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Buggy stinks of cigarettes! Help!

(47 Posts)
Foniks Sun 24-Sep-17 19:05:06

I just got a used buggy from eBay, stupidly bid on it without making sure the description had the "from a smoke free home" that many have.
If I had gone to collect it myself, I probably wouldn't have accepted it, but my brother collected it for me and didn't notice (probably because they were outside)
As soon as it came into my home I could smell it though. Really strongly!

I have taken off the liner etc that can come off to put in the washing machine, but the buggy still has lots of fabric bits that don't come off.
I've left it outside to try and air it a bit.

Will it even be usable if I do this? Will leaving it outside for a day or two be ok or will there still be too many toxins?

cookielove Sun 24-Sep-17 19:08:30

I think a mix of bicarb and water into a paste smeared on and then washed off may help to curb the smell!

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sun 24-Sep-17 19:09:47

In ye olde days before buggies came apart for washing I put mine in the garden and chucked a bucket of soapy water over it, scrubbing along the way then rinsed off and left to dry. .

eurochick Sun 24-Sep-17 19:10:46

I wouldn't use it. I'd resell it and get another.

KoolKoala07 Sun 24-Sep-17 19:11:37

That's a shame. It's awful though, I hate stale smoke. What about febreeze?

MollyHuaCha Sun 24-Sep-17 19:12:21

I wouldn't use it either. sad
(Sorrybrew cake)

Stellato Sun 24-Sep-17 19:14:16

Honestly I wouldn't take the risk. Second / third hand smoke is no good for baby lungs and the tar etc may not wash out.

RoderickRules Sun 24-Sep-17 19:15:21

It's third hand smoke.
Not good for baby to mouth and touch.

Fannylodger Sun 24-Sep-17 19:19:00

Dust with bicarb.
Wait about 30mins, take buggy outside. Pour boiling water over it. Leave to cool for a few mins, scrub in some soap (any will do, liquid soap for dishwashing will do fine)
Pour boiling water over again.
And again. Ensure you've got most of the suds out.
Mix one part zoflora with 5 parts water, scrub it in. Pour boiling water over it.
Then mix one part fabric conditioner with 9 parts water in a bucket. Pour this over the pram. Wait 30mins, pour boiling water over. Then Hose down with cold water/rinse with cold water from a bucket.
Leave to dry in a sunny spot.

It's a lot of fuss but will make it useable. It's not just the smell you need to worry about (so don't just febreeze it!) but the tar and chemicals in it.
If you're concerned you didn't get it all after the final step lightly dab it with a paper towel. If it comes up yellow repeat zoflora and conditioner steps as needed. There'll still be a chemical trace but it won't be harmful and it certainly won't smell.

Shiftymake Sun 24-Sep-17 19:21:24

I would use white vinegar but I must admit that I have recently bought and despite the price it works really well getting odours out.

Foniks Sun 24-Sep-17 19:22:10

Bugger, that's right, the tar might not come off sad can't resell in good conscience either. If I can find any screws or something that will get the rest of the fabric off, i will try a boil wash with pre wash... don't think it will be possible, but will try.

Back to the noisy rattly buggy til we can buy another I suppose angry
Can't even complain because it is in
fantastic condition as described and they didn't say it is from a smoke free home. I can't believe how strongly it smells though. I've been in many smokers houses, but this is something else.

Fannylodger Sun 24-Sep-17 19:22:10

By the way I'd replace if you could - but the above will do worst case scenario. I was in a similar situation but literally had no money for a new pram and no way to get a refund.

I couldn't initially smell the smoke (it was bought off Facebook). It was only when I got it home and the 500 billion cans of deodorant and febreeze they'd used to conceal the smell wore off that I realised.
I complained and got nowhere (you may have more luck with this). They claimed sold as seen, it was fine etc what was I talking about. Then threatened to post my info all over Facebook and to publicise my address (I had already given them it for them to deliver, they later refused to deliver so I had to collect it)
I'd used the last of my money on it so I couldn't do anything for another month.
So I couldn't replace it. If you can replace it do so but the above will
Help if you can't for now.

Foniks Sun 24-Sep-17 19:25:45

Fanny thanks. Brilliant idea with the paper towel to make sure it's all gone.
I'm much more hopeful now. Will do a few rounds of boiling water tomorrow morning.

