). Also, it might be a good start to clean it with soap and water, first. But no, I won't even think about taking it apart... I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Edited by americanaut, 12 December 2019 - 08:18 AM.

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#9 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:18 AM

View PostT1000, on 12 December 2019 - 06:46 AM, said:

The house DIY sites say charcoal absorbes cigarette smells.
Some on here use them too. Get a big plastic box, put the model one side, charcoal bricks the other and seal it up.

I've not tried it myself though, I often go mad with febreeze etc on some kitchen roll and put it in the box a few times. It works, but it never fully goes away. The charcoal way probably works best :)

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#10 OFFLINE   The Paladin

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Posted 20 December 2019 - 04:28 PM

I had an Autoart Ford GT that arrived with heavy smoke smell. I cleaned it as best as I could and leave it on the box with lots fo coffee grains, in a few months the smell was reduced.

#11 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 03:01 PM

I bought a rare Land Rover the other day, man it stinks!! It was a bit dusty and dirty so I've cleaned it. I'm going to have to get rid of the smoke smell!

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#12 OFFLINE   forza!

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 02:07 AM

My Mac F1 arrived in smokey condition :sad: and hate to break it to you, but even after 4 years you can still smell it (though the smell is almost reduced to zero by this time).
Just make sure that you keep it out of the box and into as much of fresh air as possible.
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#13 OFFLINE   littlerockshhd

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 03:09 PM

I've read that the charcoal method works well. Jus  seal the model inside a container with some  charcoal bricks.

#14 OFFLINE   Sir Arun

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 02:02 AM

if you've already cleaned the model and there's still smell residue, this might be just a crazy thought, but thorough aeration might help (forced draft). If you have a table fan, you might want to put your model nearby with everything open at a safe distance and turn it on and leave it for a couple of hours, it might clear away the rest of the smell

Edited by Sir Arun, 06 May 2020 - 02:02 AM.

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#15 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:37 AM

Prolonged exposure to a strong draught of fresh air.
In windy Dublin this is rarely a problem.
Protection from the other elements is essential (not surprisingly!).

#16 OFFLINE   americanaut

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 05:50 AM

Thanks guys. I actually did put the model in a box with coffee beans and that helped quite a bit. However, I was not satisfied and I actually sold the model just last week - it just didn't bring me the joy in the end, so it had to go :-/
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#17 OFFLINE   mcaf123

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 10:04 AM

I just received a smokey/mouldy 1:12 AUTOart Porsche GT3 RS, so I'm going to start by leaving the model out in the open and see how it goes.
Thanks for the tips, guys!
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