How To Clean Saxophone Mouthpieces

The saxophone is an interesting and versatile musical instrument that belongs to the woodwind instrument family. It is categorized into three types; baritone, alto and bass saxophone. Unlike other music lessons like piano lessons, saxophone is a bit complicated to play because of its peculiar and unique form. It plays an essential part in musical concerts because of its impressive sound. Composers usually incorporate it in different musical genres. This includes pop music, jazz, big band music, orchestra and others.

Cleaning saxophone accessories follow a very simple process. Any wind instrument can accumulate moisture left in the mouthpiece after using. When the mouthpiece is not cleaned, the moisture can lead to the buildup of mold and calcium deposits. The instrument may need to be replaced when this happens. Keep in mind the practical methods in cleaning the mouthpiece of your instrument to maintain the sound depth and clarity. Here are some tips that may help you in cleaning your mouthpieces.

  1. Swab your instrument after every use. Keeping it dry right after use is the key in preserving the life of your saxophone. After use, the saxophone may contain all the moisture, which can result in rust formation.
  2. Remove the ligature and reed part of your saxophone and clean the mouthpiece with the use of a mouthpiece brush. Brushing will facilitate the removal of any foreign object embedded inside the mouthpiece of the instrument.
  3. Use lukewarm water in washing your saxophone mouthpiece. Never use hot water in washing the mouthpiece. This is because it will make the baffle or the slanted part of the mouthpiece deformed.
  4. Aside from using lukewarm water alone, you can also drop a small amount of mild detergent on it to have a more powerful cleaning effect. Again, wash the mouthpiece with this solution.
  5. Sterilize the mouthpiece with the help of mouthwash if you are particular against bacteria. Just soak the mouthpiece for a few minutes and then dry it with a lint-cloth fabric.
  6. In case of calcium deposits in the mouthpiece, you can use a lime scale agent to eliminate it from your sax. Lime scale is readily available in groceries if you don’t already have it in your home.
  7. You can also use a hydrogen peroxide agent. It is a lime scale agent that is available in the Pharmacy. This wound cleaning solution also aids in the removal of calcium build up in the saxophone mouthpiece.
  8. Another option is the use of malt vinegar in eliminating calcium deposits in your instrument’s mouthpiece. This lime scale agent shows a faster result compared with the hydrogen peroxide solution.
  9. After washing or soaking with a lime scale solution, pat dry the mouthpiece with the use of a lint-free cloth material. This will facilitate the removal of any particles left by washing.

Like any other musical instrument of any brand or kind, either from the famous Selmer Company or Elkhart, they need to be taken good care of. A saxophone needs proper maintenance to keep it in mint condition.


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