[Harp-L] Re: Basics of harp cleaning

 Hi Al:

I must confess that for quick cleanings without taking the harp apart and to get any visible debris out of the holes, mouthpiece, or that's on the cover plates where they meet the holes, I sometimes use and keep a good supply of "LINT FREE" cotton swabs, (not q tips) on hand.   I get these at an electronics store.  Either hot water or 91 % Isopropyl helps.  They don't leave any fibers and have a lot of other uses.  I don't cram them deep in the slot in case I might damage the reed, just closer to the surface.

For deeper cleanings after longer use, the other suggestions here are good ones.  

I learned some years ago at club and pub sessions, that while Guinness may be "good for you", its really not that good for a harmonica.

Burke T. 

Hello Harp Lovers,

Did some research/reading but still need basics.
My harp seems to get a film inside the square holes. So I try to
gently scrape (ouch) them out. I always rinse before playing. I always
whack the moisture out when done.

1. What tools do you use = Qtips, Qtip wooden stick, etc??
2. Materials = water, Windex ?????
3. At what point do you disassemble for cleaning purposes?


> For god's sakes don't use Q tips. You'll regret it (although I'm sure somebody 
uses them) and I'd be nervous about fibers on the stick, too. Reeds don't like 
it when those cotton fibers get stuck in the slot. Just rinse it out, tap it and 
out and you're done. You shouldn't be playing with a dirty mouth anyway, so all 
the gunk will be saliva. Saliva dissolves easy. Just rinse it out, tap it out, 
air dry. 

> www.elkriverharmonicas.com 
 Agree about using anything fibrous. If you're determined to stroke the reeds 
with anything, stroke from the rivet end only. Over the years (and this is 
passing on my honest experience, not advice), I've found that washing out my 
harps after every long pub session, using a goodly stream of warm, not hot, 
water, followed by a good shaking and tapping out, keeps my harps sounding 
bright and responsive and does not shorten their lives at all. I do let them dry 
out overnight before putting them away. I do this with any harp that is all 
plastic and metal but never with any harp containing valves. I even do it to 
Hohner MS harps with wood combs, which don't swell. I do not do it to old-style 
Hohners with that swelling pearwood, and I once destroyed the comb of an Echo 
with just one quick wash. :-(  I don't play chroms much, and I only get inside 
them if a reed or valve is hassling me. I clean the slide by holding the beast 
mouthpiece-down in shallow hot water and working the slide back and forth. I 
keep the harp that way up until it's had a good shake-out. I never lubricate the 
slide and I never have sticky slide problems. Doing what I do, I rarely get that 
horrid crud build-up in the mouthpiece holes. Agreed also about playing with a 
clean mouth, though I tend to regard a beery mouth as a clean mouth... 		 	   		  

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.