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Cleansing Hardware Of Dead Pig Odors?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the try-telecommuting dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 693

Chagatai writes "My company is one of America's largest beef and pork producers. Recently I took a trip to see a new computer room that had been built at one of our abbatoirs. While the new environment is nice and sanitary, the old computer room had air intakes that were adjacent to the rendering portion of the plant, and everything smells in an almost unholy way. Management is curious if there are any cleaning agents or means of deodorizing this equipment before moving it into the nice, new office. The only products I could find would clean the outside of the hardware, but the internals would still possess the lovely aroma of boiled dead pig parts. Of course, this is a race against time, as I am sure someone will inevitably squirt Pine-Sol into the system to try to make things better. Does anyone have any recommendations to remove the effluvium of post-mortem porcine matter from our machines?"

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Not pigs, but cigarettes (5, Interesting)

mixy1plik (113553) | more than 10 years ago | (#10222969)

Now, I can't comment on the stench of dead pig- but I can talk about my experience with a stench-infected computer.

Back in the early 90s, my dad bought me My First Computer. It was an Macintosh IIcx which was a big, beige rectangle box. Had neat stuff like NuBus and about 12 SIMM slots. I lived in Europe at the time, and the computer was purchased from a graphic design house where *EVERYONE* chain-smoked at their desks. The machine had the most disgusting tar-like filth on *EVERYTHING* inside the chassis. The upstairs of my house reeked of cigarettes.

I literally chipped away tar, vacuumed it, put Bounce sheets over the power supply fan, to no avail. The machine still sits in my closet to this day, and having given it my best efforts over 10 years ago- it still smells of stale cigarettes.

Because of the small nooks and openings in your average computer, I honestly don't think you'll be able to do much about the smell. Unless there are some new commercial/industrial agents that can do the job, you might be SOL. Guess it's time for 3M to create a solvent version of Fluorinert [google.com] .

Re:Not pigs, but cigarettes (4, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223005)

Guess it's time for 3M to create a solvent version of Fluorinert [google.com] .

Actually, you've got a great (albeit expensive) single-machine solution right there: run the machine in a tub of Fluorinert. Presto, no smell is going to escape that liquid.

Wouldn't work for a data center, unless of course you wanted to run it inside a pool and send your techs in with scuba gear. And at that point, you might as well just run the data center in a normal room - but send the techs in with scuba gear, and they won't smell the funky servers because they'll be wearing scuba gear.

Re:Not pigs, but cigarettes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223094)

Its highly illegal these days but GHB (Gamma hydroxy butyrate) is one of the best non-toxic (chuckle) parts cleaner know to man.

Re:Not pigs, but cigarettes (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223066)

Maybe you guys can get new chasis and move the hardware components in?

Sure, some of the smell will still stick on the parts, but i'm pretty sure most of it would be on the chasis.. and for its big size, it is kinda not worth it to take the trouble cleaning that thing.

After you are done just put a air freshener in the PC. Problem solved! Case closed!

Re:Not pigs, but cigarettes (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223157)

Throw it in the dishwasher [maclaunch.com] . No seriously.

Re:Not pigs, but cigarettes (4, Funny)

Bi()hazard (323405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223174)

Wow, this will be a great article for the trolls. You're sure to see a lot of ridiculous posts here.

You're also probably going to get a lot of serious suggestions about rubbing alcohol and vapor-based cleaning. These are likely to help, but not do it 100%, and they require either a lot of labor or shipping everything to an expensive cleaning company.

So let me tell you what did where I was working several years back. I was working with the FBI, on a special mission in Russia to help their law enforcement agencies upgrade security in former nuclear weapons facilities. Now, it wouldn't surprise anyone to hear that a certain facility that will remain unnamed, somewhere in the middle of Siberia, only a day or two's drive from a certain site of civil war, had an incident that wasn't properly cleaned up. We arrived at the main computer lab to find a dozen corpses that had been there for a year and a half. And despite the Siberain weather that can freeze spit before it hits the ground, the bodies in the bunker hadn't been frozen.

