Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Musical Instrument Cleaning Tips

In light of the increase spread of viruses lately we thought it prudent to share some basics on keeping your musical instrument clean and sanitized. Brass and Wind instruments can act as Petri dishes for harmful bacteria. Always take the time to clean and sanitize your mouthpiece to avoid transmitting bacteria directly into your airways. In addition, proper hand washing before and after playing your instrument can solve many hygienic issues.

For Brass Instruments: Always remove your mouthpiece after playing. Drain water and wipe your instrument with a clean soft cloth. Regularly clean your mouthpiece with warm water and mild soap or by wiping it down with a moist alcohol pad. Sanitization of the mouthpiece can also be done by saturating the mouthpiece with Sterisol germicide solution. The entire brass instrument should be periodically brought in to a repair shop for servicing and disinfecting cleaning.

For Wind Instruments: Internal moisture can cause cracks or mildew. Always pull a clean, dry cleaning swab through your instrument to remove any moisture prior to storage, wipe moisture from keys, and store reeds in a reed holder. Clean mouthpieces, with the ligature and reed removed, with warm soapy water being careful not to get the cork wet. Dry completely before storing. Sterisol germicide can also be used to sanitize wind mouthpieces. Alcohol wipes can be used to clean a flute's lip plate. Bocals should be cleaned with a mild soap solution, running water and a bocal brush. The entire wind instrument should be periodically brought in to a repair shop for servicing and disinfecting cleaning.

For String Instruments: The best thing you can do for cleanliness is to wash your hands before and after each practice session. If you are using a hand sanitizer, make sure your hands are completely dry before handling your instrument as the alcohol in the hand sanitizer can dissolve the varnish on your instrument. We also caution against the use of household cleaners and other chemical disinfecting products on your instrument and bow. The disinfecting agent in most of these products is alcohol, which can potentially cause damage to your instrument.

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