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How Do You Clean Your Saxophone?

CliveMA

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I'm in my office doing some work right now. I just finished practicing, so my horn is on the stand. The cats are hungry,so they are slamming into the door. Little paws are poking underneath it. I've got to go feed them before they break in and attack.
Forgive my ignorance, but will sunlight or being open to the air, dull or otherwise harm the saxophone lacquer?
 

GCinCT

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Forgive my ignorance, but will sunlight or being open to the air, dull or otherwise harm the saxophone lacquer?
Good question. I don’t imagine open air would, it’s in open air while I’m playing, often for fairly long periods of time.

I don’t know about sunlight, but I have the curtains pulled so it doesn’t get sun.
 

CliveMA

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507
Good question. I don’t imagine open air would, it’s in open air while I’m playing, often for fairly long periods of time.

I don’t know about sunlight, but I have the curtains pulled so it doesn’t get sun.
I love the dark gold lacquer of my new saxophones, especially after owning a vintage sax for decades. I want to do whatever I can to have them looking forever new and dark.
 

GCinCT

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I love the dark gold lacquer of my new saxophones, especially after owning a vintage sax for decades. I want to do whatever I can to have them looking forever new and dark.
Yes. I understand that completely.
 
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Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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My cat is almost 3 years old. I thought he'd grow out of jumping on my head when I'm asleep but it seems to be his favourite thing!
My cats 14 years old and she’s getting sillier each year. She plays with sponge balls in the house in the middle of the night ( really must hide them ) and jumps up at imaginary things on the walls.
Thank goodness we only have one. Lol
 
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Nikki

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Direct sunlight kills bacteria and fungus and is one of the best things for doing so.
 

CliveMA

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507
This is the Vandoren reed case I use for my Tenor reeds. It has a sponge in the bottom you keep moist with water and holes in the side to allow air flow. You keep it in the open air to allow the airflow. The disc on front changes colour to blue (from pink) if the humidity drops too low.

Vandoren reed case.jpg
 
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Nikki

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This is the Vandoren reed case I use for my Tenor reeds. It has a sponge in the bottom you keep moist with water and holes in the side to allow air flow. You keep it in the open air to allow the airflow. The disc on front changes colour to blue (from pink) if the humidity drops too low.

View attachment 14330
So would you put all your reeds in here or just the ones you are currently using? It would make sense that reeds get mouldy since they are so porous.

When I went to school. we were told to rinse the instruments reeds under hot water along with the mouthpiece. Of course in school you don’t have time to soak your reeds in alcohol for 1/2 an hour and they never mentioned anything else. It’s something I should have looked up but didn’t.

Now I will think differently. I can’t believe I didn’t know this beforehand.

Does the sponge stay wet at all times and once it dries out it turns blue which lets you know more water is needed ?
 

CliveMA

Member
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507
Does the sponge stay wet at all times and once it dries out it turns blue which lets you know more water is needed ?
Yes. If you're playing regularly the freshly rinsed reed returning to the reed case after each practice seems to have enough moisture to keep the disc pink. I've only needed to put water on the sponge the first time I used the case. I've not had it long enough for the disc to stop working and need a new disc.

I didn't know about the alcohol/peroxide bath either. I'm not sure peroxide is easily available at the moment. I am concerned about mold as my saxes are kept in the same room as my library of lots of old books that tend to be a reservoir of mold.

I'm not sure if I posted this before but this is a SOTW thread about cleaning necks. It is an old thread, 2003. There is a wide range of neck-cleaning habits from every day to every 85 years ie never.
 

CliveMA

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507
This is my Rico reed case I use for my Soprano reeds. It includes a packet that keeps humidity at 72%. You can buy other humidities, depending on expected usage. Unlike the Vandoren case, the Rico case does not allow airflow. I've heard others have had mold problems with it but I haven't as yet. I bought both cases to keep my two instrument's reeds separate but also to judge over time which case I preferred. I don't have a preference at the moment. The Rico is more convenient because I can put it in the sax case (although it only fits in my Tenor case!) where as the Vandoren case has to be in the open to allow airflow.
Rico reed case.jpg
 

CliveMA

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507
The Vandoren Hygro Reed Case comes in two sizes: one for alto/clarinet (which fits soprano sax reeds), and one for Tenor/Bari/Bass clarinet. Both only hold 6 reeds. The Vandoren case fits in my soprano sax case (but I only bought the Tenor reed case!).

