[Harp-L] Re: harp cleaning

I do contend that if you keep your mouth clean, there is little need to clean a harmonica with anything but warm water. If you sit up or stand up straight so gravity isn't pulling saliva inside the harmonica, and tap out the instrument when you're done like you are supposed to, you can go weeks of hard playing before it even starts to look dirty. Those things you have to take apart the harmonica to clean out is usually food, dirt stuck to oil reside (from food), and sugar and it takes hot water to dissolve sugar. Sugar is terrible, especially on chromatics, it cements the slide. 
 One thing that will make a diatonic really stiff is salt. I used to have that problem, I used to play in a blues duo, The Deadliners, we played on Roger's front porch and it was usually really hot. My posture wasn't good in those days and sweat from my face would run inside the harmonicas and the reeds would get really stiff. A good rinsing takes care of that, but it took me a while to figure out what was wrong.
Maybe we can't all brush our teeth before every set, but the least we could do is rinse our mouths with some water. When I played out, there was always food, I always ate, but I carried a little bottle of scope with me and rinsed well before playing. Maybe we can't all carry scope, but we could rinse with water and maybe pop in a stick of sugar-free gum.  

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