Saxophone Care & Maintenance
Keep the tenon of the neck clean so that it will fit into the body of the saxophone without forcing. Grease the neck cork so that the mouthpiece will slide on easily. Always pick up the body of the saxophone by the bell section to avoid bending keys. Insert the neck into the receiver on the top of the saxophone body taking care not to bend the octave key located on the neck. Align the middle of the underside of the neck with the octave key mechanism which protrudes above the top of the saxophone receiver. Remove the ligature and reed from the mouthpiece before placing the mouthpiece on the neck.
The inside of the saxophone should be cleaned after playing. A small soft rag (about the size of a handkerchief) should be used to clean the inside of the mouthpiece. Pull a swab through the body of the saxophone to remove moisture. Run a flexible neck brush through the neck. Wipe the body of the instrument with a soft cloth to remove fingerprints. Additional protection for the pads may be had by the purchase of a pad saver. The pad saver is not a cleaning device, but is placed inside the body of the saxophone when not in use to absorb moisture and keep it from getting to the pads. Wiping the finger prints from the instrument after each playing will help to keep the finish from deteriorating.
Note: Chewing gum, soft drinks, and other foods containing sugar are very harmful to saxophone pads. Avoid these things whenever possible before playing or rinse your mouth thoroughly before playing the instrument.
Regular maintenance of the saxophone will go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary repair bills.
RECOMMENDED ACCESSORY ITEMS: Swab, neck brush, cleaning/dusting brush, cork grease, key oil, polishing cloth, OPTIONAL: Mouthpiece brush, pad treatment product such as "no-stick."
ONCE A MONTH (or as needed): Thoroughly polish the body and keys of the saxophone with a treated polishing cloth. Commercial liquid, powder or paste polishes should be avoided, as they can easily get into the mechanisms and pads of the instrument.
EVERY 3 MONTHS: Oil all mechanisms on the saxophone using key oil and a needle. Before oiling, use the cleaning and dusting brushes to remove as much dust and dirt as possible from under the key mechanisms on the saxophone. Then put several drops of key oil into the cap of the key oil bottle or other suitable container. Starting at the top of the saxophone and working down, put one drop of oil into the space at the end of each key rod and between all moveable keys that share the same rod using the needle dipped into the key oil. Key rods are attached to posts, each of which has a ball shaped top. Put the oil into the slit next to each post. Work the keys vigorously to circulate the oil, then wipe off any excess oil from the body and keys of the saxophone.
* Run water through the saxophone or submerse it in water.
* Store music books, folders, etc. inside of the saxophone case, as this can easily bend keys on the instrument.
* Use materials, oils, or other products not specifically designed for use in saxophone maintenance.