After getting a couple new gas masks for the guys that really should've skipped lunch before going down there, we discovered that the computers were overrun with, well, you don't want to know. Let's just say it was fuzzy and came in colors I'd never seen before. Even after the room was disinfected nobody could stand to go down there without a mask. Though one of the Russians suggested using it as a gas chamber to execute criminals, until we briefed him on the Geneva Convention. But we couldn't just throw the machines away-they included supercomputers and large clusters full of nuclear weapons research. The science team had to go through all of it with a fine-toothed comb.

So what did we do? Simple-seal everything off! We too a bunch of plastic covers and created an airtight seal around all the computers, with only monitors, keyboards, and mice outside. A ventilation system pumped cold air into the huge computer tent. It was ugly as hell, but worked quite effectively.

So, if your offices don't mind having interior decorating issues, a bunch of strong plastic, industrial glue, and lots of duct tape can solve the problem. Until somebody want to upgrade or do maintenance, of course. God help that poor bastard.

Easy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10222976)

Just ask Darl McBride [google.com]

One word: Ebay (5, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 10 years ago | (#10222977)

You're missing a prime chance to pull a real stunt.

One word: Ebay.

Put it all up for auction simultaneously, and watch the fun as people get their newly won purchases. I'd love to read that feedback. "Great PowerEdge, but I've never had computer equipment smell unholy before." And then, watch mass psychology at work as people read each other's feedback from the same vendor and start to put two and two together.

The only thing funnier would be to work at Paypal and hear people squirm as they try to justify asking for a refund. "You gotta believe me, this disk array smells bad. Really bad. Like dead meat bad."

One word: Ebay-Pig in a blanket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223179)

There was a show on TV were they simmulated a crime scene (suicide, murder, etc) by putting a dead pig into an auto and left it there for a week. Then they attempted to clean it and sell the auto. They almost had to give the auto away.

Try... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10222983)

Try HOLY WATER, you murderer!

A Retraction (-1, Troll)

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To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (5, Informative)

captnitro (160231) | more than 10 years ago | (#10222987)

This has worked for me many times before, and I can vouch for it, but the obvious disclaimer is that there are a number of reasons why it's a bad idea, as I'm sure any replies to the post will inevitably explain. But it's worked for me before.

Power down all your machines and unplug them. Set up adequate ventilation (I use several cheap desk fans). Wipe down your hardware with rubbing alcohol using a lint-free cloth or a few old t-shirts; don't worry about your own, buy a big bag of them at Goodwill.

When you get tired of that, or you pass out from the fumes, just pour it in. Yes, I'm serious, you'll want to trickle it over the green hardware and get everything generally soaking. (Not the power supply or hard drive, just PCBs and the like. This is already a dumbass idea, so you don't want to be much more stupid about it.) Then leave, otherwise you'll probably pass out.

I discovered this trick while given the task of cleaning a friend's laptop. He smokes, a lot, and had quit and didn't want the smell. He also had sticky keys from God knows what, so I honestly just said "fuck it" and turned the laptop on its side, open, and poured rubbing alcohol into the ports, taking care not to let it get near the screen, which rubbing alcohol can damage. Using a lot of it allows the liquid to remove dust as it flows by. The excess flowed out the other side and into a few paper towels.

Rubbing alcohol is a great solvent and evaporates quickly, so the ventilation is more for the computers, not you. Make sure the insides are aired out before powering up, or you may find yourself battling a quick-burning alcohol fire.

Have fun!

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (5, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223017)

He also had sticky keys from God knows what

Hmmmm...

*scratches chin*

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (4, Informative)

mikeleemm (462460) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223041)

Problem with rubbing alcohol is it is generally not purely non-conductive, as well as it will take dust and other stuff in the computer and turn it into a nice conductive liquid. Unless you are able to use very pure solvent and a lot of it to make sure you remove all dust particles, I wouldn't go for this.

My suggestion would actually be to remove as much of the dust from the system as possible. Use a vaccuum and an air compressor (forget those little bottles of "canned air") The majority of the dust might be in "Do Not Open" areas, like power supply, so open those and clean them. Eventually the nastiness will get covered up by other office dust and the smell will go away.

