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The old H2O2

989 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  adamk
My alto reed sounds fine but despite rinsing after every use it got some black (fungus?) growing on it.

Soaked it in Hydrogen Peroxide until the bubbling stopped ( about 20 min), rinsed and used my thumbnail to scrape off the gunk under running water.

90% of it came off, doesn't look brand new but way better.

I'll try it later and see if it plays the same or better.
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HP is reed juice in my book. I never 'soak' reeds in anything but I do wash them in HP. I place 4 at a time in a flat-bottom saucer and pour on enough HP to cover them. Then I scrub both sides with a child's toothbrush. I wipe off the excess and put them back in the Reed Guard. The Reed Guard and HP help me keep reeds working a long time. They actually will fool me because they play right up to the point of collapse. I have had one or two 'go down' during a set. Now I pay more attention and discard them when they begin to go soft. I think two or three four-hour gigs plus rehearsals and home practice is usually about it (I play 2 1/2s). Not bad for a $3 to $5 item.
Peroxide is interesting stuff. Toss that reed though ...
Did you say that because the reed had mildew? The HP pretty much kills it and if you use it regularly it won't happen at all. You do have to take the reed off the mouthpiece and put it in a Reed Guard every time.
Not despite washing with water but cause it stay wet for long enough to allow fungus to grow.
The same will happen if you wash with peroxide and dont let the reed dry. That is cause peroxide loses one of the oxygens very fast in the air and turns to water.
Peroxide also doesn't kill 100% all the fungus types so that black stain is more or less harmless but not 100% sure, better discard the reed.
You would never just let the reed dry after wetting with anything because it would warp and wrinkle. You put it in an ordinary Reed Guard after cleaning. Then you can play it at any time later until it gets too dry, but it dries pretty flat. Next time you can just wet it 15 minutes before needing it, put it back in the Reed Guard and it'll be ready.
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