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 Post subject: Coronavirus and flutes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:38 am 
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In relation to comments on instrument sales recently, here's data on how long the virus lasts on surfaces, and how disinfectants work:

https://www.livescience.com/how-long-co ... faces.html

Andrew


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:13 am 
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Thanks for the info but... Are there still people swapping flutes at this point !? :boggle:

Edit: I think I misunderstood your post, you were talking about sales. :oops:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:06 pm 
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Andro wrote:
In relation to comments on instrument sales recently, here's data on how long the virus lasts on surfaces, and how disinfectants work:

https://www.livescience.com/how-long-co ... faces.html

Andrew

I've seen similar reports elsewhere. One of the issues is that, as always with science, there are some 'don't knows'.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:24 pm 
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So I'm buying a Delrin Flute off Craig's List
Quick question, what to use to disinfect the Flute upon arrival
I would not want use Bleach or Alcohol on the Flute.
What about hydrogen Peroxide?
Given that COVID 19 can remain on plastic for 2 weeks plus I could just wait for 3 weeks or so before I play the Flute.....but is that even safe?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:01 pm 
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Ben Shaffer wrote:
So I'm buying a Delrin Flute off Craig's List
Quick question, what to use to disinfect the Flute upon arrival
I would not want use Bleach or Alcohol on the Flute.
What about hydrogen Peroxide?
Given that COVID 19 can remain on plastic for 2 weeks plus I could just wait for 3 weeks or so before I play the Flute.....but is that even safe?

The good news about COVID-19 is that it's of a class called "enveloped viruses" which are among the easiest to deactivate, and that's also why plain soap and water are so highly recommended. The principle with enveloped viruses is that they need their outer layer to be effective, so if you can disrupt that, you disrupt their ability to infect and replicate. But the problem so far is that we know next to nothing about COVID-19 and what its kryptonite is. The other coronaviruses - common cold, for one - are also enveloped viruses, and they all can be rendered ineffective by soap, bleach, alcohol (no, your vodka won't be strong enough), and hydrogen peroxide, so it makes sense that it's worth a try to use those against COVID-19 as well, but as yet we don't know how different this thing this is from its fellow coronaviruses in that regard, so for now we must consider all guarantees to be slim. But better that than nothing.

You have a lot more leeway with the flute being Delrin, but while hydrogen peroxide stands as much of a chance as anything, I don't know if its bleaching properties will affect Delrin too; you might want to try a drop of it in the flute's interior to see how that goes, first. Me, I'd start with a good, long and thorough rubdown with soap and water, and if the Delrin proves structurally or cosmetically unaffected by hydrogen peroxide, then I'd do that next. Some viruses take only a couple of minutes with hydrogen peroxide, but others take as much as ten minutes. This is uncharted territory, so it's best to err on the side of overkill. With that in mind, until we know more you could even sanitize it every day for a three-week period if you're so inclined, before you play it.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:35 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
This is uncharted territory, so it's best to err on the side of overkill. With that in mind, until we know more you could even sanitize it every day for a three-week period if you're so inclined, before you play it.

Of course, if you're going to go that far, you'd also have to thoroughly wash your hands after every time you touched the flute to sanitise it, and not touch your face until you had.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:37 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
This is uncharted territory, so it's best to err on the side of overkill. With that in mind, until we know more you could even sanitize it every day for a three-week period if you're so inclined, before you play it.

Of course, if you're going to go that far, you'd also have to thoroughly wash your hands after every time you touched the flute to sanitise it, and not touch your face until you had.

Yes, indeed.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Ben Shaffer wrote:
So I'm buying a Delrin Flute off Craig's List
Quick question, what to use to disinfect the Flute upon arrival
I would not want use Bleach or Alcohol on the Flute.
What about hydrogen Peroxide?
Given that COVID 19 can remain on plastic for 2 weeks plus I could just wait for 3 weeks or so before I play the Flute.....but is that even safe?



