Oboe reed care and cleaning.

The reed is one of the most important elements when playing the oboe. Playing with a reed that is not working properly or that is damaged can make our oboe sound bad. It can even cause us to have a lot of difficulties when playing certain passages. Caring for and cleaning the reeds well will make them last longer in good condition. Therefore, in this post, we are going to give you some tips on oboe reed care and cleaning.


Use an appropriate case to store your oboe reeds.

It is very important that you use an appropriate case to store your oboe reeds, as this will directly influence the duration of your reeds. Make sure your reed case has small holes to ventilate the reeds that are inside. It is very important to avoid generating too much humidity, which can cause mold.
Make sure that your reeds are well secured inside the case to prevent them from breaking during movement. A good reed case is important for this too.


Cleaning the inside of the reeds.

Do we need to clean our reeds? Yes of course, just like the oboe. The reeds have to be cleaned regularly. With use, the reeds accumulate dirt inside. This dirt can also make our reed not work properly, making it harder for example. That is why it is advisable to periodically clean the inside of our reed with a reed cleaner.

To do a correct cleaning, soak your reed in water for one or two minutes so that it covers all the scraping of the reed. Then introduce the cleaner through the back of the staple until it comes out of the tip of the reed. Repeat this several times, carefully. Next, rinsing the reed under the tap to remove any dirt that may have remained.

Reed cleaner
Reed cleaner


Brush your teeth before playing.

Oral hygiene is very important, but even more so for an oboist. To prevent any dirt from accumulating on our reed, it is very important that you brush your teeth, especially if you eat something before playing. In this way we are preventing food remains from entering our reed or our oboe.


Soak your reed with water.

It is important that you wet your reed with water and not directly with saliva before playing. Saliva contains corrosive substances that can damage the reed. Soaking your reed with water will help you to extend the useful life of the reed.

oboe reed cleaning
oboe reed cleaning


Remove reed skin from the reed before storing.

If you use reed skin, teflon tape or fish skin on your reed, it is very important that you remove it once you finish playing and put a new piece the next day. It is essential for your reed to dry completely to avoid the generation of molds and excessive humidity. In addition, this way your reed breathes while you are not using it. All this will make your reed last longer.


reed skin oboe reeds
reed skin oboe reeds

Do you have more tips or tricks to take care of your reeds or keep them clean? Tell us in the comments below the post. We will love to read them. 😊

One thought on “Oboe reed care and cleaning

  1. Brittany McCorriston says:

    These are some really great tips! Rotating reeds can also help extend the life a reed. It’s also important to take care of the cork, since the tubes can be reused. Never force a reed into the opening, if it’s too tight, use cork grease or if it’s really bad try and compress the cork by placing a reed on the edge of a table and roll over the cork part of the reed with a hardcover book.

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