Doesn't matter.. (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223113)

"Problem with rubbing alcohol is it is generally not purely non-conductive, as well as it will take dust and other stuff in the computer and turn it into a nice conductive liquid."

Actually it doesn't matter whether it is conductive or not. The real idea is to keep it powered down while it is still wet.

I've actually accidentally (and not so accidentally sometimes, as in putting a calculator's inards into water and freezing it into a block of ice as a kid) poured water onto various circuitry, and so long as you dry the thing properly before powering it on, you are fine.

Some stuff may take longer to dry up though, as water could stay underneath some chips for quite a while.

Re:Doesn't matter.. (3, Insightful)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223160)


Actually it doesn't matter whether it is conductive or not. The real idea is to keep it powered down while it is still wet.


There are sometimes capacitors on circuit boards.

There are sometimes batteries on circuit boards - for example to keep track of the wall clock time when the machine is off.

How do you ensure there is no risk of shorts when those two items are present?

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (4, Informative)

photon317 (208409) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223054)


I second Capt Nitro here, rubbing alcohol is one of the safest and most effective things you can clean electronics and computers with (Relatively speaking, like he said, there's obviously risks of damage to certain types of components, especially if it manages to pool somewhere where it can't evaporate away realitvely quickly - pull cases open everywhere you can, rotate the equipment around to get excess out, and use lots of fans).

Be *very* careful about the fire hazards. If you manage to somehow ignite the alcohol, things can get ugly quick, as the flames are often almost completely clear with the pure stuff, and you figure it out by burning yourself. Things get really nasty when there is a fire quickly spreading around the room and through the fumes in the air around you, and you don't even realize it and can't see how far it has already spread. If, at some point in this comical adventure, you find yourself sitting in the middle of a room full of fans, computers dripping in alcohol, and heavy fumes, and you even *suspect* that some of the alcohol has just ignited - GET OUT, and call the fire department or hose the room down or something.

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (2, Interesting)

Coyote (9900) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223166)

And remember the best way to put out an alcohol fire is water. Lots and lots of water. Don't waste your time gathering up all the not-quite-halon extinguishers, just go get a lot of buckets.

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223060)

Personally, I think you should just duct tape a couple of those little trees to each piece of equipment.

Make sure you change them frequently.

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223091)

Donate them to developing countries (like iraq) and pocket a tax break.

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (1)

PhaxMohdem (809276) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223108)

well, asl long as anything producing power has been removed from the PCB( Power supply, Batteries ETC -- In particular CMOS batt), I've had very good luck with a similar alocohol treatment. Hell I ran an old Mobo through the dishwasher once with CMOS battery removed, and it came out nice shiny and working still. (not that I recommend that :)

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (2, Informative)

mackman (19286) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223109)

Although I'd be a little scared to do this myself, if you plan on doing it, be sure to remove the clock battery, wait awhile after unplugging it for caps to discharge, and use only 99% pure rubbing alcohol. You might want to remove the expensive parts first too (CPU, RAM, etc).

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (5, Informative)

mjphil (113320) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223153)

Avoid rubbing alcohol at all costs! Some bottles contain glycerine, which won't evaporate.

Look for bottles labeled "99% Isopropyl alcohol", it's the pure stuff.

I shouldn't need to mention it here, but will anyway:

Dont't drink this stuff, it's pure poison!

Re:To suggest this is almost criminally stupid (1)

Sgt York (591446) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223161)

I've done a version of this before to clean out keyboards & such in the lab. We're a biochem lab, so we use several liters of molecular biology grade ethanol (grain alcohol) every week. It's exceptionally pure, so it evaporates with no residue.

Not really an option, though. Without the liscence and the academic discounts, the taxes on the stuff would make it prohibitive. Not to mention that you need special permission to get the non-denatured stuff.

I don't think it's possible (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 10 years ago | (#10222992)

I think the plastics in the computer will hold on to those odors for a looooong time.

Steam cleaning (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10222995)


This is one of the best ways to remove stuff down to the molecular level, and involves no chemicals.