My Rico case holds 8 reeds and fits soprano through tenor reeds. It does not fit in my sop sax case.
 
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Nikki

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Yes. If you're playing regularly the freshly rinsed reed returning to the reed case after each practice seems to have enough moisture to keep the disc pink. I've only needed to put water on the sponge the first time I used the case. I've not had it long enough for the disc to stop working and need a new disc.

I didn't know about the alcohol/peroxide bath either. I'm not sure peroxide is easily available at the moment. I am concerned about mold as my saxes are kept in the same room as my library of lots of old books that tend to be a reservoir of mold.

I'm not sure if I posted this before but this is a SOTW thread about cleaning necks. It is an old thread, 2003. There is a wide range of neck-cleaning habits from every day to every 85 years ie never.
Thanks Clive. That’s a nice case , a good idea and something I’ll look into.

You didn’t know about soaking the reeds either?
Oh good. Now I don’t feel so bad. ( lol )
I happen to have a stock of hydrogen peroxide. Years ago I was into some type of hobby and picked up about 10 bottles of it. Either way Clive, the liquor store is certainly open. Apparently it’s a necessity. Lol! You can always use vodka or some other type of alcohol. Flavoured reeds are actuslly sounding quite nice. :)

Do you have a dehumidifier ? You can get portable dehumidifiers and heaters which make a huge difference to susceptible areas or rooms.

Thanks for the link. That’s just the type of thing I’m looking for. I’m going to purchase one of those BG cleaning things too.

Thanks again for all your help Clive.
It’s very much appreciated.
 

CliveMA

Member
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507
Do you have a dehumidifier ? You can get portable dehumidifiers and heaters which make a huge difference to susceptible areas or rooms.
Yes, my wife has asthma and we have a really good air purifier/de-humidifier but the reeds need to stay moist I believe. If they dry out they tend to warp. The air purifier is in our bedroom usually or living room but not my library.
 
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Nikki

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Yes, my wife has asthma and we have a really good air purifier/de-humidifier but the reeds need to stay moist I believe. If they dry out they tend to warp. The air purifier is in our bedroom usually or living room but not my library.
We do also and it makes a huge difference. Our cat has asthma and our dog gets asthma attacks so we have a humidifier and dehumidifier.

I’ve also got a personal mister which is nice since I can add my own combination of essential oils. I’m very much into aromatherapy plus essential oils have incredible healing properties.

Anyway this has certainly been an interesting topic. It’s fun learning from one a other.
 

CliveMA

Member
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507
Key Leaves have another product to keep the palm key pads dry called VentVine. It is not suitable for Sopranos as the sop case presses against the palm key pads.
Vent_Vine_with_loop_on_End_Plug_1080x.jpg
 

Wonko

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334
I happen to have a stock of hydrogen peroxide. Years ago I was into some type of hobby and picked up about 10 bottles of it.
Once you break the seal, the hydrogen peroxide will last 30 to 45 days at peak effectiveness, with about six months of useful activity. As soon as you expose the peroxide solution to air, it starts to react to form water. Also, if you contaminate the bottle—such as by dipping a swab or finger into it—you can expect the effectiveness of the remaining liquid to be compromised.
dixit Hydrogen Peroxide Shelf Life
 
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Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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Once you break the seal, the hydrogen peroxide will last 30 to 45 days at peak effectiveness, with about six months of useful activity. As soon as you expose the peroxide solution to air, it starts to react to form water. Also, if you contaminate the bottle—such as by dipping a swab or finger into it—you can expect the effectiveness of the remaining liquid to be compromised.
dixit Hydrogen Peroxide Shelf Life
Thanks but they haven’t been opened. :)
 
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