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Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?! (Read 1703 times)

Offline mishamalchik

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Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
« on: January 14, 2017, 05:12:56 PM »
I'm a piano student at a University and I've been confronted with a terribly weird/gross problem. So we all have to use practice pianos and while it's great cause it's an all steinway school, there's a real problem with some serious body odor and the piano benches. They all smell exceptionally bad and then I smell bad for having sat on them for a few hours. What is to be done about this? Can there be anything done about it? I know this is weird but I really can't stand it!

I've tried putting down a towel but then I have a stinky towel and stinky jeans. it's very bothersome.

Offline stevensk

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 06:14:02 PM »

-Clean them, change them, bring your own benches, call Mom  ::)

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 06:45:10 PM »
I'm a piano student at a University and I've been confronted with a terribly weird/gross problem. So we all have to use practice pianos and while it's great cause it's an all steinway school, there's a real problem with some serious body odor and the piano benches. They all smell exceptionally bad and then I smell bad for having sat on them for a few hours. What is to be done about this? Can there be anything done about it? I know this is weird but I really can't stand it!

I've tried putting down a towel but then I have a stinky towel and stinky jeans. it's very bothersome.

Lol oh boy practice room whiff... I remember that...wow..it's hard to remove the smell of all those asses that have sweated in those rooms... I used a glade candle at times and just left it burning.  I also found a dirty tube sock behind the piano once....removing that helped quite a bit.  Around jury time students tend to forget hygiene and they live in their practice room.  Lol...

Offline Bob

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 07:14:01 PM »
I just ran into someone with BO yesterday.  Walks in, reeks (wall of BO hits my nostils enough for me to pause and realize the idiot reeks), leave BO in the room afterward and a scent trail down the hall.  

Report it to whoever controls the practice rooms.
Stick a sign on the door or entry way.  If you stick something on that door, put the same sign on other doors.  This way you're not specifically pointing to one room/one person (and people might think it's you who stinks or that you're the one who put up the signs).  But you'll probably Mr. Stinky to see the sign, and he may be using another room besides your practice room.

Plastic on the bench?  If it's that bad (and mention to the room controller that you used a towel and BO stuck to that) maybe try a different bench.  

Lysol (or bleach? but that's harsher I think) on things before you use the room.  Maybe a fan or some way of airing the room out.


One thing I tried once that back fired on me was to put cologne under my nose.  Problem solved, right?  You don't smell the BO anymore.  And that part is true.  Mission accomplished.  Except I realized it created another problem when I still started smelling BO when I did that.  BO so bad it made it through the nose cologne.  And then it dawned on me that I was sitting in a spot with BO that foul.  And yes, it did stick to my clothes.  


I'd be blunt with a little threat in the signs.  They stink.  It's a problem.  They do have 15 min to take a shower.  If they don't clean themselves up, you'll start being more specific which room, time, and person description it is.  And mention that it's been reported to whoever controls the room.

Maybe request whoever owns the building/rooms have the custodians come through and clean things up.  Tell them it still smells days afterward.


You might be able to loot and use paper towels or something from the restrooms.  Let those collect BO while you practice and then toss them out.  If someone sees you and asks, they're probably not going to say much when you say someone has BO, it sticks to clothing, and you have to practice.  If it's the building owner, they'll be more aware it's an issue. 

If you want to be more discreet, maybe leave a note on the piano  Date/time, and that the room stinks/please clean up your act.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Online lostinidlewonder

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 10:33:52 PM »
I'm a piano student at a University and I've been confronted with a terribly weird/gross problem. So we all have to use practice pianos and while it's great cause it's an all steinway school, there's a real problem with some serious body odor and the piano benches. They all smell exceptionally bad and then I smell bad for having sat on them for a few hours. What is to be done about this? Can there be anything done about it? I know this is weird but I really can't stand it!

I've tried putting down a towel but then I have a stinky towel and stinky jeans. it's very bothersome.
Use fire on it. Complain loudly. If someone has bo around you tell them they stink like crap, dry retch all around them. Steinway school can't even clean it's piano stools or afford room deodorisers? Seriously this world is strange, I even seen performances on a fazioli or Steinway and they are out of tune, some management really needs a kick in the butt.
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Offline indianajo

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 03:29:10 AM »
Oh, gee. I'm glad I took a science degree instead of a music performance degree!
Telling students to bathe instead of practice is probably not a priority at a music school.
Particularly because the professors at the music school near here are heavily from Eastern Europe.  Hygiene wasn't important in the Soviet era, wonder if it has changed.  
Taking a towel is the minimum, I guess. But getting it washed daily is probably too hard in student housing.  
Another thing I missed out on during University, living in student housing.  I lived at home & commuted. No lack of hygiene was allowed at Mom & Dad's house.  The U tried to get us socially involved in the dorms by assigning us to one and getting us in the "program".  Those places reeked of mary jane in the Viet Nam protest days, was not for me with my allergies.  
Stinky bench is something I've never run into near the church pianos I've played, even the Sunday School room upright beaters with missing keytops.  Mold in the room from the leaky roof, yes, body odor, no. Not even on stage at the charity dinner I play for occasionally. But yes among the eaters, sometimes.  I mostly wash dishes, it's nice and clean in the back of the kitchen. 

