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Yuck - Do you clean inside your sax

Hallelujahal

Member
Messages
90
Locality
Preston, Lancs
I would have thought that an alcohol-based cleaning fluid would do the job, rubbed through and then wiped off. The mouthpiece is the easiest thing to clean as it'll soak. An ultrasonic cleaner would be ok for mp & perhaps neck?
AL
 

Jane M L

Member
Messages
265
Locality
Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion
Timely post, Jeanette. I was going to ask the forum if anyone knew of toxicity or germs from an old, sulphurous Selmer S80 mouthpiece. I received my Beaugnier Vito from davidUK and scored an alto mpc on ebay within a few days of one another. Since when I have been brought down by coughing and copious phlegm from the nose, throat and lungs and have been very exhausted. I could boast before this of not having had a cold or flu for as long as I can remember - about 10-15 years. The cough is a tickle that turns into a harsh uncomfortable cough in seconds. Also slightly swollen lower lip.
I cleaned the moutpiece carefully with Milton , wiped with lemon oil and submerged for a few minutes in dilute vinegar as soon as I got it and after every play.
The link from you suggests that the bugs only live on instruments and mouthpieces for a few days, and that is what Steve Howard says too. So I'm wondering if the sulphur compounds generated as hard rubber oxidises can either be very toxic to people with allergies, or make a very comfy habitat for some bugs.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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14,745
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Burnley bb9 9dn
I clean my mouthpieces with toothpaste and a soft brush and rinse through with an alcohol mouthwash. The instruments get a brush out with a pad saver after playing and left on the stand to dry. I usually brush my teeth before playing as well. I can't imagine what the inside of a clarinet would be like after 30 years of regular gigging and no cleaning. I'm surprised it played in tune and what does a mouldy reed taste like?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,328
Locality
London
Cultivating porcini in a bari?
A secret: cleaning a saxophone means taking away its soul (Ben Webster).
I know of people filling the neck with milk, to try to create that magic lining.

Jane, maybe on some planets in outer space you might be able to find bugs able to survive in sulphur. Calcium deposits are more bug friendly, but vinegar should have had that sorted.

Sulphur could be quite irritant, though. Can you taste it on the mouthpiece?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
It's interesting that the growths in the instrument were different to what he was allergic to, yet with cleaning and sterilizing the problem was resolved. It's a powerful argument for proper cleaning every time, but how was he breathing back? Clearing moisture I guess. So best avoid that And keep the instrument clean
 

Jane M L

Member
Messages
265
Locality
Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion
Yes, at first I could taste it, but after 4 weeks of carefully cleaning and even oiling it with lemon oil, it seems to be odour and taste free. I agree about the bugs not being able to last - but maybe fungi are very much more persistant.
And it makes sense that sulphur can be an irritant.
Here's a quote from the article , and indeed itdoesn't quite make sense.

"Tests showed the man was allergic to two fungi, Alternaria and Curvularia, while the clarinet reed and inside the instrument were positive for another mold, Exophiala.
2























 
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Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
God - I've been worrying about global warming, and now this!

When do we have to start offering our instruments to the authorities for inspection ?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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London
Here's a quote from the article , and indeed it doesn't quite make sense.

"Tests showed the man was allergic to two fungi, Alternaria and Curvularia, while the clarinet reed and inside the instrument were positive for another mold, Exophiala.
2

Journalists: if you play clarinet you get saxophone lung and you you are allergic to A, they find B.
Why do I feel that some bovine faeces have been used to fertilize the article?

When do we have to start offering our instruments to the authorities for inspection ?

At immigration control, in the USA. While in Australia any clarinet older than 6 months will be incinerated on the spot.
In Switzerland, you can have the instrument sanitized and repadded for a symbolic sum of about £1322.7
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Messages
3,441
Locality
manchester
It might be partly coincidental there has been a nasty coughing cold doing the rounds lately, every other person getting in my cab last week seemed to have it,thankfully I remain immune which I put down to building up an immunity to all the germs I've cultivated on my sax, as for the swollen lip that does sound like a reaction of some kind, when you watch CIS on the telly they always go on about terrible infections from human bites seems the worst germs live in your mouth:shrug::hug:......John
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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London
It might be partly coincidental there has been a nasty coughing cold doing the rounds lately, every other person getting in my cab last week seemed to have it

All dixieland clarinet players wearing a waistcoats, I presume.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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14,745
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Burnley bb9 9dn
I'm surprised nobody has concluded that a clarinet player will be in demand because he's a fungi to be with.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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Copper is a bacteriostatic agent that stops bacteria from reproducing so I would not have thought a brass instrument itself should need sterilizing although the ancillary parts might.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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2,770
Locality
Ilkley West Yorkshire
Try a saucer full of bicarb. It works well with fridges.
 

Luluna

Senior Member
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Vermont, USA
Ever since receiving my lovely autographed copy of Stephen Howard's Saxophone Manual, I have been diligent about cleaning out the necks and mouthpieces of my saxophones. I swear you can smell the moldy ones during rehearsals - stinky!! Makes me wonder about the instruments owned by the college that just sit in the cupboard until someone checks it out to use.... yuck.

Huffington Post picked up the story too: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/...n-clarinet-instrument-woodwind_n_4221368.html
 
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Ads

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,314
Locality
North West UK
I`m really fussy about the cleanliness of the inside of my horns too and always have been , that MkVII may have been a wreck when it went but it was a Hygenic Wreck !! . I usually pull the neck through with a decent vileda clarinet pull through and always wash the mouthpiece, always pull the sax through too as soon as I can . I know people who leave the reed on all the time and only take it ioff when its knackered .

I`ve always cleaned out I don`t want to end up like Bleeding Gums Murphy !
 
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