Disinfecting a Saxophone – Part 2

Thanks to everyone who responded via facebook or twitter.  There were some great ideas and a few unusual ones (I’m not sure Listerine would have really worked but thanks for the thought.)  The overwhelming response was one that, now I think about it, makes perfect sense, but it’s something I never would have thought of. Milton baby bottle steriliser.  However, it wasn’t a one hundred per cent success.  I am sure that my saxophones have been cleared of flu so in that regard (which is really the only important one) everything is good. But, it did have the rather unfortunate side effect of dying my Vandoren T75 Jumbo an alarming shade of snot green.  This looks particularly stupid with its still back mouth piece cap.  It must be something to do with the resin composite because the Keilwerth Jazz I use on my alto stayed back.  It hasn’t effected the tone, though, so its not the end of the world.

So here’s my brief ‘To Do’ list for disinfecting your saxophone after an illness.

  • By baby bottle steriliser.
  • Boil kettle and allow to cool to luke warm.
  • Remove any mouth piece pads and throw them away and decide whether to keep or throw the reeds.
  • Using a mouth piece brush scrub the mouth piece and ligature (if metal).
  • Add steriliser to kettle water and submerge the mouthpiece, ligature, cap and reeds for the length of time recommended on the bottle (usually around 15 mins.)
  • Take all equipment out and rinse under the tap.
  • Dry and replace mouth piece pad and reads.
You probably don’t have to but I also sterilised all my pull-throughs and other general cleaning equipment.
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Disinfecting a saxophone

I have the flu. Or something similar. Either way its not nice and because I was recording all last week I have probably given the virus to all three of my saxophones. Obviously I must clean them and then wash all the cleaning gear but I was wondering if anyone reading this had any new ideas on making my saxes sanitary again.

Unfortunately I’ve already learned that hard way that resin mouthpieces and boiling salt water isnt a good idea. If you haven’t tried this yet, don’t, all you’ll do is turn your C* a mossy shade of green. I’ve thought about disinfectants such as dettol but do I really want to have to taste that? Because you know that no matter how much you wash it, it will still taste horrible afterwards. Also those bottles come with large ‘do not swallow’ notices.

Boiling water will only do so much, cold salt water wont do much good at all. What else am I missing?