Saxophone Forum

by tempomaster
(36 posts)
6 years ago

Saxophone Cleaning


My tenor gets swabbed and wiped down every time I finish a session.  And from time to time (not as often as I should) I take time to give it a bit more thorough cleaning.  Despite these steps it seems over time the horn gets a build up of ... residue.  It would seem to me that the only way to get the horn totally clean would be to dismantle it, clean the body and then re-assemble it.  Is this a service that a sax repair person would typically offer?  If so how much should on expect to pay for such a service? 



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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (630 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Saxophone Cleaning

    This is something I learned to do many years ago.

    I had an excellent HS instructor that showed me how to take my 1964 mark VI tenor apart and give it a bath. It is in no way necessary. But, I learned how to dismantle a saxophone properly after making a few mistakes here and there when putting it back together. I now am a knowledgeable saxophone restorer. Well, as a hobby.

    You can clean the pad grooves using Q tips and some water. This will take care of any grime buildup. Dont use anything else. Water, natural, alcohol, dry out the pad.

    If you take it to a shop, there will be something they suggest you replace once it is apart. A pad here and there, some cork and some felt maybe. Taking it apart may make the repair necessary.

    The cost should be minimal and the turn around quick.

    If not, check somewhere else. Its not rocket science when a horn is actually in good playing order in the first place.

    A secret of mine, since nobody is actually looking at this page, is use behold on the horn to give it a wonderful shine. Spray it on a rag and wipe down. SSSHH repair secret.

    Raises my sale value by 20% or more .

    Good Luck

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    1. by tempomaster
      (36 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Saxophone Cleaning

      Dear Whisperer,


      Thanks for the very excellent info!  Your response was packed full of great information. 


      All the best,



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