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 Cleaning dirty but otherwise good pads
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2020-03-04 20:00

Some of my pads are generally grimy and dirty but are good, not sticky, and play fine but don't need replacing - any suggestions?

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 Re: Cleaning dirty but otherwise good pads
Author: clarimad 
Date:   2020-03-04 21:11
Attachment:  IMG_2643.JPG (1376k)

I've now added a photograph in relation to my question.

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 Re: Cleaning dirty but otherwise good pads
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-04 22:48

The issue is not dirt really but age and how well an older bladder pad will provide a good seal on the tone hole. It appears that these pads are just discolored with the stain from the clarinet's wood body. But they do look older. Older bladder pads get brittle and can crack and fray much faster (looks like some fraying in the "seat" of one of the pads in the image).

I'd recommend having a repadding done soon.

You can do a negative pressure test to check for leaks (hold top joint as if your playing it, covering the thumb hole and three top tone holes; then press bottom of top joint against the heel of your right hand; then suck on the top joint....perhaps little sips at a time). The joint should hold the pressure for a minimum a few seconds if not longer. If there is not any pressure to speak of, then there are many micro leaks already. The bottom joint check is the same but you must make sure you also engage the "E/B" paddle key as well.

Even if the seal is decent now, by the looks of it you'll have issues pretty soon.

................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Cleaning dirty but otherwise good pads
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2020-03-05 10:04

This is the type of dirt that soaks into the pads, sometimes into the felt itself, so often it is not possible to really clean. You could try the three main cleaners - water, lighter fluid and alcohol.

>> I'd recommend having a repadding done soon. <<

I've seen many pads that look like this last for years in this state and seal fine. I would first check if they actually seal before replacing them based on how they look. Even a thorough one-by-one check (which is not necessary more often than not) would take a fraction of the time of a repad.

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 Re: Cleaning dirty but otherwise good pads
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2020-03-05 17:47

If the pads are very old but still sealing, I would leave them. Cleaning may destroy them.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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