Prevention of disease is the best cure. But sometimes saxophones are already very sick. If your sax is sticking so badly you can't play, there may be layers of grime, bacteria, dust and pad powder gumming it up. Try these steps and then use our products to prevent stick from ever returning.
HEALTH NOTE: Never consume sugary food or drink before you play. Sugar is poison to saxophones and nothing will stop stick if you blow tacky sugar into a sax. If you must eat or drink, use water to rinse your mouth before playing.
PRO NOTE: Your saxophone is a machine that needs maintenance. Find a repair tech you trust for regular checkups and see them every 6 to 12 months.
Gather some cotton swabs, water, and gentle hand soap.
Add a small amount of soap to the water to make a very mild solution. If many bubble appear or the water changes color, there is too much soap.
Looking at the sticky key, locate the metal tone hole opening. Quickly dip (don't soak) the end of the cotton swab in the soapy water and wash the metal tone hole edge. This helps soften and rub way the bacteria and grime stuck onto the the tone hole.
Keep holding the pad open and blow air across the tone hole so it dries. You can also dab it a clean paper towel to dab it dry.
Quickly dip (don't soak) a NEW clean cotton swab in the water and gently rub the leather pad "ring" seat where it touches the tone hole edge. Use as little water as you can to wet the surface of the leather without soaking the pad.
Keep holding the pad open and blow air across the pad leather until it dries. You can also use a clean paper towel to dab it dry.
Start using your Key Leaves product as directed. If sticking persists, try the extreme cleaning method below or consult your sax repair tech.
EXTREME CLEANING (do this only once)
Tear a strip of plain white paper to match the width of your sticky pad.
Do Not use printed or colored paper because inks may bleed onto your sax pads.
Soak the end of that paper strip with Zippo® brand lighter fluid. The functional ingredient is a fast drying alcohol favored by repair techs because it will not soak deep into the pad and is safe on leather.
Place the soaked strip of paper flat between the pad and tone hole. While pressing the pad closed, gently rotate back and forth while pulling the strip of paper away from the pad. This breaks up and rubs away the bacteria and grime stuck to the the tone hole and pad surface. Repeat this step several times.
Hold the pad open and blow air onto the pad leather until dry.
Start using Key Leaves sax care products as directed. If sticking persists, see your sax repair tech.
Feel free to contact us directly with any questions.