It truly is "the hot setup" ( pun intended ).

Google "vapor cleaning" for more info.

Amazing (5, Funny)

ryants (310088) | more than 10 years ago | (#10222997)

You have a link to the dictionary's entry for "abattoir" and still managed to spell it wrong in the summary.

Bravo.

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

Corbin Dallas (165835) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223075)

You have a link to the dictionary's entry for "abattoir" and still managed to spell it wrong in the summary. Bravo.

But if he hadn't misspelled something, the editors never would have approved his submission.

Re:Amazing (5, Funny)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223180)

You must be new... you actually clicked a link in an article. Oh wait, you're supposed to click it and not read it... that's the key.

An idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10222998)

remove the cases, rent out an ozone machine (used for fumigating homes) and maybe trays of baking soda? *shrugs* probably will lessen but not solve the problem...

Ozone generator (4, Insightful)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 10 years ago | (#10222999)

Or maybe a little bowl of baking soda in each case. :-) The ozone's probably better though.

Odor absorbtion (4, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223003)

There are activated carbon pellets that are designed to absorb odors. They do a pretty nice job of it.

I suggest cleaning up the equippement as best you can and then placing a few of these in or around the offending hardware.

Re:Odor absorbtion (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223183)

Carbon is a conductor of electricity, I'd be a bit worried about carbon pellets, or at the very least dust being left in the case and possible shorting something out. Plus it's messy as hell.

Phew. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223004)

"Of course, this is a race against time, as I am sure someone will inevitably squirt Pine-Sol into the system to try to make things better. "

Epoleon Deoderizer.

Oh, this is a good one. (1)

jdkane (588293) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223006)

I thought of so many jokes in one instance that they all imploded into each other and I am left with nothing ... I think I will just prepare myself for good laughs and read everything else that everybody else writes. I'm off to do some well-anticipated reading ..... This is gonna' be much better than the Sunday funnies.

On the other hand wouldn't it be interesting if nobody too the bait, and everybody made only Interesting and Informative answers.

Re:Oh, this is a good one. (2, Informative)

Toresica (788403) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223124)

On the other hand wouldn't it be interesting if nobody too the bait, and everybody made only Interesting and Informative answers.

There was one, but it [slashdot.org] got moderated "Troll".

Baking soda (4, Informative)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223009)

I'd suggest turning the 'puter off, laying the case on its side and pouring in a box of baking soda for a few days. Dump out the baking soda a few days later and blow out the residue, and your computer should smell remarkably "less bad." Mixing a little alum with the baking soda can't hurt, either.

The smell of a rendering plant will be hard to remove, but this is how I remove the "beef scent" from tallow when I'm making soap.

Hmmm...would that be Paper Street Soap? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223112)

The smell of a rendering plant will be hard to remove, but this is how I remove the "beef scent" from tallow when I'm making soap.

Tyler Durden? Is that you!!!

this is what i've used before (2, Informative)

John_Allen_Mohammed (811050) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223011)

this happened when I bought a computer owned by a smoker. I could smell the smoke/nicotine or whatever it was the first day I had it in the house. I used a mixture of sulfur + salt + tabasco sauce + lighter fluid. Apply it with a lint free cloth, rub gently... works nice even on the motherboards. Give it a shot and see what happens.

harsh chemicals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223012)

Take the machines out back, open them up, and dump Clorox all over the insides.

Of course, now they will smell like bleach, so the next step is to douse them in water.

Febreze!! (5, Interesting)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223013)

Febreze is the key.

It really works on dead things.

I got this tip from a ratcatcher called Sid, who cleaned out a dead raccoon from our crawl space. It worked.

I just used it to nullify the odour of a deer mouse that crawled into my truck's AC and helpfully died.

Go Febreze!

Rendered with Pride (5, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223014)

If you can't come up with a solution, I suggest donating the equipment to PETA...

ozone (5, Insightful)

l79327 (174203) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223015)

A commercial ozone generator should work. I've used them on used cars owned by sweaty curry eating smokers, and it works great. The car smells like a meadow after a thunder storm after treatment.

