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Fullers Earth for recovery of contaminated chanter reeds

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:05 pm
by Tpfairfax
Something that I have discovered by accident (apols if this is old hat)

I was servicing a spare set of pipes this week and, like an utter fool, forgot to clean my hands between operations and managed to get some oil on the chanter reed. (I acknowledge a slapped wrist for lack of process,discipline etc!) Those who have been here before will know that it makes it go a) dull and b) wobbly. I happened to have been clearing out an old cupboard and had found some of my old Chemical Decontamination pads (full of fuller's earth) from a previous life.

On a whim (nothing to lose) I opened a pad and put the reed in a sealed tupperware box full of the Fullers earth overnight - Reed back to new. On a further whim, I tried a couple of old reeds taken from old sets and put these in too - brightened them up no end.

You do need a good soft brush (I used a soft watercolour brush) to clean them (and some dry air to blow them out) but was pretty good.

Whilst I suspect it won't fix everything - for older or contaminated reeds which are knackered anyway - or persistently wobbly reeds - certainly worth a try - I see you can buy 250g (quite a bit) on amazon for about £3. Certainly cheaper than a new reed (if that is the problem). Wracking memory for training -it probably needs to be kept in a sealed box (so it doesn't absorb too much moisture from the air) and replaced periodically (depending on how much contamination it is soaking up....)

Also don't sneeze into it...(!)