Cleaning and Disinfecting Band Instruments

cleaning woodwind
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Cleaning and Disinfecting Band Instruments

A clean instrument is a happy instrument. Cleaning and disinfecting band instruments shared among students helps maintain a happy, healthy band class.

Woodwinds

As far as general disinfection of band instruments, woodwind instruments use pads which make them more difficult to clean than brass instruments. The pads absorb and hold moisture, which presents the possibility of containing a virus (if a student were to have it) for quite some time without proper cleaning procedure.

Ideally to eliminate the risk, you would disassemble and chemically clean the instrument, ensuring pads are effectively cleaned with alcohol, and the body of the instrument thoroughly sanitized. This is the only way to guarantee there will be no transmission of virus from student to student.

Concerning shared horns (if two students were to share something like a bari sax between bands), the most effective way to minimize the risk of spreading germs would be to mist the instrument with isopropyl alcohol, especially making sure to wipe any “touch” surfaces (pearls, palm keys, pinky tables, etc), and swabbing the inside with an alcohol soaked swab, ensuring all pads are coated. The alcohol must air dry to ensure pads are  sanitized.


Brasswinds cleaning band instruments

Brass instruments are easier to clean than woodwinds, since there are minimal moisture absorbing items on brass instruments. As with woodwinds, chemically cleaning brass instruments is the only way to 100% guarantee any virus will be eliminated. Wiping down the outside of the instrument with alcohol between players, and using a “spit ball” (alcohol soaked foam ball) through the horn will help keep it sanitized.

A good thing to note is that brass water keys (spit valves) should not be emptied on the floor. Water keys should be emptied in receptacles as a hygienic preventative measure.

Professional Cleaning

Wind instruments can be effectively cleaned and sanitized to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. A clean instrument is a happy instrument, and we are happy to clean your instruments.

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