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Author Topic: Should used clarinets be sterilized?  (Read 6358 times)


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Should used clarinets be sterilized?
« on: September 12, 2012, 02:15:16 PM »
Gabrielle asks if used clarinets should be sterilized:

My answer:
I have never heard of anyone who thought they got sick from an old clarinet. But the correct response these days is certainly Yes. The only part that needs to be sterilized is the mouthpiece. I think that rubbing them with rubbing alcohol or other sanitizing agent is enough. (That\'s what I do when preparing clarinets for shipment, since I have played/tested the mouthpiece.) The other parts are cleaned when being reconditioned, but don\'t need sterilization. (I hope you don\'t put the other parts in your mouth!)

Additional thought: I am not sure that simply rubbing a mouthpiece could be called \"sterilized.\" Maybe it would be sanitized. One cannot boil a mouthpiece, as that would totally ruin it. Never use hot water to clean a hard rubber mouthpiece, as this will turn them olive brown and cause them to smell and taste like rubber.

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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RE: Should used clarinets be sterilized?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 06:39:18 PM »
From somewhere, (maybe it was my old clarinet teacher) I heard that you can wash a clarinet in warm water and soap.  Strangely enough, it works!  However, the clarinet I wash has some sort of foamy pad.  I do not recommend washing a clarinet it it has felt or leather pads.  I had a bad experience where I decided to wash my Artley flute, which ruined the instrument\'s pads.
David Watson of the original The Clarinet Pages
Irvine, California, United States

Tony F.

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RE: Should used clarinets be sterilized?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 03:51:48 PM »
I soak mouthpieces in a solution of Milton®. It\'s used to sterilize baby\'s bottles. When I first tried it I used to worry about the cork loosening, but it very rarely does, and I figure that if it does it needed replacing anyway.