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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to do a re pad, but as I look at the pads, most of them look salvageable. Some water marks/stains, a little crusty dirt, but...thought I'd try to clean 'em.
Maybe there is a cleaner that would rejuvenate them. Any suggestions, or should I re pad?
Thanks!
 

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I'm about to do a re pad, but as I look at the pads, most of them look salvageable. Some water marks/stains, a little crusty dirt, but...thought I'd try to clean 'em.
Maybe there is a cleaner that would rejuvenate them. Any suggestions, or should I re pad?
Thanks!
Neats foot oil will soften. Cleaning will cut pads if too bad to use. But if any problems, better to replace. IMHO

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I have good success on saxophone pads with Dr's Pad Cleaner. Dr. Omar Henderson has a phd in chemistry and is also an accomplished clarinetist. I have found that all of the products he offers on his website work exactly as described. My technique is to liberally apply the solution to the surface of the pad using a Q-Tip and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I gently rub the surface with the Q-tip followed by a "rinse" with another Q-tip soaked in distilled water. The pad is then blotted dry using a square cut from a paper towel. Some inorganic "crud" that gets on pad surfaces has to be removed with naptha (lighter fluid), but the Pad Cleaner works for everything else. I do not subscribe to putting oily products of any type on saxophone pads. Cleaning the leather and restoring it as close as possible to its original condition and cleaning and polishing the toneholes works for me.
 

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I have good success on saxophone pads with Dr's Pad Cleaner. Dr. Omar Henderson has a phd in chemistry and is also an accomplished clarinetist. I have found that all of the products he offers on his website work exactly as described. My technique is to liberally apply the solution to the surface of the pad using a Q-Tip and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I gently rub the surface with the Q-tip followed by a "rinse" with another Q-tip soaked in distilled water. The pad is then blotted dry using a square cut from a paper towel. Some inorganic "crud" that gets on pad surfaces has to be removed with naptha (lighter fluid), but the Pad Cleaner works for everything else. I do not subscribe to putting oily products of any type on saxophone pads. Cleaning the leather and restoring it as close as possible to its original condition and cleaning and polishing the toneholes works for me.
Use very very little nfo

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Lemon oil that neatsfoot stuff is too thick and sticky Emilio Lyons showed me this years ago! It will penetrate and is very very light!
 

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Hydrogen peroxide is cheap, useful for other household purposes, and pretty effective on normal levels of pad scum. It doesn't have any direct "reconditioning" function, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. people! I knew I could get some info from SOTW. I'm trying the lighter fluid and then lemon oil. I will report back with results. (working on my old Bundy One which I had delacquered-water/glass bead).
 

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+ 1 for lighter fluid (naptha). That's all I ever use.

I definitely wouldn't use household hydrogen peroxide (which is mainly water) or anything else that is water based.

In my experience, oils can work short term, but end up collecting dust and lint and thus tend to exacerbate the problem in the long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Naptha works well. I'm looking for a "reviver": something that will soften the old pads so I can re-seat them.
 

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Naptha works well. I'm looking for a "reviver": something that will soften the old pads so I can re-seat them.
You may be able to 'revive' the leather portion of the pad, but... good luck with the wool felt under it. Once it's 'dried out' and compressed, those old ring dents from the tone holes will still be there. Old felt generally does not fluff back up.
Pads are not sweaters that you can hand wash/dry flat and have everything be good as new. 😉
 

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There is something else that I think needs to be considered. Modern pads have a "waterproofing" of some type that older pads did not. An easy way to tell is to put a drop of water on the pad. If it produces a darker "wet spot" it is untreated leather. If the water "beads" it means the pad has been treated. The question I have about applying a product such as lemon oil is will it permeate through the waterproofing and get to the raw leather to soften it, or will it just stay on the surface as an oily film? I plan to get some lemon oil and perform this test myself. The photo below shows a new pad and one that has been cleaned using naptha. Notice how the cleaned pad on the right still retains its waterproofing.

