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Hydrogen Peroxide

2184 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  saxymanzach
It was discussed here years ago, but in case you missed it, regular drugstore hydrogen peroxide is the closest thing to 'reed juice' you'll ever find. I highly recommend keeping your reeds in a LaVoz Reedguard, but sometimes they will need cleaning. Pour out some hydrogen peroxide in a little medicine cup or something, take a soft toothbrush, wet it with the stuff and carefully scrub the entire reed. Wipe it off with a paper towel. The Reedguard should be cleaned (rinsed) with it too before the damp reeds are put back in. If you ever put a reed on that has a smell or looks dirty, don't throw it away if it's still playing - wash it! The stuff is 97% distilled water with 3% hydrogen peroxide - it kills germs, mildew, algae or anything else like that plus cleans the dirt, saliva, sugars, whatever off and out of the reed. Nothing better! BTW, the stuff is used as a mouthwash, so it's pretty safe as long as you don't guzzle it down. Also it doesn't make a good mixer!:D
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Frankly, there are better products on the market these days for storing reeds. I've found the Pro-Tec and Selmer reed cases (to name just 2) to be much better than the LaVoz Reed Guard for keeping reeds flat, protecting the tip, and not having problems with mold. Back in the day when I used LaVoz reed guards I often pulled out a reed and found it warped. Also problems with mold! I haven't had a single warped or moldy reed since I starting using a reed case. Normally, simply rinsing off a reed in running water after a gig or practice, drying it, and then putting it in a reed case works perfectly fine.
About hydrogen peroxide - I once used it to clean up some reeds, forgot and left one in the stuff overnight. Next day the reed was mush. So it seems like it isn't good to leave a reed in the peroxide for an extended period. I have noted posts indicating that some folks leave their reeds in vodka, etc. indefinitely so perhaps alcohol has less of a detrimental effect on reed material.
Do not put your reeds in just Hydrogen peroxide. That will ruin them. Instead, use water with a with a small amount a hydrogen peroxide. I keep my clarinet reeds in a pill bottle in this solution. It keeps them nice between longer playing periods (by that I mean a few days).
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