VOGONS


First post, by appiah4

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I recently bought a Behringer UCA222 and there is one fault with it: The previous owner was apparently a heavy smoker. I managed to get the smell out of the plastic casing with dishwasher soap and water, but no amount of washing seems to get rid of it from the cable. I've tried 99% alcohol, no effect.

Although the UCA222 is not a retro piece of hardware, I think this question applies to those equipment even more than it does to modern sutff, hence why I posted here. In the past I've had the issue with keyboard cables as well, particularly coiled type ones. Is there a way to get it from soft plastic like cables at all? I don't want to have to replace the cable with another USB cable just to get rid of the smell 🙁

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Reply 1 of 33, by Sphere478

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Gasoline?

Sometimes storing them somewhere hot and aired out for a long period of time can help.

Last edited by Sphere478 on 2022-06-23, 07:35. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 2 of 33, by Tiido

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I have had no luck getting the smell out of any cables and soft plastics in general. It seems to go into the material. Maybe bleach can do something, hopefully without ruining teh cable in the process. It is not something I have tried though.

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Reply 3 of 33, by appiah4

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Sphere478 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:33:

Gasoline?

That sounds counterintuitive, wouldn't the soap ust bind water on one end alcohol on the other?

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Reply 4 of 33, by appiah4

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Tiido wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:33:

I have had no luck getting the smell out of any cables and soft plastics in general. It seems to go into the material. Maybe bleach can do something, hopefully without ruining teh cable in the process. It is not something I have tried though.

Bleach is something I am considering at this point to be honest, I don't think it would ruin the cables but I am thinking it would terribly discolor them?

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Reply 5 of 33, by Sphere478

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:34:
Sphere478 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:33:

Gasoline?

That sounds counterintuitive, wouldn't the soap ust bind water on one end alcohol on the other?

You are replying to my previous edit.

But you would think, however I have had good luck getting persistent sticky stuff up using a mix of dish soap and rubbing alcohol.

Bleach, maybe..
Ammonia is another strong base to consider.

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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 6 of 33, by gordon-creAtive.com

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I'm not sure if it helps but I once had a telephone cable (I'm a little bit into telephone collecting) that was really really nasty (but no cigarette smell). The usual tools didn't work (Alcohol, WD40) so I put it into a cotton bag and threw it into the washing machine at 60C with regular washing machine powder. It did wonders and looked like new, but also softened the plastic cable cover. Maybe that would be worth a try for you.

Reply 7 of 33, by appiah4

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Sphere478 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:36:
You are replying to my previous edit. […]
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appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:34:
Sphere478 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:33:

Gasoline?

That sounds counterintuitive, wouldn't the soap ust bind water on one end alcohol on the other?

You are replying to my previous edit.

But you would think, however I have had good luck getting persistent sticky stuff up using a mix of dish soap and rubbing alcohol.

Bleach, maybe..
Ammonia is another strong base to consider.

Sorry I didn't notice the edit 🙁

I'm fairly sure ammonia/acetone etc. would ruin the plastic though?

Also since we are mentioning ammonia and bleach in the same topic, SAFETY WARNING! NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH IF YOU WANT TO LIVE. Thanks.

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Reply 8 of 33, by appiah4

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gordon-creAtive.com wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:42:

I'm not sure if it helps but I once had a telephone cable (I'm a little bit into telephone collecting) that was really really nasty (but no cigarette smell). The usual tools didn't work (Alcohol, WD40) so I put it into a cotton bag and threw it into the washing machine at 60C with regular washing machine powder. It did wonders and looked like new, but also softened the plastic cable cover. Maybe that would be worth a try for you.

Not really an option as it's soldered to the board on one end.. I suppose I could desolder it for the purpose, but I am hoping I don't have to..

Similarly, I've watched disgusting smelling IDE ribbon cables in the dishwasher and they all came out like new, but with this - I do not know.

Maybe I can just dishwasher it with the PCB and all 🤣.

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Reply 11 of 33, by Sphere478

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:46:
Sorry I didn't notice the edit :( […]
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Sphere478 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:36:
You are replying to my previous edit. […]
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appiah4 wrote on 2022-06-23, 07:34:

That sounds counterintuitive, wouldn't the soap ust bind water on one end alcohol on the other?

You are replying to my previous edit.

But you would think, however I have had good luck getting persistent sticky stuff up using a mix of dish soap and rubbing alcohol.

Bleach, maybe..
Ammonia is another strong base to consider.

Sorry I didn't notice the edit 🙁

I'm fairly sure ammonia/acetone etc. would ruin the plastic though?

Also since we are mentioning ammonia and bleach in the same topic, SAFETY WARNING! NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH IF YOU WANT TO LIVE. Thanks.

Depends on the type of plastic. You’ll have to test a small section. Or discover it online beforehand.

A run through the dishwasher with pcb. may actually work… but it’s risky. And say bye bye to your stickers. (Remove battery)

I’ve heard of commit and bleach but bleach and ammonia also huh? 🤢

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 12 of 33, by paradigital

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White vinegar helps neutralise the smell in fabrics, so perhaps submerge the cable for a few days and see if that helps? Can hardly make it worse!

Cigarette smoke, bleurgh.

Reply 13 of 33, by Sphere478

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paradigital wrote on 2022-06-23, 08:39:

White vinegar helps neutralise the smell in fabrics, so perhaps submerge the cable for a few days and see if that helps? Can hardly make it worse!

Cigarette smoke, bleurgh.

Keep the connector and metal parts out if it.

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
-
SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
-
Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 14 of 33, by Jo22

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Coffe powder (dry, no instant coffee).

Just get a bag, a cup of coffe powder and do both the cup and the smelly stuff inside.
Wait 3-4 days.

The bag doesn't need to be completely sealed.
A bit of air circulation isn't bad, so humidity won't increase inside.
A cardboard box also works, for example.

If it's some really smelly piece of plastic or wood,
it's also possible to use a spoon to spread the coffee powder over the surface.

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Reply 15 of 33, by Sphere478

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-06-23, 10:30:
Coffe powder (dry, no instant coffee). […]
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Coffe powder (dry, no instant coffee).

Just get a bag, a cup of coffe powder and do both the cup and the smelly stuff inside.
Wait 3-4 days.

The bag doesn't need to be completely sealed.
A bit of air circulation isn't bad, so humidity won't increase inside.
A cardboard box also works, for example.

If it's some really smelly piece of plastic or wood,
it's also possible to use a spoon to spread the coffee powder over the surface.

Coffee, and newspapers. Have used them to make musty cars and gross fridges smell better.

Idk if it will work on cancer tar though.

Sphere's PCB projects.
-
Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
-
SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
-
Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 16 of 33, by appiah4

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-06-23, 10:30:
Coffe powder (dry, no instant coffee). […]
Show full quote

Coffe powder (dry, no instant coffee).

Just get a bag, a cup of coffe powder and do both the cup and the smelly stuff inside.
Wait 3-4 days.

The bag doesn't need to be completely sealed.
A bit of air circulation isn't bad, so humidity won't increase inside.
A cardboard box also works, for example.

If it's some really smelly piece of plastic or wood,
it's also possible to use a spoon to spread the coffee powder over the surface.

Oh! I will try this!

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 17 of 33, by DNSDies

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Soak the cables in hot water to induce thermal expansion, then dip them in plain febreze.
the beta cyclodextrin in the febreze should trap the odor causing molecules, and then you can rinse them off in 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Might require two treatments because beta cyclodetrin is only partly water soluble.

Reply 18 of 33, by andre_6

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You've got plenty of choices already, but I'll add another simple solution to try: there's a kind of anti-odor spray, eucaliptus based or something like along those lines, that "eats" strong odors like fried fish and even cat urine, works really well, I even think that it's advertised for the latter. I imagine a few sprays and letting it go to work will go a long way, and you can clean everything up with alcohol in the end. Vinegar works in a lot of cases too