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 Rubbing Alcohol on plastic?
Author: Ben Shaffer 
Date:   2019-03-25 21:35

So, I've got a Vito Plastic Clarinet I loaned out for a few Months and now it comes back with the Funk smell :(
I tries Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide.
This worked a little but not completely.
My repair lady says to use Denatured alcohol.
I've only got rubbing Alcohol.
Obviously I won't get into trouble with the Alcohol on the metal keys. But can I
But can I use the Alcohol on the plastic body of the Clarinet?.
The funk smell is very faint on the plastic but stronger on the keys
Insights would be appreciated!

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 Re: Rubbing Alcohol on plastic?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-03-26 05:03

The pads and corks are where the smell is. The instrument has probably been put away without swabbing it first. If you're comfortable with removing the keys you can try wiping the pads and joint corks gently with a cloth or tissue moistened with alcohol. Your local pharmacy can probably supply a small quantity of denatured alcohol. The joint corks are more robust than the pads, so you can be a bit more vigorous with them. If you're not comfortable with removing the keywork try gently wiping the pads in situ by sliding an alcohol-dampened cloth between the pad and the tone hole and gently withdraw with a wiping action. If the previous player was in the habit of drinking cola or similar there may (be a sugary residue on the pads. This can be removed with a cloth dampened with warm water (not alcohol, sugar does not readily dissolve in alcohol).
The case could also be responsible. If the case is smelly try wiping it out with a damp cloth and then leaving it open in the sun for a few hours.

Tony F.

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 Re: Rubbing Alcohol on plastic?
Author: Luuk 2017
Date:   2019-03-26 13:01

Alcohol, water, soap etc. may be used to remove the smelly residues, but you have to dissolve the stuff by wetting it with your agent and then mechanically remove it (swiping). You have to reach all the really small and difficult corners.

Hydrogen peroxide could do the job in another way: degrading the residues. Just apply generously, after losing its activity (releasing oxygen) it ends up as clean water. It can be bought in small bottles for bleaching hair, removing stains etc.

Because of the bleaching effect be careful not to spill it. And apply it on a piece of cork first to see if it doesn't hurt the cork.


Philips Symphonic Band
The Netherlands

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 Re: Rubbing Alcohol on plastic?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-03-26 15:57

Denatured alcohol is rubbing alcohol (which we call methylated spirits in the UK). That won't harm plastic but it won't remove smells as soft materials will be the things that absorb odours, so they'd have to be replaced if they stink.

Being a plastic clarinet, you can wash it in lukewarm water ONLY when all the keys and screws have been removed so the joints are stripped down. If it has stainless steel needle springs, those can stay in as water won't harm them.

The tenon corks may have to be replaced as well, so it won't matter if they get a soaking along with the joints. If they survive and remain in good condition after washing, then that's a bonus.


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