Best way to disinfect an instrument??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by dizzy068, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. dizzy068

    dizzy068 Member

    Hi folks,

    I'm hoping that you knowledgable folk out there will bombard me with some helpful suggestions.

    I need a way to sucessfully disinfect my euph, I usually just wash it through with warm water however over recent months I have had a chest infection and am now recovering from a particularly viralent bout of tonsilitus so I want to make sure I do the job well. Additionally its the band's instrument so I don't want to take any risks! - I was wondering if Milton fluid would be suitable - please help!!:confused:
  2. Jonny5Stars

    Jonny5Stars New Member

    DO NOT USE MILTON. Its a chlorine based disinfectant that will oxidise (tarnish) silver. I disinfected a second hand silver mouthpiece that way and it went grey.

    Normal washing will be fine. In fact copper (including alloys such as brass) and silver have antibacterial properties anyway.

    Hope this helps.
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    I've found the best way to get an instrument clean is to soak it in a lukewarm bath of water with about a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda per gallon of water. It cleans and neutralises all the mouth acids that end up in there.
    Rinse with clean water, pull-through brush if really bad and it'll be spotless inside.
  4. MickM

    MickM Member

    As Andy has said, i've found the best way is a good long soak in the bath with some bicarb! (the instrument that is)
    Just a small point though, prevention is better than a cure! i was observing a very young man (7ish) a few weeks ago at a local school, sat on a chair swinging his legs, waiting for the rest of the junior band to turn up, cornet in one hand, a packet of crisps between his legs. He was having a good old munch of crisps and then a tootle and then some crisps then a tootle etc.........bless him, he was having a ball but god knows what the inside of his cornet was like!
    I wonder how many people get home from work, have their tea and then get their trumpets out for a practice without cleaning their teeth first or grab a Big Mac before a concert! :eek:

    Just a thought!
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Watch if you clean out the bigger instruments with soda crystals ... cleans well but becomes very slippy to hold ... :oops: ... oops! (and at the back of the bottom bow in my instance!).
  6. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Also remove first valve and but a trombone style snake through the lead pipe remembering to remove bottom of valve.
  7. emziesonic

    emziesonic Member

    yep, I did this a couple of days and i very very shocked what came out of when using bicarb. soda.:eek:
    It really works and now I've got a nice clean horn:biggrin:
  8. ScaryFlugel

    ScaryFlugel Member

    watch out... soda crystals (washing soda Na2CO3) are not bicarbonate of soda (baking soda NaHCO3) - make sure you know which you are using cos you needs gloves for washing soda.

    Umm, haven't we had this thread before?

    Good luck. (Wonder if i should go and clean my flugel instead of getting on with my work - sounds like a plan.)
  9. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    Very scientific reply, steps back in amagement such knowledge, but why break the habit of alifetime by cleaning flugel, unless it makes you play louder, Now there is a thought, :biggrin: hop et o see you at areas am going up both days you have been warned
  10. ScaryFlugel

    ScaryFlugel Member

    wotchit redhead - i'll have you know i've been PRACTISING!!!!! :grr
    Yup, see you at bedworth then.
    (Now, ahem, back on thread!)
  11. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    Best way to claen a instrument

    Practising playing or cleaning flugel, , you must have the best polished instrument in the business, My Motto is "" if you cant play it!!! polish it!!! works evrytime for me:clap:
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - a bit late for the marigolds (I might have had a better grip if used) ... :redface: One of my friends who buys old instruments for his young pupils to learn with swears that the soda crystal method works. I don't think he's ever tried a EEb though!
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member


    You can't take the chemist out of the recording engineer ;) (going back to the original thread....)
  14. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    They'll both work - but the soda crystals have a higher pH in aqueous solution so are more basic....leave them in contact with the fat in your hands long enough, you'll render them into soap ;) (although when you 'make' soap in chemistry lessons you normally do it with caustic soda or sodium hydroide cos it's faster)
  15. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    But didn't you have to have yours professionally cleaned not too long ago?!!!
  16. dizzy068

    dizzy068 Member


    Thanks for all the tips - will any of them get rid of more than just gunk - ie the nasty bugs that I have been breathing??
  17. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    'Bugs' don't really live that long outside of the body.

    Get rid of all the extraneous organic matter (so the extra beans on toast you had just before rehearsal ;) ), rinse the can out properly and it'll be fine.
  18. ScaryFlugel

    ScaryFlugel Member

    I had my valves cleaned ultrasonically by Dan Smith, brass-god of BrassFix UK in Northampton. You could eat your dinner off them! (Which was probably the problem to start with ;) ) Finally after about 5 years my valves are starting to feel reliable.

    So there's another thing you could have done to your bass once you've cleaned the inside.
  19. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    Best way to clean a instrument

    That was re-silvered, to cut down on the cleaning, it is now so shiny it is worth at least two points extra at a contest, but he did clean it out for me as well, which meant i could two volumes louder :biggrin:
  20. SopranoGod

    SopranoGod Member

    Thats why i always carry around a couple of disposable toothbrushes that you find at service stations. I never play before i brush my teeth

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