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 Post subject: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 7:48 am 
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Joined: Nov Mon 26, 2018 7:24 am
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Hi everyone,
I have a 1939 GE H-77 console that I love, except for one problem - it smells like sour milk! The source of the odor is the dial escutcheon made from casein-based plastic.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to remove or hide the smell? Maybe I could apply a wax over the plastic? Or some kind of sealant?
Thanks in advance for any ideas!
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
Seal it with a coat of clear spray lacquer on all surfaces.


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 4:00 pm 
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There may be some risk applying organic solvents to the plastic, it may craze... Test by taking a cotton swab soaked in the desired sealant and see if the plastic holds up on the inside surface of the bezel. Be sure to wait long enough so the coating is thoroughly dry. There is possibility of elastic polymerization, the surface may permanently soften.

I would go with auto wax, the aromatics are no where near as aggressive in the wax, choose a good Carnauba wax . Still, test inside and wait.

Harmless alternative: A linen scent evaporator nearby.

YMMV

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Anything I thought of then drifted to, but what if..... We need a chemist on this website. anything you can spray on, probably has a solvent. Waxes are all different. Organic or petroleum based, but natural does not preclude a reaction. Unless you can find a preservation expert familiar with the material, or someone with the same type of material and experience, maybe a chemist is called for. Perhaps something is out there that might preserve the plastic as well as seal in odors. I would say, anything you apply to the back as a test should be removed if you decide against it, to prevent reactions that could spread. Maybe just washing the part in cool water with mild hand soap and drying off might be of some benefit temporarily.

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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 16, 2012 4:15 pm
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Location: Near Brandon, Iowa
Rattlecan lacquer. An alternative would be to acquire a pet billygoat to live in your backyard; petting him several times a day will quickly detune any olfactory sensors that could be put off by the faint emissions of rancid 80-year-old plastic.


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 26, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 21, 2009 7:45 pm
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Location: Port Dover, Ontario
The smell of sour milk is caused by lactic acid.

You need a base to neutralize the acid.

How about putting the plastic item in a sealed ziplock bag along with a piece of cloth with some household ammonia on it?

The ammonia fumes will neutralize the acid and the smell.

I must stress that I have NEVER tried this and I am basing my suggestion only on my knowledge of acid-base reactions.

Joseph


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 27, 2018 7:38 am 
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Joined: Nov Mon 26, 2018 7:24 am
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Thanks for the great tips everyone!
I'll report my results here this weekend.
Brandon


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 27, 2018 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Jul Fri 20, 2018 6:36 pm
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Hello :-)

I haven’t been here long and I don’t post but this is something I’ve had some experience with. It doesn’t work all the time but as Joseph as said, ammonia will do wonders to kill smells and also stop bakelite from offgassing so it can be painted.

Usually, I wipe down the part I want to stop smelling or work with but in this case I would also put it in a container with ammonia and try to let the vapor penetrate. It might work.

Jules


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 27, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Location: WI 54812
Chas wrote:
There is possibility of elastic polymerization, the surface may permanently soften.


Isn't that what happened to a lot of nice old table tops after those fuzzy backed vinyl table clothes first came out? I had a similar bad experience last spring when I left a pair of vinyl grip faced gloves lying on top of our lacquer finished dresser. I even new better but it completely slipped my mind, until one day I tried to move them. To my horror the one facing down was adhered to the dressers top surface. I peeled it off, but the finish is still soft several months later and retains an impression of the glove. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: How to cover smell of casein-based plastic?
PostPosted: Dec Wed 05, 2018 7:49 am 
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Joined: Nov Mon 26, 2018 7:24 am
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The ammonia did not work for me. I tried both methods suggested - sealing the part in a ziploc bag with an ammonia soaked rag, and also directly wiping the part with ammonia.

I then did a test on a small, hidden section with carnauba wax, and it looked fine a day and a half later. But i think I'll also test a small section with clear lacquer. If the plastic tolerates the laquer well, i think I'll use that to seal it.

Thanks everyone!
Brandon


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