General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Why do plastic toolboxes stink?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9100 points ) December 7th, 2011

It’s a sickly sweet smell. You open an old tool box that’s been sitting a while unused and this strange odor comes out.

Is it something the tools are letting out? Is it that someone has used the tools and put them back soiled with chemicals that rot the container?

Have you experienced this?

Thanks.

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6 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No… I keep my tools clean and in good condition… always ready for the next job at hand.

gailcalled's avatar

Could your response be subjective due to overexposure to CS gas (viz; your earlier question?)

Ltryptophan's avatar

@gailcalled maybe! But my question about the CS gas is not a claim that I was overexposed. That’s why it was a question about the exposure. Maybe the things that I am smelling actually smell like CS gas, and I have become even more acutely aware of anything with a similar odor however faint.

I have no problem smelling subtle scents, or vivid stenches. When I smell something I usually ask someone nearby how they experience the same smell, and it is always like mine. Now, the fact that they don’t know what CS gas is like limits their ability to agree or disagree with me on the comparison.

I assert that plastic toolboxes most certainly release a smell. My area is very humid, maybe the moisture in the air plays a role. Maybe any number of things!

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t have any plastic tool boxes so I have never noticed. I have some plastic tackle boxes around here that belonged to my father but they all smell like fishing. Anyway, I don’t really know so I am just speculating here but seems possible that if there is any machine oil residue on your tools from when they were manufactured or if you lubricate your tools or use any lubricants in when you use your tools, those oils and lubricants may be reacting with the plastic of the tool box and possibly causing the odor.

HungryGuy's avatar

Metal gives off odors. Plastic absorbs odors.

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