Care & Maintenance of your Woodwind Instruments
A Guide to Keeping your Woodwind Instruments Looking and Feeling Brand New
courtesy of: www.unitedmusical.com
Make it part of your regular routine
Because your instrument is a precision piece of equipment, proper care and maintenance should become a regular routine before and after playing.
Remove all moisture and dirt
Each time you finish playing, remove all moisture and dirt particles from the bore of each joint using a swab or cleaning rod and cloth. Disassemble your instrument and drop the weighted cord through each section and pull the swab through.
Players of wood instruments should use bore oil. Bore oil prevents moisture (the chief cause of cracking in wood instruments) from saturating the bore. Apply a few drops of oil to a second swab and pull the swab through each section and barrel. Repeat as necessary to ensure even coating of pores in all sections. Return swab to plastic container after use. DO Not allow oil to get on pads. All points where the end of a key rod meets the post should be oiled every month or so with key oil. DO NOT apply directly from bottle. Apply a small amount to a needle and touch the needle to friction point. Use sparingly, as too much oil collects dust and dirt. After oiling, work the keys and wipe off excess oil. Avoid getting oil on pads.
Clarinet, saxophone and double reed players should use cork grease on all cork joints to preserve the resilience of the cork and to make assembling the instrument easier. Always remove the mouthpiece when not in use to retain a good cork fit.
Use a duster brush to remove dust or lint that gathers around posts and strings and under key rods. Use caution in cleaning under key mechanism to avoid unhooking the needle springs or damaging the bumper corks.
Wipe Your Instrument Off After Each Use
After playing, use a polishing cloth to wipe off perspiration and fingerprints. To return finish to its finest luster, rub briskly. DO NOT use a lacquer polish cloth on plated finishes. Approved polishing cloths include UMI #353L for lacquered finishes and #353M for plated finishes. The UMI Super Polish Cloth (#2168) is approved for all finishes. Caution: DO NOT use chemical or solvent agents to clean the finish of composition or plastic instruments. ALSO, POLISHING COMPOUNDS AND TREATED CLOTHS SHOULD NOT BE USED ON GOLD PLATING. Gently wipe gold plated areas with a soft cotton cloth (#378). Hard-to-remove smudges may be removed with a small amount of alcohol on the cloth.
Take Care of Your Mouthpiece
After playing, wipe the mouthpiece with a soft cloth. Clean your mouthpiece at least once a week, brushing out inside with the mouthpiece brush and warm soapy water. Rinse with cold water and dry. After each use, you should rinse the brush thoroughly.