Offline outin

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 05:02:21 AM »
Are you handy? Buy some lightweight water resistant non absorbing fabric and sew it into seat covers that you can carry around in a little plastic bag. I made these to protect my bench from my cats but it works the other way too :)

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 11:43:18 AM »
there are fairly effective germicidal cleaners in spray dispensers that aren't perfumed but have a deodorizing effect because they're botanically based -- the ones that are cedar oil, thyme oil, or orange oil derived.  if paper towels impose a budget strain, just take some from the school bathrooms.  communicating about the antisocial behavior, as suggested, is definitely appropriate, but it won't provide you a tolerable practice space when you're faced with the need to use the piano.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 03:18:03 PM »
Call maintenance.... tell the janitor. You are at school there are people who take care of that room

Offline visitor

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 04:07:34 PM »
Like some said  and i would just bring a tub of lysol wipes and do the keys too, im more worries about getting sick and playing nasty keyboards vs a little  swamp butt. The wipes would work well on bench too.  Bring a good soy candle or two as well.

Offline Bob

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 12:07:25 AM »
The idea of placing of "adhering" something that really smells in the practice rooms to get the building admin's attention just crossed my mind.  Not nice to do, but if you made the problem worse, they'll notice more.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Online lostinidlewonder

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 04:52:15 AM »
Buy some durian cut it open and see if they complain :)
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Offline asiantraveller101

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 06:58:40 PM »
Carry wipes with you at all times. Wipe down everything before and after you practice. I know some school policy will tell you not to do so, but I still did it.

Side story: there used to be a guy at my school who always ate while practicing. He left greasy marks and stains all over the keyboard and piano! Ugh! I hated using that piano after he practiced.

Another story: a lady who had a bad case of BO. It stank up the entire practice room and took hours before the smell dissipated.

Offline yewtree

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 06:39:31 PM »
Take  your own fluffy cushion to sit on.

Offline Bob

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #14 on: February 07, 2017, 11:54:37 PM »
The cushion will absorb the stink.


You could over spray the room with air freshener.   Although then you're buying that.

If you spray too much freshener in the room that's going to be the strong smell and then people will wonder why it stinks so much like that.  Maybe the BO person will get the idea then too.

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline minor9th

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #15 on: February 08, 2017, 06:47:15 PM »
It boggles my mind that someone's poor hygiene would linger on leather! To be blunt, I assume you mean butt odor? I wonder if they are not wiping thoroughly, not showering regularly, not changing clothes, or all of the above/some combination of the above. Regardless, it's gross!

Indianajo, I know several Russian and Ukrainian people, all of whom have perfectly good hygiene. I taught high school English for 26 years and never encountered any students from those regions who had bad hygiene, so I guess things have changed over the years!

Offline Bob

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #16 on: February 09, 2017, 05:33:19 AM »
I think it's general BO.  It sticks to things and hangs in the air.

You could leave a gift in the practice room -- A bar of soap and some deodorant.  I actually know a teacher who gave that to a student as a gift.  The student was thrilled and went around announcing it.

I'm pretty sure someone at work has used this stuff too.
https://www.poopourri.com
It's obvious that something's been used when they do.  The gross part is you know the other odor is still there and this stuff is just masking it.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline yewtree

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #17 on: February 11, 2017, 05:39:31 AM »
I am a bit paranoid when it comes to keeping clean, I regularly wash my hands or use disposable gloves if I am doing a job that requires it.  It makes me wonder if  smelly students  even clean their hands before they use a practice piano,  you never know where their hands have been, then they are touching the piano keys,  that kind of thing freaks me out! 
 

Offline Bob

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Offline toby1

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #19 on: February 22, 2017, 05:05:48 AM »
Removes unwanted scents. Get and Spray down the room. Also the wipes.

Offline outin

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #20 on: February 22, 2017, 07:11:27 AM »
Removes unwanted scents. Get and Spray down the room. Also the wipes.

It also smells horrible and can cause an allergic reaction. So may help you get rid of some competition :D

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #21 on: February 22, 2017, 01:14:14 PM »
1.  Bring a spray bottle of cleaner and a couple of paper towels.  Wipe the bench before you sit down.  Take some responsibility for always leaving it cleaner than you found it.

2.  Bring a piece of plastic to throw over the bench, if smell still adheres to your clothes.  Something like a disposable painter's tarp or table cloth from the Dollar Store would be perfect.

3.  Not everybody has BO because they don't bathe.  Years ago I worked the night shift in a hospital (talk about smells!).  There was one employee that everybody complained about and gossiped about because of his horrible BO, but somehow we never worked together.  Until finally one night we did.   At the beginning of the night, I thought everybody was nuts.  There was no problem at all.  He had obviously showered and if there was any odor it was a faint soap or shampoo smell.  Well, they weren't nuts.  His body odor developed over the course of the night, due to some personal chemistry thing.  He wasn't obviously sweating, we weren't working harder than normal, but by the end of the night it was very hard to tolerate being around him. 
Tim

Offline Bob

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #22 on: February 23, 2017, 01:10:08 AM »
You could leave a note on the piano, "You stink."
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline yewtree

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Re: Stinky piano Benches?!! What to do ?!
«Reply #23 on: February 23, 2017, 07:13:38 PM »
  Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be a warning sign of thyroid problems, diabetes or infection. Excessive sweating is also more common in people who are overweight or out of shape.

So perhaps he has a medical problem.