View attachment 228210
 

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You may be able to 'revive' the leather portion of the pad, but... good luck with the wool felt under it. Once it's 'dried out' and compressed, those old ring dents from the tone holes will still be there. Old felt generally does not fluff back up.
Pads are not sweaters that you can hand wash/dry flat and have everything be good as new. 😉
Yup. These solutions are topical....therefore they can access only the exposed areas, which would be the leather, not the felt. Naptha is good for cleaning off most crud, and it evaporates very quickly thus usually not leaving any stains or residuals. But even if a cleaning agent could get thru the porous leather and into the felts...what exactly would that do as far as a benefit ?

Sandy, I think you are wondering if there's a product which can be used on old pads to make them respond as new pads would during installation/floating/seating ???

If I understand you correctly....you have existing pads, with existing seats in 'em, which seem pretty good but are just grungy. IMHO, clean 'em with naptha, then install the keys again, find the leaks, and attend to the leaks via some key bending and keycup heating (refloating with the existing glue/shellac) if you can.

If some don't respond, either: 1) replace those pads completely or 2) remove those pads (mark 'em for proper orientation in cup), clean out the keycups, and apply some new shellac/glue in cups; re-install the pads, and try refloating 'em with the new shellac as the substrate. Keep in mind 2) may or may not work out....sometimes it does, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You may be able to 'revive' the leather portion of the pad, but... good luck with the wool felt under it. Once it's 'dried out' and compressed, those old ring dents from the tone holes will still be there. Old felt generally does not fluff back up.
Pads are not sweaters that you can hand wash/dry flat and have everything be good as new. 😉
Well, it looks like I don't need to venture out to buy some lemon oil. (I won't have to deal with snow, either!). Never thought about below the leather. Thanks bandmommy. I'll try JayeLID's suggestion.
Thanks, all!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have good success on saxophone pads with Dr's Pad Cleaner. Dr. Omar Henderson has a phd in chemistry and is also an accomplished clarinetist. I have found that all of the products he offers on his website work exactly as described. My technique is to liberally apply the solution to the surface of the pad using a Q-Tip and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I gently rub the surface with the Q-tip followed by a "rinse" with another Q-tip soaked in distilled water. The pad is then blotted dry using a square cut from a paper towel. Some inorganic "crud" that gets on pad surfaces has to be removed with naptha (lighter fluid), but the Pad Cleaner works for everything else. I do not subscribe to putting oily products of any type on saxophone pads. Cleaning the leather and restoring it as close as possible to its original condition and cleaning and polishing the toneholes works for me.
I checked out Dr.'s Pad Cleaner on the net. I didn't want to get more involved with passwords etc. Maybe later.
Thanks for your suggestions, saxoclese. For now, I'll go the simple route, as you say in your last post.
 

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If the pads are hard, shrunk in the cup at all, or the leather is damaged, then its probably time to replace them. To just clean build up from the surface, I would use water to start and then Naphtha. If it needs more, then it is time to replace them. Yo may get them working for awhile with some kind of oil or rejuvenating substance, but is likely to be more of a band-aid than proper repair. The leather is only the surface of the pad structure. Kind of like putting a new coat of paint on rotting wood, or rusted metal, its still messed up underneath.
 

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Lighter fluid. That's all I ever use.
Same here: squeeze a few drops of lighter fluid on a soft cloth strip, open a key that is closed at rest, such as G#, insert the cloth between the pad and the key hole, let the key close, rub the strip back and forth a few times. Make sure you rub along the key arm, not across, to minimize key displacement over time.
 

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Isopropyl alcohol is what I use for cleaning pads, if the pad breaks down whilst being wiped it needed to be changed IMO, if the pad is multi coloured shades of brown, then I recommend changing it anyway as its likely to have no waterproofing applied and the leather is now spit ingested and will be prone to hard spots in the leather.

Steve
 

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IPA will damage some pad finishes. literally dissolve them, ask me how I know. Lighter fluid=naphtha Good stuff, but water first is a good idea as it will break down some substances that naphtha won't. Think about how that nasty gook was deposited, makes sense that water will break it down. Then follow with naphtha if sticky.
 

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I have tried to clean the remaining shellac that has oozed out from the sides of a Music Medic Tan pad using alcohol and while it dissolves the shellac it also acts as a solvent removing the pad's coloring dye. For this reason I use it only when I have to and on small areas. Naptha does not have that effect.
 
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