Maintenance and hygiene are key parts of your saxophone's life, and that of your beloved mouthpiece, but you have no idea what to do? No worries, Syos is here to explain everything.
Why should I clean my saxophone mouthpiece?
You must have noticed that your mouthpiece is often full of water: this is the air condensation, as you blow hot air in, it hits the cold material of your sax. No worries, this is normal, you're not spitting into your mouthpiece (it's best not to). To ensure that your mouthpiece has a long life, you should clean it regularly, to avoid long-term damage caused by condensation.
Material: what should I use to clean my saxophone mouthpiece?
- A small swab, a weighted tissue that passes through the mouthpiece easily, to clean it quickly. Pass the weight and then the tissue into your mouthpiece to dry it after you have used it.
- A "bottle brush" that you can use with cold water to clean the inside of the mouthpiece and dry it after you have used it.
Here you will find a entire article with all the material you could need, beside your saxophone!
Frequency: when should I clean my saxophone mouthpiece?
A little cleaning after every use won't hurt, remove the reed and place it in its box, then pass the swab inside the mouthpiece, drying it after every use, before putting it back in your case.
But think about giving it a "deep clean" every once in a while, if you notice little residue or if you want to sanitize it. If you dropped it in the mud for example (although we do not recommend that you use your mouthpiece to do gardening), or if you took it on a trip to the beach, it's time for a deep clean. To be honest, clean it every time it feels necessary (and do not wait until it smells!).
Our favorite mouthpiece cleaning method
Cold water and white vinegar, as simple as that! The vinegar cleanses without damaging the material, and the cold water prevents decolorations on any kind of mouthpiece! Don't panic, the vinegary taste and smell don't linger, rub a tissue with white vinegar on your mouthpiece then rinse it with water, that's it!
Methods you should avoid
- Acetone: first of all, trust me, acetone would be better staying outside your mouth, then, it might melt your mouthpiece, and that would be a shame.
- Sulfuric acid: in general, I would advise to stay away from sulfuric acid, it is safer.
- Blowing on your mouthpiece to clean it: it might look effective, but it's not.
Now you know the esssentials of mouthpiece's maintenance! A good cleaning routine will allow your mouthpiece to last longer, plus our Syos saxophone mouthpieces are very impact-resistant! So you'll enjoy it for a long time.
For the more studious readers, you can find a complete article about saxophone maintenance here.