Instruments can make sweet music, but can also be home to filthy germs, bacteria and stains that can damage equipment and spread disease. If you want to keep your instruments sounding sharp and avoid picking up any nasty bugs when playing then take a ‘minuet’ to read our cleaning tips:
Pianos can quickly become filthy places, especially if you are not good with the hand wash. Before sitting down to play you should always give your hands a proper wash. The reason for this is simple - your hands bring grease, dirt and germs to the keys, which can hang around and cause illness. No one wants to go and see an ill pianist. In worse cases the presence of dirt and bacteria can actually harm the sound of your piano.
Guitars are made out of wood, and wood absorbs. This means that guitars that are allowed to fester with bacteria can start to corrode and it often becomes that the guitar is so damaged it will no longer function. Clean your guitar by wiping down your strings with a soft cloth after use, as the oils and sweat from your fingers can damage them. This can cause the strings to lose their tone. It is very important that you do not use this cloth on the rest of your guitar, as the cloth can pick up microscopic traces of metal which could cause scratches on the wood.
For the rest of the instrument use a guitar polish or wax. If you are worried about damaging your guitar during cleaning many music stores offer cleaning services.
A drum kit is probably the most complex of the instruments to clean because it consists of so many different materials, including kevlar, metal, wood. Sweat, dust, liquids and stains are all things that your drums are subject to every time you pick up a pair of drumsticks. If you are not good at maintaining the drums, there’s a good chance that the kit might deteriorate and break over time. A good microfiber cloth can go a long way, so have one handy when you’re maintaining your kit.
Flutes, Clarinets and Saxophones
These three instruments are different, but the same premise applies when cleaning them all. Remember to swab each section of your flute, clarinet or saxophone after playing. As you put your instrument in the case, carefully wipe off the outside of it to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands.
Flutes also often come with a small metal rod that is used for cleaning. Wrap a small strip of cloth around the cleaning rod making sure that the end of the rod is completely covered when cleaning. The end of the head joint and the middle joint should be wiped free of dirt with a cloth.
These three instruments can develop a thing called a sticky pad. This is inside the instrument caused by moisture and dirt. To clean these pads place a piece of strong paper under the pad, close the key and pull the paper through. To avoid these pads happening don’t eat or chew gum before playing.
It is important to never immerse a flute, clarinet or saxophone in water as the pads and the glue that holds them will be damaged and you can then require expensive repair work!
Whatever you do when you clean instruments and equipment, always read about what materials the product you use is suitable for. Some Instruments are more sensitive than others, so make sure you get to know the instruments and how to maintain it to avoid it breaking.
What instruments do you play and how do you clean them? Tell us on twitter! @WeLoveWipes