How To Clean Saxophone Mouthpiece Easily!

Do you like to play saxophone? ​The magical sounds of saxophone can make everyone to fall in love with music.


​So, you should take care of your saxophone very well. Clean it from time to time. One of the essential parts of a saxophone is its mouthpiece.

The mouth can be full of germs and dirt. So, playing an unclean mouthpiece is a dirty business.

The mouthpiece can house all kinds of dirt materials without proper cleaning.

With a little time spent to clean the mouthpiece makes your saxophone sound perfect for years.

Cleaning Process Of Saxophone Mouthpiece

When you have a proper guidance, cleaning the mouthpiece is not so difficult.

In this primer, we’ve discussed about ​cleaning a saxophone mouthpiece step by step. ​

#Step 1

At first, disassemble the parts of the saxophone. Loosen the ligament, remove mouthpiece, the reed and neck. 

These pieces often come in contact with your mouth.

So, you have to clean them on a regular basis. Start cleaning with the reed first. The reed produces sound from vibration.

It’s easily sensitive to heat, pressure, and bacteria from your saliva. So, wipe off the reed with a dry and clean towel or swab.

#Step 2

Now deep clean the reed. When you wipe the reed, it only removes the moisture. To clean the germs, you should deep clean it.

For this, soak the reed in warm water with vinegar for 30 minutes. Then, rinse it with hot water.

After that, dry the reed in open air. Store the dry reed in your saxophone’s case.

#Step 3

After cleaning the reed, move on to clean the main mouthpiece.

Treat it regularly. Clean it once in a week or month.

The saliva from your mouth builds up limescale in the mouthpiece. It affects the sound. Treat the limescale applying a weak acid.

#Step 4

Use soap and water to wash the mouthpiece. Don’t use hot water and detergents as they can damage the mouthpiece.

Then, brush away the limescale. You can do it using a small toothbrush.

​There are many cleaning kit available in the market. You can use them too.

There are also available specialized swabs to remove the bacteria and saliva.

But, it is better to deep clean it.

#Step 5

Now soak the mouthpiece in a sterol germicide. Then dry it to prevent reintroducing dampness.

When the mouthpiece dries, store it the case of your saxophone.

#Step 6

Clean the neck from saliva and other build ups. Run the swab through the neck. Also, remove the limescale from the neck.

#Step 7

Finally, sterilize the neck. It is not mandatory, but it’s good to do. The soap and water remove the bacteria well.

If there are any leftovers, sterilizing ensures to remove them completely.

For this, you can apply vinegar and keep it for a few minutes.

Finally, rinse out the vinegar with warm water. Dry the neck properly and store it in saxophone case.

Tips & Tricks

  • Soak the reed at least once a week. Use two cups of vinegar and three cups of warm water. Soak it for 30-40 minutes. Then, rinse it with lukewarm water and remove the vinegar.
  • ​To clean the mouthpiece using vinegar as a weak acid will be better. Use vinegar of 4-6% for this case.
  • ​Also, you may use hydrogen peroxide. Submerge it for two hours. It will dissolve the limescale at that time.
  • Make a habit of cleaning your sax right away rather than stashing it after use.


There are certain things you have to avoid while cleaning the mouthpiece. Otherwise, they may damage the instrument. The warnings are –

  • Never soak the pieces into the dishwasher after disassembling. The detergent water and heat will damage them.
  • You should not use household tools to clean the deposits. They scratch the reed surface and deforms it.

​Final Words

The mouthpiece is the key part of your saxophone. It gets dirty quickly after use. So, it should be cleaned regularly.

Besides, you should clean the mouthpiece for hygiene.

The cleaning of saxophone mouthpiece also protects you from bacterial diseases.

Here, in the article, we have tried to show the steps of clean a saxophone mouthpiece. We think you’ll be a beneficiary from the article.

Thus, keep your saxophone mouthpiece clean. Enjoy the rhythm of music with a sound health and mind.

 Happy Music!

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