Whether you need to sanitize your instrument or if you just haven’t cleaned it in a while, this is a fun and easy task and something musicians should be doing from time to time anyway! First and foremost, the best way to avoid contamination is of course not to share you instrument or mouthpiece!
Woodwind mouthpieces are typically made from hard rubber, metal with plating, and plastic. Brass mouthpieces are made from metal with plating or plastic.
You’ll need: mouthpiece, a small brush or old toothbrush, cotton swabs, a bowl, dish soap, such as Dawn
clean, soft towel or Microfiber Cloth
Optional: Sterisol Disinfectant
1. Fill the bowl with cool water and add some dish soap. You can start cleaning right away, or if your mouthpiece is particularly gunky (how long has it really been?!) then you may want to soak it for an hour or two.
Tip: DO NOT use warm or hot water on a hard rubber mouthpiece.
2. Using the small brush or toothbrush, gently scrub the entire mouthpiece inside and out, paying special attention to any deposits and buildups. Anything you can’t reach with the brush, clean with cotton swabs. With brass mouthpieces, don’t put anything hard through the mouthpiece that could damage the shank.
3. Rinse with cool water and dry with a soft towel or a microfiber cloth.
4. For optional extra clean, you can use Sterisol Disinfectant on mouthpieces and can also wipe down the instrument with a small amount of Sterisol sprayed on a microfiber cloth. You can wipe metal mouthpieces down with alcohol (DO NOT USE ON HARD RUBBER!)
5. For flute head joints, you can wipe down the lip plate and in and around the embouchure hole with alcohol on a cotton swab.
**Bonus clean** remove everything from your case, and using the attachment on your vacuum, vacuum out the inside of your case and throw away broken reeds, etc. If you have a hard case, you can wipe down the outside with Pledge or other types of spray furniture polish.