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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:45 pm 
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I made the mistake of putting my Kerry Optima Low D whistle back into its case while the mouthpiece was apparently still a little damp... Because when I took it out again (a day later) it smelled... A little musty. How can I safely clean the mouthpiece?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:35 pm 
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lassoftheisland wrote:
I made the mistake of putting my Kerry Optima Low D whistle back into its case while the mouthpiece was apparently still a little damp... Because when I took it out again (a day later) it smelled... A little musty. How can I safely clean the mouthpiece?



I would think a mild bleach solution would do it. Or maybe a mix of vinegar and baking soda--something to screw up the PH so whatever was growing is out of business. Like I might try mixing baking soda and water into a paste, packing it in there, and then adding some white vinegar


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:30 am 
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Why would you want to mix baking soda (acaline) and vinegar (acidic)? The end result would be a pH that's more or less neutral (depending on the exact mix).

I'd recommend one or the other at a time. As far as I remember fungus don't like acids, so I'd start with vinegar. And possible use soda (if no baking soda is in the house, washing soda would do as well) afterwards, just in case I misremembered and fungus actually like acids and hate bases. Besides, soda should neutralize the smell of vinegar which I can't stand. (Btw. lemon juice instead of vinegar should work as well.)

To prevent the problem, my whistles (and a plastic soprano recorder) don't live in any sort of closed packaging, but are standing in a piece of cardboard roll (cut-off whisky outer packaging) like flowers in a vase.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:56 am 
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White toothpaste and a shaved down bit of wood or plastic. I use a strip of old hotel key card on my Goldies.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:35 am 
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Kade1301 wrote:
Why would you want to mix baking soda (acaline) and vinegar (acidic)? The end result would be a pH that's more or less neutral (depending on the exact mix).

I'd recommend one or the other at a time. As far as I remember fungus don't like acids, so I'd start with vinegar. And possible use soda (if no baking soda is in the house, washing soda would do as well) afterwards, just in case I misremembered and fungus actually like acids and hate bases. Besides, soda should neutralize the smell of vinegar which I can't stand. (Btw. lemon juice instead of vinegar should work as well.)

To prevent the problem, my whistles (and a plastic soprano recorder) don't live in any sort of closed packaging, but are standing in a piece of cardboard roll (cut-off whisky outer packaging) like flowers in a vase.


The reaction itself would be quiet violent at the mold-spore level


Last edited by PB+J on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:16 am 
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I'd recommend one or the other at a time. As far as I remember fungus don't like acids, so I'd start with vinegar. And possible use soda (if no baking soda is in the house, washing soda would do as well) afterwards, just in case I misremembered and fungus actually like acids and hate bases. Besides, soda should neutralize the smell of vinegar which I can't stand. (Btw. lemon juice instead of vinegar should work as well.)

The vinegar wouldn't harm the metal?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:18 am 
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bogman wrote:
White toothpaste and a shaved down bit of wood or plastic. I use a strip of old hotel key card on my Goldies.


Then water to rinse it out? Would water harm the metal?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:40 pm 
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Vodka. Kills all the bugs. Readily available at a session near you. Thats the spirit!

tl;dr; If it is safe to eat it is safe to clean your whistle with......

Water will not harm the metal but too stron a mix od a basic substance (baking soda) might remove the very thin (atoms) layer of aluminium oxide that naturally forms an aluminium. Then a new layer will form using up a small amount of atoms from the surface. Do it enough times and you whistle will disappear completely. Not likely to cause a noticeable effect in this millennium. You can accelerate the process by constantly polishing with an abrasive cleaner (eg toothpaste)

If you were to use Caustic soda (some drain cleaners) then your whistle could be dissolved quite vigorously. Knowing that the bugs were dead would be poor consolation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Is there any harm in trying soapy water to start with?

What about the case, if that is where the whistle got to smell musty?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:51 pm 
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lassoftheisland, yes use water to rinse it out. It's the method Colin Goldie recommends and I've used for years. Water won't harm the whistle. The musky smell will disappear. It's a good idea to keep alloy whistle windways as clean as possible.They play best that way. Toothpaste is ideal. Putting the whistle away damp wont do any harm, it's the build up of bacteria over several weeks that causes the smell.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:55 am 
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Soap and water would be a good first step. I don't know how roomy the windway of your whistle is, but if it's wide enough for a pipe cleaner you could use one of those to clean it. Be careful of the plastic ramp/blade. If that doesn't do the trick, a very mild bleach solution would work well-- that's what homebrewers use to sanitize their equipment. Very mild, and rinse well until you can't smell the bleach any more.
I never played one of those, but it looks like a heck of a bargain for a low D whistle.

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