Removing mold/mildew from guitar

Need to know how to setup your guitar? How do you lower your action? How do you get rid of the Milli Vanilli stickers? Look here first.
Posts: 2
Joined: November 8th, 2012, 4:29 pm

Removing mold/mildew from guitar

Postby zxcymn » November 8th, 2012, 4:36 pm

For 7 months I lived in a crappy house overcome with mold, and my electric acoustic sat in its hardshell case for 6 of those months while I played my other guitars. When I finally pulled it back out, I noticed it had a moldy smell coming from the sound hole, so I assume some mildew or something has grown inside the guitar.

Is there any way I can kill that off, or am I gonna have to let a professional do it and break my wallet?

Full Member
Posts: 488
Joined: April 13th, 2012, 6:07 pm

Re: Removing mold/mildew from guitar

Postby EzraplaysEzra » November 8th, 2012, 8:20 pm

I would try some silicone packets and a sock filled with baking soda - then seal up the sound hole - maybe film wrap around the guitar. I'm no expert on mold but that's where id start - nothing you could really injure the guitar with.

Posts: 2
Joined: November 8th, 2012, 4:29 pm

Re: Removing mold/mildew from guitar

Postby zxcymn » November 8th, 2012, 8:56 pm

Thank you for the reply! I'll give that a shot.

Posts: 1
Joined: July 9th, 2013, 11:01 pm
Location: Glen Allen, VA

Re: Removing mold/mildew from guitar

Postby frankscott » July 9th, 2013, 11:05 pm

Spray lightly inside with household bleach or use vinegar. Charcoal and/or baking soda can be used to remove the moldy odors.

User avatar
Guitarnoise Denizen
Posts: 1497
Joined: May 20th, 2008, 5:04 am
Location: Fort Pierce, Florida, USA

Re: Removing mold/mildew from guitar

Postby notes_norton » July 10th, 2013, 7:09 am

Living in Florida and choosing not to use Air Conditioning, I know about mildew.

Drying it out and keeping it dry is essential. Activated Charcoal will get rid of the odors, you can usually find Activated Charcoal tablets (for human consumption) in an old, independent drug store here in the US.

It also helps to put your case in the direct sunlight. Mildew doesn't like direct sun. Bleach kills mildew, but I'm rather reluctant to use it on my guitars or case because I don't know if it will harm the finish or not - perhaps someone who knows can chime in here.

Paradichlorobenzene moth balls will keep mildew away in a closed area. Back before AC was common in South Florida, people used to put packs of this stuff in their closets to keep the mildew and mold away. Of course, this is a potentially nasty chemical so after use, air it out well. Anything that will kill the mildew, isn't very good for you either (including bleach)

But the Activated Charcoal tablets you find in the drug store are safe. Hospitals administer Activated Charcoal to patients with food poisoning. I always try sunshine and charcoal first, as they are non-toxic. Sunshine kills the mold, and charcoal removes the odor.

I keep my guitars out of the cases, and regularly air out the cases.

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats >^. .^< >^. .^<