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M/Pieces - Ligs Mouthpiece & Reed Hygiene

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,856
:confused:

I think the best way of keeping my mouthpiece clean is to soak it in mouthwash after use and use a small bottle brush to clean the cavity. Is that correct?

For my reeds, should I be storing them in a mix of vodka and water? If so, what ratio one to the other?
If not, what's the best way to keep my reeds germ free?


Many thanks for any info.


:)
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,557
Pass!

I've never really considered the "germ-free" or otherwise aspect of my reeds.
I always take them off the mouthpiece at the end of playing, dry them, sometimes on a hanky, sometime just by wiping them over my fingers and then wiping my fingers on my trousers! then I put them into their reed case and leave them to air dry.
I rarely dry my mouthpiece, but I leave my saxes on their stands with the mouthpiece cap off (I figured more air can circulate).
So far, in 4 years, I don't seem to have gone down with any oral problems - ulcers, sore throats etc.

Occasionally, when the mouthpiece is looking a little crusty, I give it a scrub with toothbrush and toothpaste in cool water (never use hot water) dry with the pull-through and leave to air.

no mouthwash and no alcohol have ever approached my mouthpiece and reeds!

probably not the answer you (or anyone else) wanted to hear.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I always brush teeth before playing and soak reed in distilled water/alcohol solution. I clean my mouthpiece every couple pf months by the toothbrush method. Otherwise just rinse in cold water after using each day. You can get special sprays for disinfecting mouthpieces if you are more concerned/want to sell a mouthpiece on: http://www.justflutes.com/sterisol-mouthpiece-disinfectant-cleaning-spray-product820288.html

Here is the great man's take on the issue: http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/HandyHints/mouthpiece_hygiene.htm
Many people do not see it as that big and issue, to be fair, but it is something we should at least consider, in my opinion>
Kind regards

Tom
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
My regime is once and a while to wash out the mpce with lukewarm water, about same temp as me and a touch of dish soap..
plike Stephen says, I should do this more often BUT.....

i also beleive that like any large group of animals, bacteria will fight each other for space to live. Trying to sterilize usually leaves just the meanest toughest guys on the block to multiply, which is in part why superbugs are becoming a problem at hospitals. So, I will however stop using my padsaver brush thing in the case. My sax lives on its stand and as I use synthetic reeds will often go for a day or two before being cleaned and packed to go to rehearsal or performance.

i know I can do better, I will do better at cleaning ...I will do better at cleaning....repeated 25 tmes, fortunately no blackboard.

added after, and I know I will get an earfull. I think saturating a reed is sonically one of the worst things one can do to it. I know there are some pretty good players out there who do (Sanborn for example). Why have all that extra mass dampening the reeds vibrations?
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I think saturating a reed is sonically one of the worst things one can do to it. I know there are some pretty good players out there who do (Sanborn for example). Why have all that extra mass dampening the reeds vibrations?
That way it doesn't get wetter and softer as you play. About all I can think of, anyway.
 

Kath

Member
Messages
119
That is a really good point Jaz - meanest bugs surviving if you give 'em enough room - I'd never thought of that - but that's my answer now to my mother when she has something so say about my skirting boards!!!
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
After playing I use an old hanky as a 'pullthrough' and swill the m/p with luke warm water when I think to.
Remember saliva is anti-bacterial so the m/p is being cleaned all the time you're playing.
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,856
After playing I use an old hanky as a 'pullthrough' and swill the m/p with luke warm water when I think to.
Remember saliva is anti-bacterial so the m/p is being cleaned all the time you're playing.
I've had three colds in three months, none before that for three years.
When did I take up the sax?...... three months ago!

:headscratch:
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I've had three colds in three months, none before that for three years.
When did I take up the sax?...... three months ago!

:headscratch:
That's probably because you occasionally clean your mouthpiece and swab the sax.

I use what appears to be the typical sluttish way of forum members.
 

