Mouthpiece cleaning

subtlevib

Member
Hello!

I've got a tub full of old and tatty mouthpieces that with a bit of effort could look much cleaner and nicer, that I use for people to try out or for whole class type trying.

I know chemical cleaning is all the thing, but I wondered if anyone has any success with the larger ultrasonic cleaners (like the jewellery ones, but bigger)??
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
I've had mine cleaned in a cheap ultrasonic jewellery cleaner; came out fine. Don't see why you'd particularly need a larger one?
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Ultrasonic will get the crap off/out nicely.

You'll still want some polish to shine up though.
 

subtlevib

Member
Thanks, gents, I just, potentially, want a larger one because I have 61 mouthpieces of various sizes and would prefer to do a few at a time.
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
Thanks, gents, I just, potentially, want a larger one because I have 61 mouthpieces of various sizes and would prefer to do a few at a time.
The only thing is (and I freely admit this is based only on hearsay, and I have no evidence for this), you might want to investigate whether some kind of licence is needed for anything bigger than the small ones.
I only say this because I know of someone who wanted to install a bigger size industrial ultrasonic cleaner, and he had to have visits and surveys from environment health or somesuch, and there were problems because he lived near a colony of bats, who are, evidently seriously disturbed by ultrasound ...
 

subtlevib

Member
Ooooh, well I wasn't planning on going industrial, just 1/2l sized. Don't want to hurt the bats - we have them around us.
 

pbirch

Active Member
before you put a lot of effort into these old mouthpieces, you should consider just how useful they might [or might not] be. they are likely to be too small for modern instruments
 

jobriant

Active Member
Since the early 1990's, I've used denture cleaner. In the USA, a major brand is "Polident;" Place the mouth piece in a glass of warm water, drop in a Politent tablet, and it will start to "fizz." 3 - 4 hours later, your mouthpiece is clean (and to some degree, shinier than it was). This was recommended to me by my dentist, who at the time was also my section mate in The Pacific Brass Band, on Eb Bass. He said that the 'minerally" deposits in mouthpieces are the same as the plaque that forms on teeth -- and on dentures -- which denture cleaner is specifically formulated to remove.

Jim O'Briant, Gilroy, CA, USA
Music Director / Staff Arranger, The Pacific Brass Band
www.PacificBrassBand.org
 

Andrew Stringer

New Member
After band practice the other night, someone told me a tale about a friend of a friend (a learner cornet player) who had been recommended to clean and sterilise their mouthpiece by putting it in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. This person thought it would be a good idea to put not just the mouthpiece, but the whole instrument in the dishwasher. Apparently the instrument was a total wreck, all the lacquer had melted and turned into a coating of sticky gunge!
 

GER

Active Member
Since the early 1990's, I've used denture cleaner. In the USA, a major brand is "Polident;" Place the mouth piece in a glass of warm water, drop in a Politent tablet, and it will start to "fizz." 3 - 4 hours later, your mouthpiece is clean (and to some degree, shinier than it was).
I tried this yesterday with an unused mouthpiece and steradent, a popular denture cleaner in the UK. When I took it out it was covered in a 'chalky' film which took a lot of cleaning off, the mouthpiece was clean when finished, but took about 1 hr to get the film off, can only presume there is some chemical in 'steradent' that is not present in 'polident'
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
@GER - I noticed the same thing on one of my mouthpieces when I forgot about it being in the Steradent solution, and it was probably in there for 45 minutes. When I only left another mouthpiece in the solution for about 5 minutes, it came out free of limescale, and shiny.
 

GER

Active Member
I noticed the same thing on one of my mouthpieces when I forgot about it being in the Steradent solution, and it was probably in there for 45 minutes.
Thanks for that Jack, I thought about trying it for a shorter time, but tbh not just 5 mins-jobriant's post says 3-4 hours! There must be a difference between the UK and USA products.Have wondered whether an Aldi or Lidl product might give the clean without the limescale, but if 5 mins in steradent works will give that a try-got a few unused mouthpieces to experiment with
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
@GER - since my last post, I tried something else which worked pretty well.

After I cleaned out the limescale, my oldest mouthpiece - a Besson 7, which might well be decades old! - still had noticeable tarnishing inside the bore. I tried polishing it with a kitchen tissue and silver polish (HG Silver Shine Cream), but it was only partially successful. Then I tried using the metal polish on a mouthpiece brush like this one, working through from both ends:
upload_2019-2-25_14-33-52.png

and it worked a treat, polishing both the venturi section at the bottom of the cup, and right through the backbore as well.

I finished up by flushing the mouthpiece in a bowl of hot water with handsoap in it, mopping off excess water with a kitchen towel and then leaving to airdry. Apart from the usual little marks on the shank from where somebody pushed it into a leadpipe a bit hard, it looks virtually new. :)

HTH
 

GER

Active Member
Thanks, I've been doing that for a long time, just thought the 'steradent' method was worth a try as cleaning the bore/cup bottom is a bit of a chore. There's a company called B sharp who do polish specially for brass instruments, I use that now and it's very good, although in the past I have used Goddards silver cream and even brasso and never had a problem.
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
@GER - now you mention it, I believe I saw a comment on here from someone who'd used Bsharp's cleaners, and found them very good, too; was it @Mesmerist?
Thanks for reminding me about Bsharp; now I've got my new baritone, I'm passing my old Regent on to the band to put into their loan stock, but I'd like to give it a thorough clean first - and I think Bsharp's products should do a nice job.

Best regards,

Jack
 

GER

Active Member
You can get it online or if you're going to your local area's contests I'd be pretty certain there will be an instrument supplier stand with it for sale. I know the company Band Supplies are going to be at the yorkshire areas, they're taking some of the instrument soak for me, I would definitely recommend it
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the pointer, GER! :)

MTA - I've just had a look at B#'s video on their products, and it looks like their Instrument Soak is just what I want. Cheers!
 
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