Sterilizing a piccolo...

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fluteguy18
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Sterilizing a piccolo...

Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:17 pm

Hey everyone.

I know that there was a thread on here a while back about how to properly sterilize a flute after being ill. I myself am suffering through a particularly nasty pharynx infection [throat infection], and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to sterilize a wooden piccolo. I would assume a lightly dampened swab [with denatured alcohol] would work, but I would be worried that it might discolor the wood or somehow affect it.

So, because I haven't sterilized a wooden picc before [nor have I needed to because I am usually pretty healthy], I thought I would ask for some tips in case there are any recommended differences due to the fact it is made of wood.

Many thanks and I hope your health is better than mine at the moment!

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:59 pm

I have always been told not to put anything on a wooden piccolo, but I am sure there is something taht you could use. Contact the manufacturer or maybe even Flute World. Maybe someone there could help.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:02 pm

I would not use denatured alcohol on wood. As you suspect, it's likely to discolor the picc, but if you're not careful both in amount and application, can also affect the stability and reliability of the picc. As you've probably seen, any flute seller with wooden instruments at a convention will post signs asking you not to use the alcohol swabs they have around for lipplates on the wooden flutes/piccs. Personally, I don't think that sterilization is particularly necessary. If you've managed to fight off a disease, your antibody count for that particular bacteria should be pretty high, meaning you're unlikely to contract the same thing again in the time that the bacteria can stay alive within the instrument. Also, unlike brass or reed instruments, there's no direct contact between parts of the instrument and our mouths....It gets close, but we're at less risk from our instruments than most other wind players.

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woof
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Post by woof » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:06 pm

I agree with flutepicc06. It is unlikely that you will get re-infected from your flute. The bacteria or viruses will not have access to your throat normally-from playing the flute. More than likely you were originally infected from something on your hands.. to mouth (e.g. when you eat etc.). More importantly if it was a bacterial infection and if you played the flute, when it dried out most of the bacteria would not have survived. I would just wipe the flute off with a dry soft cloth if it would make you feel better.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:35 am

Okay. Thanks. Very many good points. I will probably at least wash my piccolo flag/swab as a preventative measure. I will probably ask the oboe professor here what she does when she has to sterilize her oboe, and take that into consideration. But, I probably wont need to do anything... as said, between my immune system, and the fact that I am being helped by monstrous antibiotics, I shouldnt have a problem.

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