How To Clean A Saxophone

It is very important for any musician to know how to clean a saxophone. It is especially important if you want to get a great sound from your saxophone. The upkeep of your instrument is a must because a rusty saxophone will be no use to you. A special instrument such as the soprano saxophone requires special cleaning using specific tools, whereas the standard bell shape can easily be cleaned with a saxophone cleaning kit.

To clean a saxophone, you will need:

  • Standard saxophone cleaning kit
  • Luke-warm water
  1. Clean the mouthpiece. The first step to clean a saxophone, you can do this by removing the reed as well as the ligature. Use a mouthpiece brush to get rid of any excess particles that may be lurking in the mouthpiece. Soaking the mouthpiece in lukewarm water is also a good way to get them out, you can use a lint free cloth to dry the mouthpiece and wipe away anything that may have been hiding.
  2. Swab the neck of your saxophone. This will be the next thing you want to do when you clean a saxophone by using the brush attachment included in the cleaning kit. Simply brush the larger opening of the neck from the inside out and leave the swabbing for the end.
  3. Swab the body of your saxophone. Look for the object that looks like a brush with a cloth on a long string and a weight on the other end. Put the weighted end into the bell of the saxophone and turn the saxophone upside down. Let the other weighted end fall through the body, then pull the swab through to clean a saxophone. Don't worry if you see a green residue on the swab while cleaning your saxophone, that is just a sign that there was a bit of rust inside your saxophone.
  4. Check the valve pads. Cleaning the valves can be time consuming because there are several valves to clean, when you clean a saxophone. Just make sure you go through each one and give it a thorough cleaning. Make sure each valve is carefully inspected for any wear and tear. Slide a piece of paper underneath the pad, then close the valve while slowly pulling the paper out. Don't try replacing any valve pads on your own, if they are torn take it to a professional to have it looked at.
  5. Tighten all loose screws that are found. Make sure everything it tightened but do not over torque them, you want to keep your saxophone is good condition.
  6. Swab the corks and grease your saxophone. Make sure to dry your cork screws completely, adding only small amount of cork grease where necessary.
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