HOW TO CLEAN A SAXOPHONE
Cleaning your sax regularly is a great way to prolong the life of the instrument.
It keeps you and your sax healthy, and also prevents you from spending a lot on costly repairs. Come to think of it, cleaning the saxophone is not as difficult as it seems.
Once you know how to clean your saxophone the right way you will realize how simple it is and if your saxophone is the standard half-bell shape type, you have no problem.
Ensure you get the saxophone cleaning kit to save you time and effort.
HOW TO CLEAN A SAXOPHONE MOUTHPIECE
Many people ask me how to clean a saxophone mouthpiece without damaging it? This is a question that comes up often as many beginners seem to be unsure of which is the best way. The simplest way to clean the mouthpiece is with water, it is also the most effective way to do so.
Take a long glass and add a few drops of dish soap to it, add lukewarm water to it and leave it standing for about 20 minutes. This will thoroughly clean the mouthpiece and disinfect it at the same time.
Wash it and remove all soap from it (you don’t want the taste of soap in your mouth while playing) and dry with a dry cloth. That’s it.
How to Clean a Saxophone – The Interior – Video Review
SWABBING THE BODY
if you have a saxophone cleaning kit, it should come with a brush and cloth that you can use. The brush and cloth are attached to a long string with a weight at the opposite end. Put the end with the weight into the bell and remove it through the narrow end.
Repeat this several times to get the best results. The process of swabbing helps to dry the interior pads from saliva and other fluids that can lead to bacteria growth. It also removes the buildup of particles like foods and beverages.
If you see a slight green color on the pad, do not be alarmed as this is normal.
SWABBING THE NECK
Use a flexible swab through the larger base of the neck opening, and then push it out the narrow side. Brush out the inner parts to remove foreign particles. You can run water through the neck if you don’t have a flexible brush, but ensure that water does not touch the cork. Water causes the cork to swell or deform.
Use vinegar or detergent to get rid of excess buildup instead.
USING A PAD SAVER
Pad savers remove moisture residues. They are best used after swabbing. Insert it through the narrow end of the saxophone, and leave it to absorb moisture for a few seconds then remove it completely. There is other equipment such as bell brushes and neck savers that allow you to clean the other parts of the saxophone.
They are great accessories but not necessary.
Try to check your saxophone for sticky pads as much as possible. You can also inspect the pads visually for wears and tears. With a wet cotton swab or thin piece of paper, you can clean the pads at the point where they meet the tone to remove any sticky residue.
Rinsing with clean water would get the job done.
Adding the Finishing Touches
You can add some shine to your saxophone with a brass lacquer polishing cloth and a small amount of spray furniture wax. Try not to use wash clothes, toilet paper, and all other cleaning products that are not made for brass instrument care specifically.
TIGHTENING LOOSE SCREWS
This is something you can get done with a screwdriver, but ensure not to over tighten them. Over tightening the screws can damage the screw heads.
CLEAN THE CLEANERS
As awkward as this sounds, try to keep your sax cleaners clean at all times. Your specialty swabs, pad savers, and other accessories must be clean before using them on the saxophone. You can use soap and water to clean them lightly after each use, and keeping them in good condition could make them last years.
It is as simple as that to clean your saxophone and it is very important both your health and the sax’s preservation over time.
A clean sax will serve you well for years to come so, take care of it.
Now all that is left is to start making music.
You can also read our very detailed and comprehensive post on all the Saxophone Types both new and old, you will get a better understanding of the sax family musical instruments and see which one suits your needs best.
Now that you know How To Clean A Saxophone, you can move on and read all about the different Saxophone Parts, what their functions are and where they are placed on the sax itself.