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August 27, 2007 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Moldyinstrumentfilter: How can I save an accordion from near-certain death?

The practice space that my band uses recently flooded during a rainstorm. The most grievous damage: one really, really moldy accordion; many different shapes, sizes, colors and smells.....ugh. The bellows are mostly covered and we also fear that the mold has infiltrated the inner workings. Our (allergy prone) accordion player is now afraid of her instrument and is considering throwing it away.

It's a Camerano, child-sized accordion and the bellows are made of some amalgamation of cloth, cardboard and leather.

In addition to thoroughly drying the accordion, what other cleaning techniques would y'all recommend? Are there any topical cleaners that you have found to be helpful with mold? Any other particular experiences with instrument remediation? Accordion aficionados out there with advice?

I'm in NYC if folks have any recommendations for specialist cleaners or repair shops that might be helpful. Thanks!
posted by otolith to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Auto dealers will often use ozone gadgets to cope with cars with things growing in the air handling components (where AC condensation and/or condensation can leave behind placed for ickies to grow) so you might contact one to ask who/what they use. Once the accordion is dried out you could try to find some way to subject it to the O3 treatment.
posted by phearlez at 1:56 PM on August 27, 2007

Best answer: I've had Main Squeeze, an accordion shop on the lower east side, in my bookmarks bar for the past few months. I ended up opening the accordion myself (and saw that I didn't need reeds replaced after all), so I never got beyond talking to them on the phone, but I think they have a good reputation. Give them a call to make sure, but I think they'll take a look and give you a repair quote for free. They've been around a long, long time and even have their own line of accordions produced.
posted by nobody at 3:36 PM on August 27, 2007

You gotta get it to a pro...soon. Accordions are persnickety, precision instruments. If it's ever going to be playable again, and it might not, it'll need the attention of someone who knows how to work on them. Quite likely, it's time for a new accordion.
posted by wsg at 2:24 AM on August 28, 2007

It may turn out that you can purchase another one for the cost of restoring the moldy one. Check into it.
posted by wsg at 2:27 AM on August 28, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, some expert help seems like the best way to go. I could see myself putting in hours of painstaking cleaning, only to find that I'd done more harm than good. I'll give Main Squeeze a call and see what they recommend. Thanks for the suggestions.

Interesting idea about that ozone death cloud, Phearlez. Apparently it's used in homes that have been infested by mold, by sealing off the place and blasting high concentration ozone into it until everything inside is dead. Funny how humans tend to develop a nuclear option for every contingency.
posted by otolith at 5:06 AM on August 28, 2007

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