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How Clean is Clean?

Back to the Maintenance, Repair and Customization Room

Chris C
Jan 23, 2010 3:17 PM GMT

The word clean has been coming up alot lately. I know I dont clean my harps as often as I should. But I was wondering how often and how I should be doing it? Yes I have seen Jason Ricci's video on youtube. Is that a little over the top or is that what you all do and I'm just a slob?

One thing I have discovered for myself. I have a hard clear plastic sealable container that three or four harps could fit in. I put one in covered with alcohol and put it on the washing machine whilst it is washing. That does some good.

What about my Marine Band Deluxes. I need to take the plates off for cleaning right?



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Comments (12)

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Jan 23, 2010 4:40 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

I saw jason play last night, after several hours of his energy I would thing his harps need a super bath. Harpaholic and chris I do not play or practice that much. So for me to clean my harps weakly or monthly is out of the questions. But if I do clean them I do what 91% water thing that Harpaholic prescribes. The one thing that I am very very anal about is making sure my mouth is very clean. if this means flossing and brushing before than its done. I have a kit with me so that if im out and have something to eat and want to play, I don't have to worry about junk getting into my harp.;

abner ( BluEyes, with white teeth.)



Jan 23, 2010 5:26 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

I rare clean my harp as I don't have enough time. I prefer to practice more. It seems that I'm not right, as I have stomatitis too often, so I prefer to play more if I can...



Jan 23, 2010 5:38 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

Boris I think that Harpaholic way of cleaning is fast and does not take up much time. in fact I think you can add a few harps in a wide glass and then just rinse and repeat. Ok, you do not have to repeat it just sounded funny. I just gave one of my harps to my son, and since I know I do not have any illness to pass along all I did was place the harp in a shallow pan added the alcohol and rinse and let dry. The drying part took the longest, but I just laid it holes side down and let gravity work over night.

abner ( BluEyes, I still think very good Cognac is better )



Jan 23, 2010 6:14 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

Well talk about anal. I know of a harp player on another forum that will brush his teeth and rinse his mouth out very thoroughly before playing any harmonica no matter what. Now you tell me that ain'tanal!!!



Jan 25, 2010 3:04 AM GMT
John P Replied:

You know, a ceratin amount of dried saliva may actually make a harp a little more air tight and more resposive. Too much will make it more likely that reeds will freeze. So, it's a fine line. Custom harps have tighter reed/plate tolerances so need to be cleaned more often to kep the reeds blowing freely.



Jan 25, 2010 9:56 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

John P

This thing that dried saliva makes harmonica more airtight is one more reason why I rare clean harmonica along with time keeping.

If I put harmonica to alcohol it seems that dried saliva will detach from comb and reedplates and easily goes to reeds. I think that if you clean harmonica it's better to clean it well. BTW I clean my chromatics twice more often than my diatonics, as windsavers really needs more often cleaning than reeds to work properly.



Jan 25, 2010 4:18 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

BBQ I heard the same thing, The guy will brush, floss, rinse after each set. This is way to hard on the teeth let along the idea of doing all that in the mens room.. I understand by law they must clean up, but after the patrons had had a few or a lot to drink who know whats on the wall, floor or let alone the sink.. now i have a very bad image in my head....

abner ( BluEyes, never touching a bathroom sink again.)



Feb 09, 2010 12:40 AM GMT
Carl M Replied:

I RINSE MY HARPS UNDER THE TAP WITH MED HOT WATER, THEN BLOW DRY WITH LOW HEAT SETTING FROM A HAIR DRYER UP AGAINST THE CONE FROM THE FRONT AND THE BACK.THE REEDS WILL HUM AND THAT ALOWS THE REEDS TO DRY WELL WITHOUT STICKING.SO FAR I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEM WITH THIS METHOD.ITS QUICK AND EASY..CARL


flyinga40


Feb 09, 2010 2:07 AM GMT
walterharp Replied:

after a long gig or some longer practices, I use warm water with a pressure sprayer to really clean out the harps, then I dry the outside and knock out the excess water, leaving them holes down on a dry cloth overnight. Probably every couple months I tune them up, which means taking them apart completely and doing the ricci cleanup, checking all the tuning, putting them back together after dry and checking all the gapping. This usually starts when a harp seems slightly out of key or starts choking during a perfomance.



Feb 09, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

I do the same as Walterharp, but I stop at the jason clean up. I try very hard to make sure I eat then clean my teeth before I practice or jam. Im lazy, Im a construction worker (ok right now im on short term ) and the less i have to do the better. Right now im de icing the fridge. Im sure when I bought this fridge it was clean free. So now with the mess I have to clean the kitchen floor. So trust me the less i have to do the better.

abner (BluEyes, a lazy dog )




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