Re:ozone (2, Interesting)

fataugie (89032) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223077)

My thoughts exactly.

This is what is used to neutralize odors from fire recoverys.

We had a fire across the hall from us and if we actually owned anything worth a shit, they would have paid to have it set in an ozone room for a weekend. We had archive boxes of files put in there, and it worked fairly well, but the files still had some odor. I attribute that to the fact they were not removed and seperated to allow the ozone to reach all sides equally.

We didn't try the machines because they were soot damaged, but I'm sure it would at least cut the odor down if not eliminate it. You have to be careful though, from what I understand....too much ozone will make the plastic brittle.

rubbing alcohol works well (1, Redundant)

spacerodent (790183) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223018)

Try rubbing alcohol. It should get some of the smell off and then evaporate without leaving any residue. You can just dip the pieces numerous times if need be. I've used it to get blood off of several of my components without any problem. No I'm not a mass murderer or anything I just accidently cut myself while working on my computer and then don't feel it. By the time I notice my computer looks like it just had an abortion.

Re:rubbing alcohol works well (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223049)

I've used it to get blood off of several of my components without any problem. No I'm not a mass murderer or anything I just accidently cut myself while working on my computer and then don't feel it.

First: why don't you feel it? If you do computer work sober, I've found that you tend to not only get less cuts, but you have the additional bonus of noticing when you've sliced your hand open on a $30 Taiwanese case.

Second: who really cares if there's blood inside your computer? Isn't that innately cool? Especially if you play FPS's.

Re:rubbing alcohol works well (1)

spacerodent (790183) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223083)

blood is just conductive enough to let things short out. As for why I don't feel it somtimes your guess is as good as mine. Once I *notice* i cut myself I feel it.

rubbing alcohol works well-BAOD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223073)

"By the time I notice my computer looks like it just had an abortion."

Running Windows, are you?

MOD PARENT UP: MASS MURDERER (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223079)

Seriously weak explanation man.

You should have gone for the

'I was cleaning the horse early one sunday - a really hot sunday, so i took off my pants. Then I found I needed to clean the horses back, from behind. So I got on a chair. It was about then that the horse bolted, propelling me and the chair through our living room window onto the machine'.

Or something. Definately the pants round the ankle bit though - thats crucial to getting the audience buy-in you need.

Ozone! (1, Informative)

cypherz (155664) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223020)

An ozone generator like those from Alpine Air will remove odors and not damage the components.
By curious coincidence, I too am working (as a contractor) for one of the nations largest meat packing companies... and the rendering plants are just amazingly stinky!

hope this helps

Fabreeze Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223021)

It says on the side of the bottle:

Can be used to remove dead animal odor from computer equipment. Really!

OdoBan (3, Interesting)

trud (180201) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223023)

Use it on the case surfaces. Not safe for electonics. If you can't find it at normal places, try PetSmart.

I have a licensed animal shelter at my house, so I know more about strange smells than you can imagine.

Ozone! (4, Informative)

Markus Registrada (642224) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223034)

What you need is an ozone generator. Park the equipment and the generator in a closed room for a few days, or weeks. Most ozone generators are built from a short-wavelength ultraviolet lamp in a box, sometimes with a fan. (Don't confuse ozone generators with negative ion generators. Ozone causes permanent lung damage, over time. Ozone generators also produce ions, but so what?.) The ozone will oxidize the aromatic organic molecules, over time.

Re:Ozone! (4, Informative)

andfarm (534655) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223071)

> The ozone will oxidize the aromatic organic molecules...

Obligatory nitpicking: the word you probably want is "odiferous", not "aromatic". "Aromatic" has the specific connotation of containing benzene-style aromatic rings, which not all odiferous compounds contain.

Wash them (3, Informative)

Gaima (174551) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223036)

If it's not too much hard work, then take them apart and wash them, hot soapy water should do, perhaps with a mild bleach.
As long as all the parts are *throughly* dry before reassemble, the water is no danger.

Once watched a sun engineer do it to an IPC after a colleague spilt hot chocolate into it...

