Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > sterilizing your harps
sterilizing your harps
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Wailing ptarmigan
10 posts
Mar 24, 2020
8:54 PM
I've soaked and washed my harps in warm water before, but it seems like sterilizing them might not be a bad idea if it can be done without damaging them (and no-im not letting anyone else play them). Does anyone have a magic formula for sanitizing the harp?

Andy
The Iceman
4054 posts
Mar 25, 2020
4:42 AM
1 TBS Bleach + 2 cups water + spray bottle will do it all...
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The Iceman
jbone
3164 posts
Mar 25, 2020
5:11 AM
91% alcohol in a spray bottle.
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Spderyak
329 posts
Mar 25, 2020
6:27 AM
I am also curious
My understanding is that "germs" have a relatively short life span on an object. Though for the virus I see 3 days often mentioned.

edit...
I wonder if sanitizing wipes would also do the trick....

Last Edited by Spderyak on Mar 25, 2020 9:57 AM
HarveyHarp
791 posts
Mar 25, 2020
10:25 AM
Here is what I posted on Harp Repair page on Facebook:Well, I am finally caught up. So, lets talk about cleaning harmonicas. When I get a harp in for repair from a customer, I take it apart, remove any obviously bad reeds, and then start the cleaning procedure. I scrub the plates, and cover plates with liquid Bar Keepers friend, with a hard toothbrush, until they look like new, or as close as I can get. Then I wash them with Dishwashing soap, again using a tooth brush. Then using the soap, I wash the comb unless it is made of wood. On the wood combs, I scrape the dried goop from between the teeth with an exacto knife, and then lightly flat sand the comb . If the comb looks dry, I use a combination of Mineral Oil, Carnuba wax, and bees wax to treat the comb. I use a hair dryer to liquify the waxes, brush it on the comb, and then take my hair dryer and apply it to the comb. That will remelt the wax and make sure it soaks in where needed. Then I wipe it off, and check to see if it is flat.

Then I I look at the curvature of each reed and make adjustment to anything that is majorly wrong, like the tip dipping into the slot first. This is not a customization type reedwork, but just maintenance. Then I replace any bad reeds, and hold the harp together and play it and check the tuning, and make any major adjustments. Then I flat sand the draw plate. Then I put the reed plates in an ultrasonic cleaner to get any loose debris removed. Then I reassemble the harp, play it, and make any necessary adjustments. When I am happy with the way it plays, the I put the whole assembled harp into an Ozone Sanitizer. If it is for a customer, I never touch it again. If it is for me, I play it, because I love the fresh taste of Ozone.

I do all of this for customers for $20. I only work on Hohners Diatonics.
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HarveyHarp
HarveyHarp
792 posts
Mar 25, 2020
10:27 AM
From this time on, I will put any package I get in in my ozone sanitizer before I even open it up.

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HarveyHarp
Sarge
778 posts
Mar 25, 2020
2:50 PM
Qoute HarveyHarp:I do all of this for customers for $20.

That is a super deal!!!!
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Wisdom does not always come with old age. Sometimes old age arrives alone.
Sarge
779 posts
Mar 25, 2020
2:50 PM
Qoute HarveyHarp:I do all of this for customers for $20.

That is a super deal!!!!
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Wisdom does not always come with old age. Sometimes old age arrives alone.
Sarge
780 posts
Mar 25, 2020
2:50 PM

Last Edited by Sarge on Mar 26, 2020 6:54 AM
Spderyak
330 posts
Mar 26, 2020
4:11 AM
So Harvey...are you asking people to send you their harmonicas even during the virus outbreak ?

...depending of course if one thinks it's a hoax might factor into it.
HarveyHarp
793 posts
Mar 26, 2020
9:23 AM
Sure, I will sanitize it before I work on it.
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HarveyHarp
HarveyHarp
794 posts
Mar 26, 2020
9:25 AM
Some of the harps I take apart make me gag, just thinking about someone blowing on them.
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HarveyHarp
Wailing ptarmigan
11 posts
Mar 26, 2020
3:10 PM
Thats some solid information...and Harvey - you must be the deal of the century, you're definitely giving your customers some value there!
One other possibility that just came to me would be using a sanitizing solution like I do when brewing beer.
Stay clean and healthy everyone!
HarveyHarp
795 posts
Mar 27, 2020
12:31 PM
--Yes, but ozone is a gas. years ago, I used to put in in a Ultrasonic Cleaner as the last step, but sometimes the liquid changed stuff. Gas changes nothing except kills germs.
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HarveyHarp


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