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Instrument Care & Maintenance

Use the following links to learn how to properly maintain your instrument!










Bass Clarinet






French Horn





Brass Mouthpieces

You will need: a mouthpiece brush, dish soap, paper towel and rubbing alcohol. You can substitute a straw cleaning brush for the mouthpiece brush if you don’t have one, but as a brass player you should get a mouthpiece brush for your instrument.

Using the dish soap, mouthpiece brush and warm (not hot) water, wash the inside and outside of the mouthpiece. Get the inside of the pipe really well! If you have not done this in a while, you might really find it is quite dirty. After a good rinse, use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the inside and outside. Let it air dry on a clean counter or dry it with a small piece of paper towel.

I do this at minimum 1 time per week if not more often. 

Woodwind Maintenance 

ALL INSTRUMENTS – wash your hands before and after playing. Brush your teeth if you just ate!

Reeds – All reeds can be dipped in rubbing alcohol, soapy water or a hydrogen peroxide and water mix. No matter what you choose you will want to thoroughly rinse them and let them lay flat to dry after you disinfect your reeds.

Swabs – Alway swab your instrument, perhaps it’s time to wash the swab in a washing machine. If your swab is getting old, feel free to order a new one. Make sure you are getting the GEM brand or some kind of hanky swab that can easily pull through your instrument. Avoid things with foam or bristles.

Flute – Clean off your mouthplate with warm soapy water or rubbing alcohol.

Clarinet and Saxophone mouthpieces – can be washed in lukewarm soapy water. You can use a soft toothbrush or q-tip to get in the cracks of the inside of the MP. Make sure it is thoroughly dry before it goes back in your case.

Remember, woodwind instruments are like gremlins…they don’t go in water! Don’t give it a bath! 

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