Best way to clean hardware! (2, Informative)

evil_morg (801390) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223044)

Isopropyl alcohol does not damage the hardware at all and is a great solvent. I use it to clean everything from fans to NICs. Just let the hardware soak for a few hours and *boom* just like new. Just make sure it's comply dry before you use it.

Re:Best way to clean hardware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223111)

"*Boom*" if you don't let it dry as well.. :-O

Kill the most stubborn of... anything (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223045)

Running Alcohol... 91% great for scrubbing the computers of smell and stain. Makes a great aftershave too.

Throw them away and meet your meat (3, Interesting)

tail.man (203483) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223051)


http://www.meetyourmeat.com/

A real render farm (5, Funny)

thellamaman (631602) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223053)

Gives new meaning to the phrase Render Farm, now doesn't it?

Re:A real render farm (4, Funny)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223136)

Sell it on eBay and label it that. Is the equipment on lease? If so let us know what the vendor thinks when it goes off lease. This is even better than opening up an AlphaServer DS20 and taking a shit inside of it before sending it back to Compaq.

One of America's largest beef and pork producers? (-1, Troll)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223055)

Rather than give you misleading advice, I'll just say "sorry, but it goes against my conscience to help out your company."

Re:One of America's largest beef and pork producer (1)

thebatlab (468898) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223096)

Why didn't you just say nothing at all then? The guy doesn't care about your conscience right now. He was looking for solutions.

Re:One of America's largest beef and pork producer (-1, Offtopic)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223152)

someone mod this arsehole a troll and/or offtopic

Re:One of America's largest beef and pork producer (-1, Offtopic)

rindeee (530084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223182)

Rather than call you a moron or a vegan or something insulting, I'll just tell you "I'm not going to reply to your idiotic post".

How about CHANGING the smell? (5, Funny)

wernst (536414) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223056)

I was chuckling over this story to myself when my wife asked what was so funny, and she suggested "Why not bring it to a skunk farm?

Why not indeed.

Finally... (5, Insightful)

Prowl (554277) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223057)

A question whose answer cannot be found by googling.

Truly a worthy "Ask Slashdot".

Do what they do in fires (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223061)

There are cleanup companys that come in and clean up after a fire, I got to imagine that the way they clean up will work, typically they set up bombs like roach bombs, but instead they send out a potent smell like lemon or something to over power the fire smell. I'd look into this maybe even call in a cleanup company to do it. Even if it does not fully work, it has to be an improvment.

Ultrasonic Cleaning (5, Interesting)

chris mazuc (8017) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223062)

I work for Servpro [servpro.com] , so sadly, cleaning is something that I know how to do fairly well. Your best bet would probably be to do some research into ultrasonic cleaners. It might be cheaper to buy the equipment yourself depending on how much stuff you need cleaned. Protein odors are pretty hard to get rid of though, definitely one of the worst.

Ultrasonic Cleaning-Body bag. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223127)

"Protein odors are pretty hard to get rid of though, definitely one of the worst."

Just ask the people who clean up crime scenes.

Two things will help (4, Insightful)

shadwwulf (145057) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223067)

I had a problem somewhat like this at one point. In my case it wasn't pig odor but my solution should help.

The first thing I did was to pull the systems apart and to lay each interface card separate from eachother. I then used denatured alcohol to clean each card. I did the same thing for the motherboard and the rest of the components that would be harmed by more invasive cleaning methods.

The cases themselves(sans power supplys) were cleaned using pinesol, then alcohol to make sure all the residue of the pinesol would be removed.

Once I was done, I layed everything out on an anti-static mat and aimed a high powered fan at them to air everything out for any further odor that could be detected.

This wasn't a perfect solution, but it cut the smell down by at least 95% and prevented the parts from being at high risk for damage.

Amazing (0, Offtopic)

glenstar (569572) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223080)

Over 30 comments and not one referring to the hygiene habits of computer geeks. That was the *only* reason I even read this. :-(

Caig.com (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223085)

Caig makes a variety of industrial cleaners for both metal and electronics, some of which I'm sure would eliminate the smell. I suspect the "deox it" prouct would work on electronics, they have a product for cleaning aluminum as well that I don't recall. The best part is: its cheap to find out. Simply order a bottle (around 8$), and if it works -- order enough for all your servers.

