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I have a HR Berg that's almost 30 years old, and based on vintage mouthpieces out there, they can last a lot longer. I think it's better if they dont get exposed to a lot of sunlight as well...that contributes fast to the common discoloration you'll see with some older mouthpieces (as long as the material is still solid, they sound fine discolored or not).
 

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Longer than you.
 

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... Once cleaned by rinsing it in not hot water, rub it with a drop of oil once a month. It will look at its best.
I had never heard water was an issue until a two days ago, when I ran across this on the FAQ page of renown mouthpiece maker Rafael Navarro:

What is the best way to take care of hard rubber mouthpieces?

Let me begin with what I would never do or use to clean a mouthpiece:

a) Never use water
b) Never heat the mouthpiece in boiled water
c) Never put a mouthpiece in a microwave or dishwasher. (Yes, I’ve seen this…)

Water removes the outer seal protection created by the buffing process. When removing this protection, the sulfur content of the piece is uncovered. From that point on is only a matter of time until the piece will dull and turn brownish. Once the sulfur is exposed, it will also leave an awful taste in your mouth.

What I recommend: Mineral oil, olive oil, or cooking oil will help you clean your mouthpiece without affecting the finish of the rubber.​

Those of you who know Rafael also know that he has earned high respect as a mouthpiece artisan. That said, I've been rinsing my hard rubber mouthpieces in warm water for years and occasionally wash them in mild soap and water too. I never noticed any issue, but after reading Rafael's FAQ, it occurred to me that maybe they get a bit dull. Ironically, I was thinking about pulling the trigger on one of his gorgeous marbled rubber pieces at the time ...




If I do order one, you can bet I will follow Rafael's and stedan's advice and use the mineral oil! Owning a mouthpiece like that and not caring for it would be like owning a Lamborghini and never waxing it.
 

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I have a 35 year old Meyer 6M for tenor,,,, played it until last december ...still playable , with a patch ...has a HUGE gouge in the beak from 34 years of playing without a patch ...
 

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Which model?
Uh, let me think ...





Both!!!


... but probably the Bahia first. Why do you ask? (Feel free to PM me, so as not to hijack the thread.)
 

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I've been rinsing mine in the same mouthwash/water solution I soak my reeds in--there's ethanol in the mouthwash, but as far as I can tell it doesn't affect the finish or the color of the mouthpieces. If someone knows otherwise, I would like to hear it.
 

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Buy a Polycarbonate Legend from SR Tech they are made of bullet proof material, also great MPs.
 

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What I recommend: Mineral oil, olive oil, or cooking oil will help you clean your mouthpiece without affecting the finish of the rubber.[/INDENT][/INDENT][/FONT]


If I do order one, you can bet I will follow Rafael's and stedan's advice and use the mineral oil! Owning a mouthpiece like that and not caring for it would be like owning a Lamborghini and never waxing it.
If there is one thing i wouldn't use, it is mineral oil, especially if you take it in your mouth later. Still it is not completely clear whether it is carcinogenic to humans or not and you find very different informations about mineral oil in the web. If you want to be on the safe side you maybe shouldn't use it.
 

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Avoiding using water on hard rubber seems silly to me. You do have some in your saliva.
Yes, that occurred to me too. I wouldn't stop rinsing them in water, but I would wipe them once a month with a drop of mineral oil. Perhaps that is silly too, but I would do it.
 

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If there is one thing i wouldn't use, it is mineral oil, especially if you take it in your mouth later. Still it is not completely clear whether it is carcinogenic to humans or not and you find very different informations about mineral oil in the web. If you want to be on the safe side you maybe shouldn't use it.
Thanks for bringing this up. "Mineral Oil" covers a broad range of formulations (see here), and you are right that some mineral oil products may be harmful - but not all of them I think. In the US at least, there is a of category food grade mineral oils like this one for sale on Amazon ...



The one shown "...Exceeds US FDA regulations for direct and indirect contact with food..." I would not worry about 12 drops per year on the mpc, some small fraction of which winds up in the mouth. (Many homes and restaurants use these products.)



EDIT: Another product is Lamson and Goodnow Food Safe Mineral Oil, also available on Amazon.

 

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Avoiding using water on hard rubber seems silly to me. You do have some in your saliva.
+1

Of course everyone has opinions about this sort of thing, so here's mine:

I have some HR mouthpieces that are 60 to 70 years old. The discoloring of an HR mouthpiece is a natural oxidation process for vulcanized rubber where the sulfur "blooms" to the surface over time. As far as I can tell, this does not effect playing in any way. The process is accelerated by exposure to heat and light. A mouthpiece stored in a hot attic or on display in a pawnshop window will oxidize much faster than one stored in your case at room temperature. I have sent oxidized pieces to be refaced and they have been returned looking shiny and new after a mild buffing. I wash them regularly with mild dish soap and cold water and they remain shiny and new looking for years. I don't think oil will remove the organic gunk that you deposit in the mouthpiece when you use it. In fact, vegetable oil might provide a nice medium for things to grow or may go rancid over time. If i were to use oil, I'd probably use a white USP Mineral Oil (eg. Baby Oil) which will not go rancid and is tastless and odorless. Bottom line, I think a well cared for HR mouthpiece will outlast the player,
 

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If there is one thing i wouldn't use, it is mineral oil, especially if you take it in your mouth later. Still it is not completely clear whether it is carcinogenic to humans or not and you find very different informations about mineral oil in the web. If you want to be on the safe side you maybe shouldn't use it.
White USP Mineral Oil has been used for decades and continues to be used in cosmetics and most commonly as "Baby Oil" . It is used extensively in the food industry as a lubricant and release agent and is approved for direct contact with food. It is derived from petroleum as is Petrolatum USP (eg. Vaseline), is tasteless and odorless. It is present in numerous creams and lotions applied to the skin and is safe to ingest. There is no proven indication that it is a carcinogen.

It is available at any drug and most grocery chains in the U. S.
 

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White USP Mineral Oil has been used for decades and continues to be used in cosmetics and most commonly as "Baby Oil" . It is used extensively in the food industry as a lubricant and release agent and is approved for direct contact with food. It is derived from petroleum as is Petrolatum USP (eg. Vaseline), is tasteless and odorless. It is present in numerous creams and lotions applied to the skin and is safe to ingest. There is no proven indication that it is a carcinogen.

It is available at any drug and most grocery chains in the U. S.
There is a discussion about whether it is harmless or not for years now. Natural cosmetics are therefore not using mineral oil. Mineral oil is known to accumulate in the body fat and mother's milk. It is used very often because it is very cheap. Its toxicity depends on the mixture. There are research results that say it is not toxic and there are some that say it is toxic to your organs. In Germany there is a plan to prohibit mineral oil in printer'S ink. Only because the industry still uses it in cosmetics it doesn't make it a harmless product. Everybody will have to know for himself if he thinks it would be a good idea to use it on something he will put in his mouth. If I would have to use oil, i would prefer olive oil, but that is me.
 

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If you are a "biter" (someone who bites hard on the mouthpiece), and you do not use a mouthpiece patch, you will build gouges where your top teeth hit the mouthpiece (ask me how I know this).

I played for over 30 years before I started using a mouthpiece patch. My personal experience has been that since I started using a patch, I don't have to bite as hard, because part of the reason I had been biting was to keep my upper teeth (and thus my mouth) at a certain location on the mouthpiece. Not biting as hard is usually better for the quality of your sound, even if you do not care about putting teeth marks on your mouthpiece.
 
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