I have heard so many interesting flute maintenance over the years, but this one keeps recurring.
I think it’s high-time I help the world put a stop to spreading this “poor” flute cleaning information. Do NOT clean your flute pads with a dollar bill!
Band teachers in certain areas seem to think that a dirty old dollar bill is the best thing to clean a sticky pad with.
Um. Does this seem strange to you? It does me for sure. Let me explain.
We can’t clean our flute pads with something that is probably going to leave more dirt than remove.
The best thing to “blot” your sticky pads with is some sort of a paper that doesn’t give off fibers.
It’s true that money bills are made to last, so they are constructed so the fibers won’t “fluff” off so much. This makes it last longer.
BUT, here’s the problem. Money bills are passed from person to person, fall on the ground, stuffed in pockets, spilled on, coughed on, etc. etc. They are DIRTY.
We can’t expect to clean our flute pads with something that is probably going to leave more dirt than remove.
Get yourself some cigarette papers from your local Walmart (the checkout with cigarettes) or smoke shop. Just do NOT use the glue side on your pads. This is a cheap solution that works fabulous! And one pack will last a lot of years.
- Place a new cigarette sheet of paper between the pad and tone hole.
- Press the key down on top of the paper.
- Slightly and gently “pull” on the paper a tiny bit so the dirt or sticky stuff transfers from the pad to the paper.
- Open the key and remove the paper
- Blot a few more times on different parts of the paper and then throw away. Do not reuse.
**Be careful not to push down the key and then rip the paper out from under there.. this will fray your pads [read: bad problem]
Just so you know, sometimes we have phantom stickies. Somedays they are there, and then somedays they are not.
Best way to prevent them is to wash your hands and brush your teeth before playing your flute.
Any Questions? Leave a comment below.