Saxophone care and maintenance

Cleaning Instructions update March 2020

We recommend washing your hands before and after playing or cleaning your instrument

The mouthpiece may be cleaned using dish detergent in warm (not hot!) water and a mouthpiece brush to remove deposits. You may also choose to use a multi-surface spray-on cleaner that contains bleach to disinfect after cleaning. Allow the product to remain on the mouthpiece for the amount of time required for sanitization as per the instructions on the bottle. Following disinfection, be sure to rinse with luke warm water, wash with dish detergent, then rinse again with fresh water and allow to let air dry.

Your child should NEVER share their mouthpiece with anyone without disinfecting before and after. Used reeds should not be shared with others because it is very difficult to disinfect them thoroughly.

The reed should always be removed from your mouthpiece after playing and stored in a reed holder. If desired, you may clean your reed with a food safe detergent and water prior to storage. Never use bleach or non-food safe cleaners on your reeds. Allowing your reed to completely dry between uses by rotating up to four reeds at a time will naturally keep them cleaner and prolong their useful life.

While playing, the inside of the sax collects condensation from warm moist air blown into it. This moisture should be removed after each use to prevent damage and keep the instrument clean. To clean the body, remove the mouthpiece and neck, drop the weighted end of your swab into the bell, and turn the instrument upside down to allow the cord to fall out the narrow end. Pull the swab gently through, then repeat.

You may use a lint free cloth to clean the outside of your instrument. Occasionally you can also choose to use a disinfecting wipe or cloth that has been lightly sprayed with disinfecting spray. To prevent damage, NEVER spray directly on the instrument. CAUTION: Avoid use of any caustic or abrasive products, or undiluted alcohol or undiluted bleach.

After cleaning your instrument, wash your cleaning cloth/swab with warm soapy water, rinse and let air dry.

We recommend your instrument be thoroughly cleaned, lubricated and adjusted annually by a qualified repair technician. Early summer is a great time to do this. Annual maintenance will keep your instrument in optimal playing condition for years to come.

All the tools you need to clean your instrument can be found in the EASYCARE Care Kit.

Other tips:

Assembly of your saxophone requires patience and care to avoid damage to the keys. Your music teacher will show you how to assemble your saxophone. Additionally you can view the Get Started and Assemble Your Saxophone video, which all covers all the fundamentals of saxophone assembly.

When not using your instrument, keep it in its case to help protect it and prevent possible damage. Never store lesson books or other large items in the case as the added pressure on the keys could bend them. Do not expose your instrument to extremes in temperature or store in direct sun light or near heat sources. Avoid getting it wet.


Oklahoma State Department of Health:

National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians: