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Author Topic: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning  (Read 4890 times)

giguchan

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Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« on: May 04, 2014, 06:45:42 PM »
How does one clean a harp?  I have a harp or 2 that I don't really  use.   got a buddy  who does not have any extra money to spare  so I thought I would pass them off to him. I was thinking of Boiling some water  running the hot water through the harp for a   time or so  and  then call it a day.  I don't know anyone  who has an autoclave  so I'm thinking that  this might be the  way to go.  I've tried the  Manufacturer(Suzuki)  but I have not heard back.  If anyone has any idea    on how to go about this  would you let me know?
  Thanks.

Gorfalamu

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 03:28:32 PM »
Do NOT use boiling water on plastic (or any other) comb.  Combs melt and distort in extremely hot water.

Various ways to clean your harps but all include warm water and some kind of cleaner.  You can even put them in the dishwasher.  I've been using windex and hot water for years, recently purchased an ultrasonic cleaner in which I put harps, windex and hot water.  Works great.

I repeat--do NOT use boiling water.

Cheers,
G

giguchan

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 05:44:15 PM »
Hey there,
  Thank you so much for the information.  since i have posted this  i have now seen that boiling water is NOT the way to go.
Ultrasonic cleaner?  that sounds like a good idea!!  thanks for all the help!! 

jzinmass

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 09:05:58 AM »
Maybe monthly (bi-?), I run my Spec20s through the dishwasher and then an ultrasonic cleaner (with little fizzy tabs). I finish off the wash with my coup de grace - a Vodka soak and then hair dryer treatment.  I do not, however, drink the vodka afterwards.  That soak  washes away the ultrasonic cleaner fluid and makes initial playing tasty.

I don't know if this prolongs harp life or helps maintain tuning.  but it doesn't take too long nor degrade the instruments.

jeff

giguchan

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 09:23:15 AM »
Jeff,
  Thank you  for the information...  it was very helpful indeed...  I will look  for Ultra sonic cleaner tabs and set off to work...  I only have a few to do.
Dishwasher...  I have heard of  this since I posted my comment..
Hope you don't get pulled over  for playing a "Loaded harp" or playing your harp "loaded"  Bit of  Bad humor there!!!
  Thanks again!

Beelzebob

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 04:58:59 PM »
Remember the good old days when everybody soaked their harps, even unsealed wood combs?  I kept a glass of water next to me as I played.  I'm sure Hohner loved that.  Of course, harps were only $3.50, so it wasn't a big deal to ruin em.  Geezer ramble over.

giguchan

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 10:17:42 PM »
Mr Geezer,
  Don't remember that at all...  you must be one of those  old Codgers who start every sentence  with" why, back in my day" or" they don't make em like they usta"  or my personal favorite" when I was your age"

  All l kidding aside  I DO remember that!!!  I'm 49 here.. I'll be 50  in December.... and not for nothing  I  was chatting with my buddies 3 year nephew.. what was the first  thing I said?  yup,  you guessed it.... " when I was your age"  and how I swore I'd never say that...  I remember Neil Young  always soaking his harp(some people use mouthwash to clean harps, but I'm told there is sugar in it and over time can weaken  the reeds)..  I'm new to harp still...  I have been around the forums  but actually  learning  I'm still a novice..  TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I don't  remember anyone else doing it....  furthermore  I cant even remember ANY other harp players  that played where  a young lad  might go to see them..  My FIRST harp concert that I ever saw was James  Cotton  in the late 90's
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 10:22:45 PM by giguchan »

Beelzebob

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 11:29:48 PM »
In the hippie days, most of us learned from a book by Tony Glover.  He was in Koerner, Ray and Glover.  He said every harp player he ever knew soaked their harps.  I wouldn't play an unsoaked harp, it made that big a difference.  There were no plastic combs then, or sealed wood, so playing a soaked harp could tear your lips up as the wood swelled.  I would cut the wood off with a pocket knife and keep playing.

giguchan

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 11:51:33 PM »
just  go to show you what I've said all along...  there was a time when Men were Men.   you are talking to someone who was too afraid to get a tattoo...

Ringer

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 05:24:58 PM »
I soak my harps in warm water every week and just before I have a Major engagement (gig or practice session with the boys).  I treat it like wild rice.  Rinse and soak, rinse and soak. I avoid drinking anything other than water when I play which makes a big difference also but I sometimes slip!!  Eating is the kiss of death for harps.  There is nothing like chicken wings to stick your reeds!

Ringer

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2014, 05:35:02 PM »
@Bob  A friend gave me Tony Glovers book back in 1977 and not knowing what he was talking about (I, IV, V), I figured it was way too deep for me so I gave it to someone else.  Who knows how many times it has gotten passed on.  I wish I had taken the time to figure it out back then but I'm a little ADHD so I just moved on to the next thing.  Wasn't till I reached 55 that I tried the harp again and I'm glad I did.

Matt

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 08:38:27 PM »
For plastic-combed harps, I dismantle them and scrub the cover plates, and then comb with warm water and soap to remove any deposits in the holes and reed slots. Then I soak the comb and cover plates in mouthwash for about 10 minutes to kill any germs. The mouthwash trick can be used by itself if you are in a hurry to santitize your harp. Dettol is even better for germ killing but leaves a funny taste that can persist for weeks.

I gently clean the reed plates with warm soapy water using a modified toothbrush (I trim the bristles so they are shorter/stiffer), being careful not to foul or damage the reeds.

Wooden combs can be brushed with a dry toothbrush to remove any debris. A plastic guitar pic can be handy for cleaning wooden combs too, but be careful not to scar the wood.

I clean about three harps at a time. While I have access to the reeds I will do a quick tune-up (I don't bother to be ultra-accurate with the tuning, but foremost I try to make sure my octaves are in tune).

giguchan

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 11:40:47 PM »
Matt,
  Thanks for the  information!  I have tried this on a few harps that I don't use anymore...   worked like a charm.  I did not want to mess anything up  so that is why I tried this  harps I don't use. The Mouthwash idea works well too.  I have heard that the sugar  in the mouthwash  can sometimes  cause problems.
Thanks again

Matt

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 12:27:58 AM »
Matt,
  Thanks for the  information!  I have tried this on a few harps that I don't use anymore...   worked like a charm.  I did not want to mess anything up  so that is why I tried this  harps I don't use. The Mouthwash idea works well too.  I have heard that the sugar  in the mouthwash  can sometimes  cause problems.
Thanks again
I neglected to mention that I always rinse the combs and plates in water and dry them by folding paper towell around them before reassembly. :-X
It is important not to put the harp back together with moisture trapped between comb and reed plates. As far as I know, there is no sugar in the mouthmash I use.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 12:30:34 AM by Matt »

Rick

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Re: Plastic comb vs hot water for cleaning
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2015, 05:29:23 PM »
I used to soak my hohner wood bodied  harps ... way back in 1973.   It made them play really well, tight, no need for "warming them up", and like Ringer said, you used your pocket knife to cut off the swelling wood.

If you kept your harp in a glass of water all the time, it would just sort of rust away.    :o 8)

 

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