Why Are My Tools Stinky? – On the House

Why Are My Tools Stinky?

By on February 23, 2014
old tools


I have a “Stinky Feet” smell coming from my toolbox. I’ve washed and cleaned all of the tools, but I suspect it’s the red hard handled tools from the olden days. I read on-line that there’s a plastic called Xcelite that may be the cause. I have put the screwdriver on the windowsill, in the sun and I have completely cleaned the toolbox. Also, I have put in an odor eating lava bag into my toolbox. Can you help?



Xcelite tools go back to the early 1970’s, and when they get old they can smell pretty funky. However, new ones can smell a bit as well. In the case of your screwdriver, the plastic (Xcelite) handle is the culprit. Plastic tool parts from some manufactures are made from a cellulose product that contains butyric acid also known as butanoic acid, which smells like vomit or really stinky feet. Sorry, these tools can off-gas and stink. To get rid of the smell, get rid of the tool. Xcelite was purchased by Cooper Tool Co.

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