Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Shanta Roy
Got a filthy saxophone? Excellent! I mean, anything that exists will get dusty or stained by the passage of time.
And, the right process for cleaning a particular thing is critical!
Considering that you got a filthy saxophone, and you want to how to clean it. Thus, we have this article about how to clean a saxophone properly.
And, we are glad that you are here to take help from us!
Note that it’s not just simply about cleaning. You must know the complete details to ensure the correct cleaning process.
Buckle up! It’s going to be an in-depth discussion. Now that it’s in the best interest of your precious instrument.
Go over the discussion carefully.
Supplies You Must Collect
- Spring hook
- Number 1 screwdriver
- Paper towel
- Flared jaw pliers: DO NOT use regular household pliers! Why? Find out about it in Step 1.
- Dish soap
- Soft bristles bottle cleaning brush
- Paper napkin
- Cotton fabric
- Saxophone lubricant
- Pipe cleaner
You can start from anywhere you like. For the sack of this step-by-step guide, let’s start from the upper side of the saxophone. Then, we will gradually go down.
You need to take out the hinges that are holding the key with the rods. Now, go to the palm keys. With the screwdriver, take out the loosen the hinges.
You can take out the hinge with your fingers if your can. But it might not come out easily with the finger all the time. Hence, we suggested the flared jaw pliers.
The regular pliers won’t provide any effective assistance to take out the hinges from the rods. The spiky head will slide from the smooth surface of the hinges. In contrast to that, with the help of flared jaw pliers, the hinges will come out without slipping.
While taking out the hinges, you must utilize a paper towel. First of all, the hinges for all the joints are not the same.
To avoid confusion, place the hinges serially. Also, number the hinges. You use a pen for that. You can simply the numbers on the paper towel and place the hinges before it.
Once you are done taking out a couple of hinges from the top of the saxophone, you will notice there are springs under the keys.
You need to be very careful with the spring. As they are sharp and pointy, you can prick up yourself anytime!
Now that you are aware of the danger, you have to take up the spring. You need to use the spring hook to do that.
You will see that some resistance is holding their heads. What you need to do is take out the heads of the spring from that resistance.
After taking up the spring, you can proceed further with taking out the hinges. Once again, use the screwdriver and pliers we suggested.
We have guided you to take the hinges from the top keys. Now, you can handle the keys in the middle. Then, gradually go down. Note that the hinges will be longer in some sections of the keys.
If any of the hinges feel stuck, you might have to take the instrument to an adept technician. However, they are usually well-lubricated.
After you take out the hinges, you need to handle the pivot screws. Use the screwdriver to take them out.
If a pivot screw is to be out from the rod, it will out in a snap! If it feels stuck, do check its connection to other screws.
Anyway, when you are done taking out the pivot screws, try to take out the keys. They will come off the mechanism effortlessly.
It’s time to clean! You need a bowl of normal-temperature water to submerge the saxophone half. Or, you make use of a wide sink in your house.
Please don’t have hot water. It will damage the protective coating of the instrument.
Once the bowl or sink is half, dip the saxophone and use a little dishwashing soap. Next, use a soft brush to clean the dried moisture and dust.
A saxophone will mainly have dried stains of sweat, the moisture of your breath, and might be some must. The gentle touch of the soft brush and soap water will clean those quickly.
The dirtiest spot of a saxophone is usually the tone hole area’ concentrate on that part. Besides, use the brush thoroughly and carefully.
You can make use of your finger to clean some out areas if you would like. Moreover, cleaning the bow area will require your fingers.
When the cleaning with water is done, dry it off with some paper napkin. If you don’t clean the water from the surface, there will be watermarks on the exquisite surface of your saxophone.
After you are done drying up the body, you need to drip-dry the rest of the body. Leave it around an airy space. It should not take more than 1 hour to get dry completely.
The key could be dirty too. Mix a little soap in the water and dampen a cotton fabric. With that, you can clean the keypads. And the mixture is enough to clean the pads.
You need to clean the hinge rods with plain water. Also, make sure you clean the key rods with some pipe cleaner.
Finally, you have to clean the spring needles. Use the spring hook to do that. Then, apply some saxophone lubricant to them.
All the cleaning the done. Now you need to put everything together.
On A Final Note
The right cleaning process can only be performed when you know the relative details. With regard to that, the design of the saxophone is way more complicated in comparison to a flute.
Furthermore, cleaning a saxophone is usually not recommended by experts. It’s because of its’ elaborate design. What’s more, a tiny mistake can ruin it all! At least that’s the way experts see it.
Anyway, with this guide, you can clean your saxophone without any worry about making mistakes.