Can't replace it for at least another 3-4 weeks, and the old one has something wrong with the wheel and makes so much noise.

crazycatgal Sun 24-Sep-17 19:31:11

You can still try and ask for a refund or complain to ebay. I don't think anyone expects to buy a buggy that stinks of smoke.

Kpo58 Sun 24-Sep-17 19:32:35

I would see if you can open up a claim and try to return it.

It may not have said from a smoke free home, but it also didn't say that it stank.

Foniks Sun 24-Sep-17 19:37:51

True. I will send the seller a message first and let them know I'm really disappointed about how much it smells, and see if they will let me take it back to them. If not, I will escalate with eBay and see what they say.

And no, nobody expects it. Everything else, maybe, but baby things you just expect to be relatively safe to let your child use. I thought everybody with kids smoked outside these days! You don't expect it now, it was normal when we were growing up, even teachers would smoke in the school building, but it's different nowadays. I think they're really heavy smokers too, judging by the smell.

Foniks Sun 24-Sep-17 19:39:19

To be fair, they probably don't even know it stinks so badly. Lots of smokers don't I think. I didn't know how much I stank when I smoked either!

TheLegendOfBeans Sun 24-Sep-17 19:45:54

I know this is a weird response but this is what I'd do:

If buggy is for a newborn/small baby:
Chuck the buggy and leave shitty feedback on eBay.

If the buggy is for a child of say 18mo+:
Persevere with the cleaning and bicarbonate of soda etc.
If the smell actually shifts - retain
If there's ANY trace of fags - ditch

Either way leave shitty eedback. If you try and get a refund you'll see hell freeze over first.

CamperVamp Sun 24-Sep-17 19:49:05

I would put the whole buggy, folded, in the bath and give it a good wash and rinse in soapy water.

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sun 24-Sep-17 19:54:32

Have you checked freecycle or similar? Always buggies free on there!!

Josiah Sun 24-Sep-17 20:02:05

It would be completely wrong to leave bad feedback as the item was collected and the chance to examine the buggy was given!

Unfortunately the brother just picked it up. It's not his fault or responsibility and acted in good faith.

It is the ops responsibility for not asking beforehand or going to collect it herself. I don't mean that unkindly, just stating facts.

Do not pour boiling water on it. Warm or hot is fine, not boiling.

Get a bowl and mix baking powder, biological laundry powder and toothpaste and mix with warm not very hot or boiling water and make a paste. Apply to fabric and leave overnight.

Remove by flushing/pouring warm or lukewarm water through/over.

Blot excess with a towel. Air dry but then speed up with a hairdryer taking care not too good too close or on metal parts.

pileoflaundry Sun 24-Sep-17 20:05:26

Are you definitely sure that the buggy won't dismantle a bit to let you pull the fabric off?

I've washed buggies in the bath before. With plastic gloves I can get the water almost scolding, and scrub with a floor brush or strong washing up brush. You might need WD40 for the wheels afterwards though or maybe I use far too much washing up liquid.

Foniks Sun 24-Sep-17 21:18:39

Brother just suggested taking just the seat unit to a dry cleaners. I'm not sure if they'll just get rid of the smell though, and still leave all the chemicals in the fabric.

I think I will just go with the cleaning suggestions on here though, along with leaving it outside for a few days. I have an electric fan heater somewhere in storage, so can use that to help speed up drying. We have used it to dry something before and it was fine if left far enough away not to burn anything. And the paper towel to make sure nothing else comes off it.

Also, why not boiling water? Won't that help the tar become less sticky so it's easier to wash off? I have a steam cleaner too, perhaps that will help with the tar? I'm assuming the tar is what binds the chemicals into fabric.
And this might sound stupid blush but smokers toothpaste claims to get rid of nicotine stains...will it work to get tar off fabric maybe? I can just use it with a carpet brush or something.

I haven't checked every bit of it closely yet to make sure the fabric definitely doesn't come off, but I did have a look around it and couldn't see anything.

Stellato Sun 24-Sep-17 21:25:25

Tar is oily so the best option is some kind of soap or degreaser. I'd try airing for the smell and dishwashing liquid for cleaning it.

But I still think it's risky.

HaHaHmm Sun 24-Sep-17 21:30:16

Ebay tend to side with the buyer in disputes. I think you have a good chance of a refund if you open a case with them. You can't claim it was inaccurately described but you could legitimately point out that it isn't currently fit for purpose.

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