Clarinet Care Sheet


  1. When assembling the clarinet, be careful not to knock the bridge keys together.
  2. Drop Swab – Use only the cloth or chamois types that have a metal weight. Swab each section of your clarinet after you play.
  3. Cork Grease – Use regularly to prevent the cork from drying out and the joints from sticking.
  4. Cigarette papers – Use to eliminate sticky pads. Slip a sheet (not the sticky part) under the open pad, depress the key, and pull the paper away. If this doesn’t work after two or three tries, bring the instrument to a repair shop because if you try too many times, you can damage the pads.
  5. Q-Tips – Use to remove deposits from the finger holes. A build up can cause an unpleasant fuzziness to your tone.
  6. Swab out the mouthpiece separately from bottom to top taking care of the tip rails as you pull the cloth through. If there are any chips or nicks in the tip rail, buy a new mouthpiece. Occasionally wash your mouthpiece in warm soapy water (hot water can change the shape of the mouthpiece)
  7. Wipe the keys and body of your clarinet with a clean cloth.
  8. A soft brush (a clean paintbrush) is good for removing dust, lint, etc that accumulates under the keys. Be careful when brushing the keys as it is easy to knock the springs loose.
  9. Don’t attempt any screw adjustments. This is a very delicate job that should be done by a professional repair technician.
  10. It is important to keep all of the accessories properly stored in your case. Loose accessories can damage the instrument. It is also important not to put music in your case as forcing it inside can damage the instrument.
  11. Once a year, your instrument should be checked by a repair technician to assure that there are no leaks and that the instrument is in good playing condition.

Suggested Maintenance Supplies: Drop Swab, Cork Grease, Cigarette papers, Q-Tips, Reed Holder, Mouthpiece Brush.

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