The first thing to check is the felt drip pad underneath the machine. Unscrew the large nut on the bottom tray and if the felt drip pad is saturated with oil like the one shown above then it not only needs a new one, but it could be holding some of the musty odor being emitted by the case. This may not alleviate the pungent odor entirely (especially if your case has been exposed to moist climates), however, this is a good time to change the felt as part of the beginning maintenance. We carry sticky-back Featherweight 221 & 222K felt drip pads here.
Now let's talk about that odoriferous case. We're not talking about an old-fashioned antique smell common with old things, but something much more putrid and intolerable. Basements, damp garages or storage sheds can become a petri-dish for Featherweight case mold, allowing the mold spores to multiply out of sight in the glue under the Tolex lining. The glue is a natural horse glue and prone to bacteria which causes an odor that is so strong it can permeate an entire room - it is really, really strong! If you live in drier climates or if your case has been stored in climate controlled rooms, where you would be most comfortable, then this is not usually an issue at all. Hall closets and sewing or guest rooms are good places to keep your machine if you need to keep it tucked away.
So, how do you rid your case of that awful smell? Well, there are lots of suggestions and opinions on the world wide web -- anywhere from lavender sachets, charcoal, baking soda, dryer sheets or soap shavings. Most of these will just mask the problem and not eliminate the issue altogether. There is a fantastic home remedy that pretty much cures it, but it takes some time and some old-fashioned ingenuity. Dave McCallum discovered this "light bulb method" process and we have used it many times with great success -- and all without the odor returning. However, it is a home remedy, so proceed at your own risk.
If the above process seems too involved and you want to opt for an easier alternative first, then the next best thing is to use the all-natural case deodorizer found in our Shop. The Case Deodorizer works quite well for mild to moderate cases and we have had many, many people email us with wonderful results!
Carmon is a former mortician and this product eliminates odors like nothing he has ever found and works well for a lot of mildew-smelling cases. It is a highly concentrated spray and only takes a squirt or two in the Featherweight case. You can close the lid and repeat as needed. The nice thing is that this spray can be used for other areas of your home as well. It neutralizes and kills odors from pets, cooking - even odors post-mortem...... and now mildew-smelling Featherweight cases!