Cleaning the Flute

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pandagirl11
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Cleaning the Flute

Post by pandagirl11 » Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:17 pm

What do you use to clean the inside of your flute when you're done? I received a flute care package from Tom Lee with a silver polishing cloth and a plain cotten cloth. However, my teacher says to use a silk cloth for cleaning the inside of the flute. I was just wondering, is silk really any good? I tried it today and it seemed like it wasn't cleaning it at all. And is a microfiber cloth for the exterior okay?

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embum79
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Post by embum79 » Mon Oct 18, 2004 6:29 pm

I just use a regular old cotton cloth, usually an old t-shirt. It does the job, soaks up the moisture. I also can't see how a silk cloth would do anything. And I would be careful with the silver polish as well. Usually all your flute needs is to be wiped down with a cloth.
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powayflute01
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Post by powayflute01 » Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:21 pm

I honestly don't think it makes much of a difference whether you use a t-shirt or a silk cloth to clean the inside of your flute. I used a cut-up part of an old t-shirt for years before switching a microfiber cloth (it came with a saxophone I bought...) But I don't think you should have to spend very much on a cleaning cloth. A few things I WOULDN'T recommend: felt (it's not absorbant enough) and there are these other things...I'm not sure what they're called and I can't seem to find a picture...but it's basically a cleaning rod with these fuzzy things on it that wipe your flute when you're done. They tend to leave fibers in your instrument...

As for the silver polishing cloth, you probably shouldn't use it too often on your flute. Overusing silver polish on a silver instrument can cause the finish to wear away. Personally, I polish my flute once a week with a silver polishing cloth and the rest of the time I just wipe off fingerprints with my cleaning cloth. Oh, another thing about the silver polishing cloth: be careful not to touch any of the pads when you're polishing!

That was probably way more information than you wanted...
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
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MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:41 am

The fuzzy things are called, ironically, Pad Savers. Our repairman advises against them, in general. They're ok, if your flute is totally dry inside before you shove in the Pad Killer, but if there's any moisture inside, the combination of trace moisture and the Pad Saver lint forms a nasty, hazy sort of paste that wrecks your pads. Most students don't take the time to swab first. This does, however, create job security for the repair tech... :wink:

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powayflute01
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Post by powayflute01 » Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:41 pm

Pad savers, huh? (Yeah I remember that they're called that now...) but I had one for my saxophone mouthpiece (which doesn't have any pads on it!) It just seems kind of pointless to get one.
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
[size=75]I <3 LXA[/size]

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:14 am

Yeah, just use a cloth and save your $15 :lol:

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pandagirl11
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Post by pandagirl11 » Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:05 am

Hmm...my teacher insists that a silk cloth is right for the inside of the flute but like I realized on the Trevor James website, it simply redistributes the moisture. Does that always happen or is my cloth just messed up?

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woof
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Post by woof » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:42 pm

pandagirl11 wrote:Hmm...my teacher insists that a silk cloth is right for the inside of the flute but like I realized on the Trevor James website, it simply redistributes the moisture. Does that always happen or is my cloth just messed up?
Silk is a protein, unlike cotton which is a carbohydrate (cellulose). Silk will not absorb moisture as well as cotton and hence it does in effect mostly push it around. Silk is great at wicking moisture away from the skin when it is in the form of a T-shirt because it does not absorb like cotton- but cotton makes a more absorbent cloth. Maybe there is some concern that silk is softer than cotton hence less damage to the flute-- which doesn't seem that likely to me.

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powayflute01
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Post by powayflute01 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 9:55 pm

Yeah, I'd say bring a silk cloth with you to your lesson and re-clean your flute with a cotton cloth once you get out of your lesson...
Haha, this one is my favorite: :shock:
[size=75]I <3 LXA[/size]

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pandagirl11
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Post by pandagirl11 » Sun Oct 24, 2004 9:57 pm

I asked my teacher at my lesson yesterday and she just looked at me like I was stupid and went "Of course you use the silk for the inside!" And then she went on to show me how she cleaned her flute and for some reason, hers DOES clean it. -.-" BAH, this is so frustrating. =P But it's okay. I love flute so much. =) It's taken me two weeks to learn from C1 to C3 but I'd say it was worth all the daily 20 minute practices 'cause I've already moved up to grade 4. =) Compared to piano and violin, flute is really easy.

Dayne
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Re: Cleaning the Flute

Post by Dayne » Sun May 20, 2018 4:05 pm

I have been told cotton t-shirt material leaves little particles of cloth versus silk not doing that. I have been playing flute for 56 years, have had two flutes and have only used an old t-shirt, a cotton handkerchief or a piece of prewashed flannel ( I have old flannel bed sheets I cut up after they wear out to use as rags). Flannel is very absorbent. I agree that the cotton cleans better and haven't seen adverse effects on the flute. So unless your teacher or band leader required silk I wouldn't worry about it. I use a microfiber cloth to clean the outside but you can also use the cotton t-shirt, handkerchief or flannel for it as well. I feel the most important part is cleaning it each and every time you use it before you put it back in the case so it is dry.

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