Loony Moon Hare

New Member
Messages
24
I use a pull through and wipe the mouthpiece dry. I separate the reed from the mouthpiece and ligature and leave them out to dry. The sax then sits on its stand with a pad saver in.

I wouldn't personally do a mega clean every single time. I am a firm believer in needing the little bugs to fight off the big bugs and that many of our problems with super bugs are as a result of being overly cautious when cleaning.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Those of you who don't believe in cleaning the mouthpiece each time you play, should try buying a junker from ebay, soak it overnight in cold water and see the gunk inside it. Makes me want to throw up every time I see one of them and think of someone putting it in their mouth like that.
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
That might be through years of no cleaning at all, Kev. I do clean mine occasionally (once a week, perhaps) in hottish water (it's plastic), hand soap and with a neck brush.

It's different if it's someone else's germs, too, of course.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Those of you who don't believe in cleaning the mouthpiece each time you play, should try buying a junker from ebay, soak it overnight in cold water and see the gunk inside it. Makes me want to throw up every time I see one of them and think of someone putting it in their mouth like that.
Oral hygiene is far more significant IMHO - I regularly use sugar free gum, and brush my teeth before playing. I do not own any gunky mouthpieces, and do not get colds (approx. 4 years since I had one)!
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
I check mine visually and if showing any signs of film accumulation I clean it. Eds up around once or twice a week. And mpce always comes out looking nice and clean.

i dont seem to usually have an abundance of fluid as usually after an hour or so of practice nothing comes out when turned upside down.. Wasnt always the case but has been that way for a while.

i got the flu once last year but I kow wheremthwat one came from otherwise been pretty healthy. I mostly drink water, and always really rinse with water before playing.
 
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allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
I thought I might weigh in on this debate with a different take on things

As far as reed hygene goes ......If Im storing a reed in the reed case after playing ......It get a quick swish in some vodka water and then put away wet to help keep the reed moist. this also to stop reed case from becoming smelly .

On a diiferent subject.....colds!
My e.n.t. specialist told me years ago after I had my adnoids shaved down about nasal hygene.

WARNING......The following may be a bit unpleasant for some forum readers to bear so read on at your own risk.


Every morning suck up some clean warm water into my nose from a cupped hand and snort it out like a horse.
I usually do this over the bathroom sink as part of my morning ritual.
You should see the muck that comes out some mornings.
not only do I breathe easier afterwards but I hardly ever get a cold nowdays , it cleans your nose right out .
Dont knock it untill youve tried it. .....after all we wash every where else...... why not inside our nose.
Regards
Healthier Allansto.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
That might be through years of no cleaning at all, Kev. I do clean mine occasionally (once a week, perhaps) in hottish water (it's plastic), hand soap and with a neck brush.

It's different if it's someone else's germs, too, of course.
I agree. But for an experiment a few months ago I didn't clean the mouthpiece on one of my saxes for a month. Left it on, sax on stand... The gunk that built ip in a month surprised me. Unlike TomM I don't clean my teeth before playing. But I do avoid playing after a meal, until I've had a drink. Fizzy drinks and alcohol haven't been a part of my diet for many years, mostly I drink green tea, water.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I check mine visually and if showing any signs of film accumulation I clean it. Eds up around once or twice a week. And mpce always comes out looking nice and clean.
I didn't realise that Ed was so tired, but at least he seems to have some positive affect on the mouthpieces when he emerges from his slumbers! :thumb:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I agree. But for an experiment a few months ago I didn't clean the mouthpiece on one of my saxes for a month. Left it on, sax on stand... The gunk that built ip in a month surprised me. Unlike TomM I don't clean my teeth before playing. But I do avoid playing after a meal, until I've had a drink. Fizzy drinks and alcohol haven't been a part of my diet for many years, mostly I drink green tea, water.
So, no sugar free gum and no tooth brushing - you've answered your own question!
 
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