If you are not sure how to clean a saxophone mouthpiece, you need a little guidance before the process starts.
Saxophone mouthpieces could be made from plastic, hard rubber, or metal, and you must be careful because the mouthpiece determines how you sound, the response you get, and the sort of reeds you will use.
Damaging your mouthpiece could lead to a replacement, and some people even recommend that you hardly clean your mouthpiece at all. Read more to learn what your best options are when you have just started learning the saxophone or bought a new mouthpiece.
How to Clean a Mouthpiece
When students get a new instrument most companies must a wire brush in the kit to clean the mouthpiece. The wire brush will damage the mouthpiece by scratching the inside of the mouthpiece.
Every scratch on the interior of the mouthpiece will change the response of the mouthpiece, and your student might have a hard time playing.
You can use a swab to clean a mouthpiece, but the swab must be thin enough that you can pull it through the mouthpiece without using any pressure.
If you use a thick swab, the mouthpiece could crack under the pressure. Also, you can wash a mouthpiece given that you have taken some precautions.
If someone tells you that you should never clean your mouthpiece, you must consider all the reasons why cleaning your mouthpiece is healthy. If you are sick, you could leave germs inside the mouthpiece.
Mouthpieces could be stained if you do not clean them at least a few times a year, and it may be too difficult to remove the gunk that has sat on the mouthpiece for months at a time.
How to Clean a Plastic Saxophone Mouthpiece
Your alto sax maintenance routine should include swabbing your horn and mouthpiece. However, you do not need to swab your mouthpiece constantly. Any pressure you apply to the interior of the mouthpiece could scratch the mouthpiece or cause damage.
Plastic and hard rubber mouthpieces can be rinsed using lukewarm water from the sink. Because a saxophone mouthpiece does not have any cork attached, you can rinse the entire mouthpiece.
Run some water inside the mouthpiece, rub the interior of the mouthpiece with your finger, and lightly dry the exterior with a towel or paper towel.
You can gently scrape any dirt or gunk off the outside of the mouthpiece with your fingernails, and you can use the mouthpiece as you normally would.
The saxophone cleaning equipment in your case should include a swab that you might run through your mouthpiece every few days or you might find a small cleaning cloth that you can use to remove gunk from the interior of the mouthpiece. Do not apply too much pressure during this process.
You should not use hydrogen peroxide to clean your mouthpiece because you will instantly strip the coating off the mouthpiece.
A plastic mouthpiece could be deformed, and a hard rubber mouthpiece will turn green.
Some people do not clean their mouthpieces for long periods of time to avoid damaging the interior, but you should clean your mouthpiece
if you are sick, if someone else uses your horn, or if you notice you have too much gunk inside the mouthpiece.
How to Clean a Metal Saxophone Mouthpiece
Sax maintenance is vital to your overall performance. A saxophone that has been maintained properly will play much better than one you have not repaired or serviced.
Your mouthpiece works in much the same way. You need to clean your mouthpiece every so often to remove any gunk that makes the mouthpiece feel uncomfortable. You can often smell the mouthpiece to determine how dirty it is, and you should clean it quickly.
You can learn how to wash a saxophone mouthpiece quickly. A metal sax mouthpiece is easy to scratch.
You should run the mouthpiece under some lukewarm water, rub the inside with your finger, and dry with a sham or non-abrasive towel.
You can run a thin swab through the mouthpiece just once to remove any excess water, and you can get back to playing instantly.
You should not try to scrape any gunk off the mouthpiece because the metal exterior could be scratched.
Use a non-abrasive cloth to rub any gunk off the mouthpiece under running water. The metal on the mouthpiece could be stained if the gunk is not removed regularly.
Also, you should replace your mouthpiece cushion regularly. A thin layer of gunk will form around the edge of the cushion, and you want your mouthpiece to remain pristine.
Your metal saxophone mouthpiece holds quite a lot of inherent value. If you keep your mouthpiece clean, you can sell it for a good price in the future. Dirty mouthpieces do not sell for high prices even if they are rare or play well.
How to Clean Alto Sax Mouthpiece
Learning how to clean an hydrogen peroxide is a good idea for band directors, parents, and novices.
If you are teaching kids every day, you might discover a kid who has the nastiest mouthpiece you have ever seen.
You might clean your child’s mouthpiece because you noticed how dirty it is, or you might want to clean a mouthpiece you just bought because you finally decided to learn the saxophone.
Because an hydrogen peroxide mouthpiece is fairly small, but you must be especially careful when rubbing or swabbing the inside of the mouthpiece.
Using an abrasive brush or thick cloth could damage the interior of the mouthpiece.
Now that you know how to clean a saxophone mouthpiece, you must be very careful in doing so. Some people will clean their mouthpiece once a year.
Some people will clean their mouthpiece every month, and you should take special care to clean your mouthpiece after you have been sick. You can use the steps above to get the best results, and you should at least rinse off your mouthpiece if anyone ever plays your horn.