How To Clean A Saxophone
How To

How To Clean A Saxophone? A Complete Guide

How to Clean a Saxophone? A musician’s life revolves around keeping their saxophone clean. This is important for a number of reasons, including odor reduction, preventing expensive repairs, preserving the instrument’s performance for years to come, and even lowering the risk of uncommon respiratory illnesses like saxophone lung.

It is brought on by bacteria and fungus growing on or in the instrument and then entering your mouth and entering your lungs. That’s why we’ve put up this simple instruction on how to clean your saxophone to help you maintain it that way. 

How to Clean a Saxophone?

Always take care to remove your reed when disassembling your saxophone in preparation to replace it in its case. Wipe away any moisture that may have accumulated and store the reed in a humidity-controlled or reed container. This keeps your reed safe from harm and aids in removing microorganisms that may have accumulated on it after playing.

Food particles and bacteria from your hands and lips will enter your mouthpiece and grow there. Because of this, it’s a good idea to clean your mouthpiece after every usage to get rid of any condensation and food particles and bacteria. In addition, it’s advisable to clean your mouthpiece once a week with lukewarm, soapy water to keep bacteria at bay!

Purchase two saxophone swabs, if you don’t already have any: a larger one for the saxophone’s body and a smaller one for the instrument’s neck. When disassembling your saxophone after each usage, run the bigger swab through the body of the instrument after the smaller swab has been through the neck to remove any bacteria or dampness that may have accumulated during play.

It’s a good idea to use one of your swabs to swiftly and conveniently wipe off the exterior of your saxophone after you’ve finished swabbing it. This little step ensures that the exterior remains as spotless as the interior!

Clean sticky pads by sandwiching a piece of paper between the pad and the instrument, pushing the pad down onto the paper, and carefully removing the paper. You can use standard paper or specially made pad cleaning paper for this purpose. If necessary, repeat this two or three more times until the pad loses its stickiness.

Regular polishing will preserve the best possible appearance on your saxophone for many years to come. Use a gentle microfiber polishing cloth once a week to gently wipe your saxophone’s body and neck. However, exercise caution when handling chemicals on your saxophone and avoid using silver polish if your instrument is made of silver! 

See also: How To Make Microphone Sound Better?

Daily Care and Maintenance Tips:

Here are some additional tips that are equally as necessary as washing the sax down and removing the moisture!

  • Make sure you rotate at least two reeds. You won’t need them as frequently!
  • When removing the saxophone and putting it back in its case, use two hands.
  • Before you play, especially after consuming any sugary food, brush your teeth. It may seem absurd, but saliva and sugar combine to make the moisture that builds up on the pads sticky.
  • Tone hole cleaning can be used to remove any debris that has accumulated at the octave key tone hole. In the event that cleaner is not on hand, a cotton swab can be used instead. 
  • Constantly hold the sax with one hand. The strap serves only as a support for your instrument when you perform. If it breaks while you’re playing, there will be a significant dent and a high repair bill.
  • The mouthpiece should never be kept on the neck!
  • Don’t close the case right away after reinstalling it because some moisture may remain even though the swabs will conduct the most of the work. Rather, leave it exposed for a short while to allow it to dry naturally.


Your saxophone should remain in excellent shape and you will have many enjoyable hours playing it if you maintain a regular and meticulous cleaning schedule. It’s always a good idea to get saxophone insurance if you want to make sure your instrument is fully protected, especially if you carry it to gigs. Additionally, you should always send your saxophone to a professional for thorough service if a cleaning doesn’t resolve the problem.

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