Delrin will not be harmed by alcohol. You can use denatured alcohol from the hardware store. It won’t hurt the delrin one bit. I would use generous amounts of denatured alcohol followed by soap and water


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:36 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Ben Shaffer wrote:
So I'm buying a Delrin Flute off Craig's List
Quick question, what to use to disinfect the Flute upon arrival
I would not want use Bleach or Alcohol on the Flute.
What about hydrogen Peroxide?
Given that COVID 19 can remain on plastic for 2 weeks plus I could just wait for 3 weeks or so before I play the Flute.....but is that even safe?



Delrin will not be harmed by alcohol. You can use denatured alcohol from the hardware store. It won’t hurt the delrin one bit. I would use generous amounts of denatured alcohol followed by soap and water


Mind that when using alcohol you need to dilute it with water to get the optimal disinfection properties.
Usually a concentration of around 70-80% (v/v) works better than 96-97%. So mix one part water and four parts alcohol. That should work.
Best, Moritz

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:26 am 
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brotherwind wrote:
Mind that when using alcohol you need to dilute it with water to get the optimal disinfection properties.
Usually a concentration of around 70-80% (v/v) works better than 96-97%. So mix one part water and four parts alcohol. That should work.
Best, Moritz


Denatured alcohol sold hardware stores in the US is typically abut 70% ethanol with 5% methanol added to make it undrinkable.

I know this because i've done lots and lots of wood finishing with Shellac, dissolved in alcohol


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:00 am 
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soap and water are fine soap it up with a tee shirt swab, for delrin, anyway

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:30 am 
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I'm getting asked this question by clients. To be honest, I have no idea how long Coronaviruses last on the surfaces of woodwinds.

The safest recommendation would be to just put them away for a week or so. One can attempt to use cleaners, alcohol wipes, alcohol itself, etc. Some makers (including historical makers) used alcohol-based varnishes. Thus applying anything alcohol-based runs the risk of ruining a varnish. I treat my flutes with raw linseed oil with a few drops of cyanoacrylate to initiate polymerization on the surface. I should test to see what an alcohol wipe would do.

Certainly we shouldn't be sharing flutes. Its a tough time to be selling flutes as well - and if you are getting one new or used, you might just check in with the source in a week or two to make sure they are well before blowing on an instrument. Again wait a week or two.

Just some thoughts! I'll test the alcohol wipes later on when I head out to my workshop and report back.

Casey

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:43 am 
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Probably the best way to sterilize a flute, although few would have access to it, is a UVC-C (ultraviolet) sterilization lamp.

I don't know if the light would reach far enough into the interior, but it would sterilize the entire outer surface that you come into contact with. It wouldn't harm lacquer or other finishes, or damage the pads on keyed flutes. Small portable UV-C sterilization lamps are available for less than $100, with a circuit that only turns on the lamp when it's pointed downward under the shield to protect your eyes. But of course they're mostly sold out from the usual sources like Amazon in the current crisis.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:48 am 
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I would think for wood a nice alcohol swab completely around the inside and exterior wood surface should be sufficient then let it dry for about an hour then reapply some oil

i dont bring my flutes outside so i am fine , maybe a new flute i might do this and a new flute should be freshly oiled anyway as to keep a semi barrier
my thoughts anyway,,

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:15 am 
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I tried an alcohol wipe on flutes. On an antique flute with a varnish (most likely shellac) it pulled off just a tiny bit of color and made the shiny finish a little cloudier. Then I tried in on blackwood that uses my standard raw linseed oil with a few drops of superglue. Lots of color came off, but the flute looked fine. Re-oiling restored the finish quickly.

I have used Everclear (180 prof ethanol) on some nasty flutes that came back from being stored too wet and had turned into ecosystems. The wood didn't seem to suffer much.

I think alcohol wipes used sparingly on a modern made flute would be okay. Delrin should be no problem.

If the flute has a shellac-based varnish you do run the risk of making the varnish a little cloudy. You can simply wait a week or two for any virus on the surface to expire as well.

Check with your flutemaker first to see what they recommend.

Casey

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