Do what I do (4, Funny)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223086)


Whenever I encounter a system that smells of dead meat I just wipe it & install linux.

-- MarkusQ



P.S. for the humour impared: this is a joke.

Re:Do what I do (4, Funny)

KingDaveRa (620784) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223171)

Maybe Freshmeat.net could help?

"As fresh as a summer ham"

Disaster Recovery (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223098)

Contact one of the companies that does disaster recovery after fires. The methods they use for getting rid of the smell of smoke might work.

Fabreze (1)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223105)

Spray whatever you think cannot be harmed by water with it.

If you are going to use rubbing alcohol... (2, Informative)

alchemist68 (550641) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223114)

If you are going to use rubbing alcohol, REMOVE THE HARD DRIVES FIRST, then soak everything in isopropyl alcohol. At least you'll have access to the data if the computers die from the deep cleansing process. You could gently rub the surface of the hard drives with isopropyl alcohol too, just be careful not to let too much alcohol get on to the hard drive.

Freon bath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223119)

Seriously. A freon bath can be used to clean just about any electronic component.

Use water.....no really do (1)

BenZoate (19607) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223121)

I would think that one of those steam blowers that you see on the TV would work well, as long as you use distilled water and keep everything. Water is a great insulator. IIRC i saw something on the /. years and years ago about someone actually sinking thier motherboard in water as a cooling solution. you would still probally need to replace the powersupplies and disks, but the rest should clean up nicely.

If that fails, remove all the hardware from the cases and scrub the cases down with a bleach solution, then use rubbing alcohol on the PCB's.

As a disclaimer: I have not tried any of the above, but i think it is worth a shot. I would try it out on a PII 300 i have laying around first. But that is just me.

Good Luck.

-Ben

Fair punishment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223126)

Actually you should be exposed to the smell of dead pig in your nice new office room to remind you of how you earn your living off the death of living beings.

Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol from the Drug Store (1)

thelizman (304517) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223130)

...anhydrous. The last part is very important, because - although rubbing alcohol is hydrophobic (you actually put it in your gas tank to get rid of water buildup), it is still often contained in some alcohol. Make sure you get anyhydrous, because what little water there is won't likely be ionized or contain salts. For about $10 worth of alcohol, you can fill up a sink, and use a standard $1.00 hardware store paintbrush to gently brush the circuit boards. As for drivers, they're pretty much goners. The hair, dead skin, and dust particulates that build up in there can't be practically cleaned out, so its just as cost effective to buy new cd and floppy drives.

Of course, wait for this crap to dry out before you go plugging things up. Also insist that the new computer room have air cleaning equipment, because even without effluent enhance air pumped in, the computers will pick up lots of trash.

Also note that this is an OSHA hazardous waste situation, so you should ask for a respirator and protective clothing before volunteering to do this.

Pick your scent... (1)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223131)

Car air fresheners, baby. You ever seen the movie Seven? Hang 'em all over the room and put one in front of each blower fan... you'll be able to mask the odors in no time.

yes (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223132)

Here you go the The Aranizer [aranair.com] . I've listened to the guys spiel, and he's (his customers) had success with his gizmos even in mortuaries and such like. Sounds like it's what you are looking for. Small medium large home and office size and industrial sizes as well. Give em a call, ask questions.

Normally... (1)

karniv0re (746499) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223134)

... I would use Febreeze. 3 cheers to white-trash cleaning products! However, given the delicate electronics inside, why not try throwing some of that vaccuum powder stuff (the stuff you sprinkle on the floor before you vaccuum) at the intake fan while it's running. Then you can use some canned air to dust it off.

Donate the hardware to the Iraqi LUG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223140)

I'm sure they'll appreciate it

Donate them to charity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223141)

Preferably PETA.

well you could always try... (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223143)

Urinal cakes. Think about how bad a urinal would smell without them...

