Stinky tools

Had occasion recently to move a bunch of stuff in order to replace a clothes dryer. One thing that got moved was an old oak desk, with an assortment of hand tools in one of the drawers. I discovered that the tool drawer is quite malodorous.
I've run into this before. Years ago I worked at a shop where one drawer of a rollaway tool cabinet smelled exactly like vomit. And, a few years ago I bought a set of nut drivers in a plastic case (bought new) that smelled awful. I aired them outside for weeks to no avail and finally threw the plastic case away, which got rid of most of the smell but I found that even the plastic handles still stink.
In that last instance of course, I identified the source of the smell, but in those other two I did not. Anyone else have stinky tools? Diagnosis? Remedy?
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I've had the same problem for years, mostly with Craftsman and other brands which have clear handles. Not so much with Snap-On. I'm mystified.
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Spray with Krylon clear finish. I do this and also on metal tools to prevent rust from high humidity. If you think this would damage the plastic try clear shellac. WW
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On 11/18/2010 4:33 PM, WW wrote:

Sears had that problem big-time for several years with their clear/red/blue screwdriver handles. Some sort of outgassing from the plastic handles. Put a new set in a tight tool box for a month, and opening it would gag a maggot. Don't know if they changed formulas or OEM manufacturers or what, but haven't heard of it in several years. My 'clean' tool set that stays in a separate box had that problem, but after ten years, you have to hold the screwdrivers right up to your nose to tell.
--
aem sends...

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wrote:

I had the same problem.
Wood chisels with clear handles from Sears.
Andy
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A childhood memory:
My aunt had a metal canister full of plastic buttons. Hundreds and hundreds of buttons.
When you opened the canister, the smell would almost knock you out.
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