The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96250   Message #1880040
Posted By: Bob Bolton
09-Nov-06 - 07:12 AM
Thread Name: Cleaning a Harmonica
Subject: RE: Cleaning a Harmonica
G'day Tootler,

The reeds may need cleaning, as you describe - especially if the mouthorgan has been played soon after eating ... or left exposed in dusty (&c) areas. Washing, per se won't hurt the brass reeds - but too much soaking can damage wooden bodies - especially complex gridded one like the old Echo with its 40 holes, divided by narrow wooden grids, on each side (one hole for each of its 80 reeds!). Prompt drying will also lessen the risk of rust in any parts of the cover plates that may have lost some of their electroplating.

I think a fairly brief rinse in plain, no more than warm, water should dilute most of the "Old Spice ... then a good airing (and drying) might leave it in a playable state. Don't force the drying with heat sources, as this might distort the very complex body.

Another area for caution is whether this model has valves on the lower-pitched reeds (as does Hohner's similar Auto Valve Harp ... which may not been seen in other countries, since it was listed as an "Australian Brand" in my original catalogue). These plastic flap-valves (similar to those used in the Chromonica models) could be loosened from their adhesives by excessive soaking or heat ... so take care!