How to defuse a stink bomb
July 12, 2014 12:05 PM Subscribe
I've bought two secondhand items in the past few years that have a strong, nauseating smell, kind of like tobacco multiplied by ten. Both are plastic-based. What is it and how can I remove it?
posted by mippy to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
The smell reminds me of tobacco, but doesn't smell like residual smoke from clothing, furniture etc - it smells a little like things I've brought home from my parents' house, home to a heavy smoker for 26 years. It's hard to describe any further, other than it's very tenacious, is not affected by sprays of scented products, and can make me feel sick if I inhale too often. I bought a book from eBay once that carried the same smell (albeit lighter) on the bubble wrap, complained to the seller that there was no mention of smoking on the listing, and was told that theirs was a smoke-free home. Either they were lying, or the cause is something else entirely!
The first item is a radio bought from eBay - while I was in the middle of moving house, so I didn't properly unpack and notice the smell until it was too late to do anything about it. The manual, peripherals and radio itself all carried the strong odour. Exposing it to fresh air helped a bit, but I didn't want to use Febreeze etc in case of damage. I don't want to ditch it as it's a specialist radio that's tricky to get hold of, but the smell is an issue.
The second is a set of cosmetic bags bought from a charity shop. These were definitely new - they were tagged, bound with ribbon and kimble-tagged on the zip - but once opened, same horrible death odour. The outsides don't seem to smell - the insides really do. The bags are PVC coated and the smell seems impervious to sprays of scented products. If the smell doesn't come out, no big deal, but I don't want to send them back to the charity shop that way!
Any ideas, Hive mind?