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How to Remove Mold From Reeds

Charles Poole

Reeds are small pieces of shaped wood used in musical instruments to produce vibrations against a mouthpiece. These vibrations create sound that goes through the instrument’s bell and into the air. Most musicians use a reed case to keep their reeds clean and dry.

Mold on a reed will hinder your sound and lead to respiratory issues.

But when a case is not used, mold can grow on the wooden surface. This is dangerous because the ingestion of mold can cause respiratory issues. Cleaning mold off of your reeds can be done easily using common cleaning products.

  1. Run hot water over an old, clean toothbrush. Dip the toothbrush bristles into a box of baking soda.

  2. Scrub the reed with the toothbrush and baking soda until you see the mold start coming off. Scrub the reed from the widest point to the thinnest point with a downward motion.

  3. Use warm water to rinse the reed off.

  4. Fill a small bowl with vinegar and dip the toothbrush bristles into the vinegar. Brush the reed downward from the widest point to the thinnest point with the wet toothbrush.

  5. Use warm water to wash the reed off.

  6. Use a cloth to dry the reed.

  7. Place a small amount of silica gel into your reed case to absorb moisture. This will prevent any future mold growth on your reed.

  8. Warning

    Never play a reed that has mold on it.