How to Clean and Sterilize Your Mouthpiece

Working as I do with many used and vintage mouthpieces, I come across some pretty interesting things growing in, on or around the piece.  Since they need to be clean and sterilized when they are sold or returned to a client, it is important to have a cheap, easy and chemical free method of both cleaning and sanitizing the mouthpieces.  In most cases, simply a little warm water and mild soap with do the trick but for those more extreme cases, you can follow the process below. 

You’ll Need:

  • A small glass or vial.  (I use a prescription bottle that just fits the mouthpiece but leaves the cork outside of the bottle)
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • An old toothbrush (medium to hard bristles)
  • Antiseptic mouthwash

Process:

  1. Partially fill the vial with a mixture of 3 parts white vinegar to 1 part water and place the mouthpiece in tip down.  Be careful to keep the cork well out of the vinegar unless you enjoy your mouthpiece smelling like a salad. 
  2. After soaking in the vinegar for 3 -5 minutes, remove the mouthpiece and gently scrub with the toothbrush to remove any build-up in or on the mouthpiece.  Repeat if necessary. If the build up is really stubborn, switch to an undiluted vinegar. 
  3. Once the piece is clean, rinse well with water and place tip down in a similar vial partially filled with antiseptic mouthwash for about 30 seconds.  Again, be sure to leave the cork well out of the vial. 
  4. Remove and rinse with clean water.  If you need to dry the piece, use a soft micro-fiber cloth or swab.  
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