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.
- 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
- An old toothbrush (medium to hard bristles)
- Antiseptic mouthwash
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove and rinse with clean water. If you need to dry the piece, use a soft micro-fiber cloth or swab.