Just an idea for a patent... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223144)

There was a guy in my class who bought a second-hand computer from the office of a fish-processing plant, and, you guessed it, the computer smelled exactly like a 100-year old tin of smoked sardines. The entire class shared this experience when he demonstrated his final-year project.

Pig smell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223147)

Too bad Tric (Tri-Chloro Ethylene, sp?) was outlawled...might try seeing if you can find some; or a legal replacement. Same concept as the alcohol method mentioned above, but much better.

Rendered Pork Product Odors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223150)

Does anyone have any recommendations to remove the effluvium of post-mortem porcine matter from our machines?"

An anti-spam filter. A massive, massive anti-spam filter.

Freeze it down! (1)

Lord Graga (696091) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223154)

Mom says that freezing it down should kill the stench. Not really sure if it's 100% safe for your hardware, but, if you are in a place that it *VERY* dry, then you should be able to do it and survive.

Sounds Familiar (1)

dohadeer (598581) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223155)

They did something similar once on an episode of Mythbusters [tvtome.com] . I believe it was an attempt to disprove the notion that 'there is a car so stinky it can't be cleaned and sold.' They left some dead livestock in the sealed car for some period of time and then attempted to clean it out using various cleaning methods.

In deference to the advertisers for the show, I won't reveal how it ended, but probably a good watch for someone facing a similar problem.

According to the Discovery Channel website [discovery.com] , this episode is going to air again soon:

  • Sep 14 2004 @ 10:00 PM
  • Sep 15 2004 @ 01:00 AM
  • Sep 19 2004 @ 12:00 PM
Good luck.

The pro's use OZONE (1)

Gonster (678031) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223156)

The folks who come in to clean up after a fire use ozone generators to get rid of the smell of smoke that clings so hard to plastics. Something about broken-chain hyrdocarbons and the bonds in plastics. Ozone is VERY damaging to lungs, so stay out of the room and vent well before going in again, but that's what I'd try first. Just to be flame-bait, I'll say that home air-purifiers (which are niether food nor drugs, so no help from the FDA) should be banned as the quack devices they are. It might seem nice to smell that "ozone fresh" scent, but the ozone warnings in the big cities aren't kidding. IMHO

How to fix (1)

Choco-man (256940) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223162)

Put them in a room which has an air intake vent adjacent to a dutch field of tulips. Return in 4 years. Viola!

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223167)

abattoirs. If you work with this stuff you should at least learn how to spell it properly.

The new Mythbusters episode! (1)

mcheu (646116) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223172)

In the next episode of Mythbusters, Jaime and Adam put two dead pigs in a PC case and seal it up for 6 months!

This was on MythBusters the other day (1)

siliconjunkie (413706) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223175)

What a coincidence to see this topic on Slashdot seeing as I just saw this exact topic on MythBusters [discovery.com] the other day. In the episode [discovery.com] (Season 2 Ep. 07, "Stinky Car"). The MythBusters are attempting to confirm the legend of the "Car so smelly it can't be sold [snopes.com] ".

The MB crew decided that a whole pig, rotting in the front seat would be the best emulation for a dead human body (as described in the myth/legend).

After consulting with professionals, they discovered the best and perhaps only way to COMPLETELY remove the smell of decaying organic matter is to use ENZYME-based cleaners that essentially digest the particles of matter.

At this point it should be noted that a by product of the decaying/decayed animal is Amonia, which is not only smelly, but potentially poisonous.

Unfortunately, the MB crew also concluded that no matter how powerful the enzyme wash, unless you get ALL the decaying matter out, the smelly thing will still smell. In the case of the car, they would have had to take the car entirely apart and washed each individual component in an enzyme wash, which is not cost effective by any means.

White vinegar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10223177)

This may sound as a joke but white distilled vinegar is faboulos for such things. I once had a car at work, and the one who had used it before me probably used to smoke (a lot) in it. Some one told me to levave a cup of white vinegar in it during weekend. I tried it, and to my surprise, next monday the smell was gone!

This place [angelfire.com] cover the topic some.

Oh man... (1)

NeoGeo64 (672698) | more than 10 years ago | (#10223184)

This wasn't on the A+ certification exam!
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