Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

Registered
Joined
1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone observed damage to a hard rubber mouthpiece after soaking it in a bleach solution (say 9 parts water with 1 part regular household bleach for 15 minutes)? This page is pretty clear that bleach solution is more effective than alcohol for disinfecting. Also I've read several reports of alcohol damaging hard rubber (e.g. here and here), but I haven't read any reports of damage from bleach solution.

(I know many people feel that soap and cool water clean sufficiently, and I'm aware that most mouthpiece sprays are alcohol based. I'm primarily interested in whether or not bleach can damage hard rubber.)
 

Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
43,496 Posts
Unless you have a specific reason to be phobic about a mouthpiece being infected with any particular germs or spores (in other words a mouthpiece is not a surgical instrument, these are guidelines for surgical instruments! You place it into your mouth where there is an enormous amount of germs of all kinds which will compete and win with any other germ weakened by any disinfectant or cleaner) there is absolutely no need to use bleach (which I did use for a quick rinse of a mouthpiece if I had nothing else at all and , beside the taste, there was no particular adverse effect that I remember but one HR composition is not the other one ). Alcohol is very good disinfectant but so is removing any offending deposit by use of vinegar and mechanical action (brush and soap). So unless you found this object soaked in a cesspit for several years, I wouldn't bother!

Again , I have used it to clean a Hr mouthpiece (and used it often for mouldy reeds) and observed no particular adverse reaction, but, again one hard rubber is not the other!
 

Registered
Joined
1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You place it into your mouth where there is an enormous amount of germs of all kinds ... there is absolutely no need to use bleach. ... I wouldn't bother!
Thank you for your response and for addressing your own experience with bleach. The only time I would use any sanitizer is when buying or selling a used mouthpiece. As I mentioned in the original post, I am aware that many people feel no need to use a sanitizer or prefer to use alcohol. However, I'm most interested in specific experiences with bleach rather than recommendations of alternatives.
 

Registered
Joined
1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yes, but using surgical instruments guidelines is a gigantic overkill
The only reason I referenced that source was to highlight bleach's superiority to alcohol as a sanitizer. My suggestion for sanitizing mouthpieces (see original post) was to soak for 15 minutes in a solution of 90% water and 10% household bleach. This is not a "surgical instrument guideline." It's simply a precautionary measure I would prefer to take before playing someone else's mouthpiece. I would like to know if anyone has observed damage to hard rubber from such a treatment.
 

Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
43,496 Posts
I did and it didn't. I understand that some folks have high standards and psychological reasons about being very stringent about sanitation but, if I may bring this up to you, ask yourself, if you were in a bar and at a certain point, after have becoming familiar with a boy or a girl (whatever takes your fancy) this will ask you to kiss her or him, would you ask this person to disinfect his her mouth beforehand?
 

Registered
Joined
1,149 Posts
I generally use Luke warm water with some antibacterial soap. And sometimes I'll run a clorax wipe sheet through the mouthpiece as well. Or maybe a quick spray with Lysol.

I'd never dunk my pieces in bleach......that is way over kill
 

Registered
Joined
298 Posts
Or again, using the "if you were in a bar" analogy, would you demand that your drink glass be sterilized with bleach before drinking from it? Most bar glasses take a common bath with several other bar glasses at a time, in warm soapy water, unless the bar/restaurant has a dishwasher, which will usually subject them to highter temperatures. Either method satisfies most city/county/state health departments in the U.S., AFAIK.
 

Registered
Joined
661 Posts
I'm not sure what germs are of concern, but reputable health websites would seem to show that most viruses and bacteria can't survive on a hard surface for more than a few hours, or at most a couple days. So probably they would die just during the postal journey, and a wash with soap and water after receipt would do it.
 

Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
30,104 Posts
So probably they would die just during the postal journey, and a wash with soap and water after receipt would do it.
This would be true of a relatively clean mouthpiece, but I wonder about the ones with a think layer of stinky gunk inside them, I would want to give that something more thorough than warm soapy water.

I agree with you bar analogy milandro, I most likely wouldn't ask a girl I'd met at a bar to disinfect, however if I'd got one from ebay I might think differently.
 

Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
43,496 Posts
I agree with you bar analogy milandro, I most likely wouldn't ask a girl I'd met at a bar to disinfect, however if I'd got one from ebay I might think differently.
nothing that a good clean up and a mild disinfection wouldn't take care of.........I am talking mouthpieces, I don't make a habit of hiring girls ........ :D via Ebay or otherwise
 

Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
30,104 Posts
Bleach is probably safe for the mouthpiece. Alcohol and acetone both dissolve rubber, but I don't think bleach does. Might want to swab the inside of the bore with some and see how it pans out first. If it doesn't take any black off you should be ok.
It will very likely hasten the greenifying of HR, I tested it with a similar dilution the OP suggests and it certainly makes a formerly black mouthpiece a very fetching shade of dark olive green. Whether this actually damages the mouthpiece or whether it can be returned to black I don't know.
 

Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
30,104 Posts
It will very likely hasten the greenifying of HR, I tested it with a similar dilution the OP suggests and it certainly makes a formerly black mouthpiece a very fetching shade of dark olive green. Whether this actually damages the mouthpiece or whether it can be returned to black I don't know.
I was wrong. I just checked again, after about 30 minutes. There's a definite line between black and olive green, but it's the other way round. It's actually blackened the previously greenish tinge of the mouthpiece.

Great fun. What to try next? Put it in the microwave?
 

Registered
Joined
1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was wrong. I just checked again, after about 30 minutes. There's a definite line between black and olive green, but it's the other way round. It's actually blackened the previously greenish tinge of the mouthpiece.
Thank you for actually addressing the question posed in this thread. Because HR varies from mouthpiece to mouthpiece, may I ask with which mouthpiece you tried this? Others have previously suggested bleach as a restoring agent for removing green "oxidation" from HR mouthpieces. I found this somewhat unusual, as household bleach (sodium hypochlorite solution) is an oxidizing agent.

Has anyone else had personal experience soaking a hard rubber mouthpiece in bleach solution? (This thread already contains more than enough recommendations of alternatives and references to "overkill," all of which I had tried to stave off via the last line in my original post.)
 

Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
30,104 Posts
Thank you for actually addressing the question posed in this thread. Because HR varies from mouthpiece to mouthpiece, may I ask with which mouthpiece you tried this? Others have previously suggested bleach as a restoring agent for removing green "oxidation" from HR mouthpieces. I found this somewhat unusual, as household bleach (sodium hypochlorite solution) is an oxidizing agent.
No problem, and my apologies for the (hopefully entertaining) hijack. The mouthpiece is a no name old HR that I use for experiments so I can't help with what it actually is.

It's still sitting in the glass but I put it in further with a stronger concentration. Who knows, maybe it gets better, then worse. I wouldn't try this on my beloved baritone 7 Slant though.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top