Topic: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Yup, I know that it's best to keep them from getting moldy in the first place. But sometimes it happens.

A few of my reeds (contra reeds, as it happens) picked up some surface mold while I was playing an out of town gig. They're not all black and fuzzy, but they do have some black spots on them.

Any thoughts of how to get rid of the mold, without damaging the reeds? In the long term I'll replace the reeds, but in the short term I'd like to salvage them if possible.

Also, what should I do about the reed case? It's a wooden case with foam spacers for holding the reeds in place. I don't want future reeds to be infected because I didn't get rid of mold spores that may be lingering in the case.

Any recommendations?

I've already disinfected my soaking cups with a dilute bleach solution.

Thanks, all.

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Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

One word:

Vodka.

I soak my reeds in it every once in a while.  I have not had any problems since.

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

I'm not sure how effective they are, but the small dehumidifiers that come in some pill containers might be useful for reducing or preventing mold.

It is possible that the foam spacers might be harboring mold.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

and it sounds like the reed case is too airtight.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

There was recently a thread about this in the Health & Wellness part of the forum.
http://www.idrs.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?id=12750
Must be summer humidity is causing some problems for people.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Dean wrote:

One word:

Vodka.

I soak my reeds in it every once in a while.  I have not had any problems since.

Great minds... : http://johnschroder.co.uk/js/?page_id=87

Might be time for me to try this "reed box" option.

Other than that, any reed case must be ventilated. If there are no holes then punch/drill some out.

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Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Thanks for the input, folks.

I was in a damp environment on that trip. I left my reed case open each night, and the reeds still picked up some mold. Grrrr.

I soaked my soaking cups (bassoon and contra) in a bleach solution. My onstage water bottle is soaking in bleach as I type this. I may treat my contra reed case with bleach solution as well. (I'll first test a corner to make sure that the bleach doesn't do any mischief.)

How about the moldy spots on the reeds themselves? Will vodka help with that? I do not routinely keep vodka in the house, so I'll have to buy some. (I'll probably get a pretty good one, to serve to guests as well as for my reeds.) Or something else?

I'm working on blanks, so soon this will be a moot point as far as the reeds are concerned. Even so, it would be nice to salvage these reeds.

Thanks again.

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Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

If it helps - I wrote a page on reed care for my website.  It covers what to do if they get moldy in addition how to prevent.  Probably most everyone knows already - but feel free to share with your students.

Leigh

Leigh Munoz

www.gobassoon.com

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

i should think that the easiest solution of all is to bore a hole no more than 1/8' in the reed case.

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Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

So strange - there were a couple of posts on this link regarding hydrogen peroxide (as opposed to using bleach) which are no longer here.  I also posted a note about this - for the 2nd time in a few months, my post was somehow deleted. Don't know what the glitch is.... Jim

James Jeter, D.M.A., NYC Bassoonist
"To love human beings is still the only thing worth living for; without that love, you really do not live." Soren Kierkegaard
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." Mahatma Gandhi  "Mach' es kurz! Am Juengsten Tag ist's nur ein Furz!" Goethe

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Hi Jim:

There were problems with the forum that have been corrected now.  There were other posts that were somehow deleted too and I think it was related to the problems.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Today I opened a box with lots of cane (G, GP and GPS cane) that I was storing. I found out that some of the pieces had some kind of fungal growth on the surface (see image), and they felt a bit "sticky"...just like everything feels (specially paper, books, etc.) when RH is about 100% (as it is often in where I live). I removed the mold with a few gentle strokes of fine sandpaper. The cane that was stored on ziploc bags (inside that same box) feels and looks normal...

It'll be good to dampen those moldy pieces with alcohol to stop microbe reproduction now that I "removed" the mold out of them?
Where should I store those pieces?

Thanks.

Federico Sardi
Principal bassoon - Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo
Bassoonist - Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE
Studying with Prof. Ole K. Dahl

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Today I opened a box with lots of cane (G, GP and GPS cane) that I was storing. I found out that some of the pieces had some kind of fungal growth on the surface (see image), and they felt a bit "sticky"...just like everything feels (specially paper, books, etc.) when RH is about 100% (as it is often in where I live). I removed the mold with a few gentle strokes of fine sandpaper. The cane that was stored on ziploc bags (inside that same box) feels and looks normal...

It'll be good to dampen those moldy pieces with alcohol to stop microbe reproduction now that I "removed" the mold out of them?
Where should I store those pieces?

Thanks.

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Federico Sardi
Principal bassoon - Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo
Bassoonist - Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE
Studying with Prof. Ole K. Dahl

Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Rather than soaking them in water as you usually would, I would just soak them in vodka, then treat them normally.  The vodka should kill off all of the mould.

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: Moldy reeds - how to fix them? And the reed case?

Thanks Dean!

I'm not planning on using them soon, at least not all of them (I'm storing almost one thousand pieces of cane). Do you suggest soaking them in vodka/alcohol, letting them dry and then store them again?

Federico Sardi
Principal bassoon - Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo
Bassoonist - Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE
Studying with Prof. Ole K. Dahl