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Cleaning up a used clarinet

I am new to the forum. Some years ago I played the alto sax. Due to illness, I had to give it up. Now I'm retired and feeling better, I've picked up a used Yamaha 255 clarinet. It's in good overall shape. But I'd like to clean it up a bit (unless this is not a good idea). Can someone give me some suggestions on a safe way to do so? I don't want to use anything that might harm the surface, pads, etc. Thanks in advance.
Here is a superficial look at cleaning an instrument. I always take mine to a tech for a more thorough cleaning maybe every five years or so. It's surprising what they often fine that makes my life as a musician easier. Good luck.


More detailed: https://cleanmyinstrument.com/clarinet-deep-cleaning/
A few observational things you can do.
Many people use hand creams or soaps with moisturizers. These products usually end up getting in toneholes and other open hole instruments (flutes, etc). If you use a Q-Tip with a few drops of bore oil and clean out every finger-open tonehole.

Also use a Qtip to oil the inside socket of the barrel and bore of the barrel as many times those dry out without proper maintenance. (see:

you can use a Qtip to also oil the top part of the upper joint. These are usually the areas that dry up first (barrel and upper part of the upper joint).
If you purchase a silk swab (with a weight on one end) one can be used to clean out the bore. The thin silk ones are better as the thicker ones tend to get snagged on the register tube which usually sticks in to the bore of the clarinet.

You can also use a paper towel to wipe (very lightly) bore oil on the surface, though away from any pads. Give it a half or full day, to see if it soaks in to the body wood. If it soaks quickly then apply some more. If it looks like it's sitting on the surface then wipe it away with a clean paper towel.

This is for some very basic care without knowing any "take it apart" skills.
If you are not technically adept enough to do any limited disassembly of the keys, you can make use of dry cotton swabs, felt wired pipe cleaners and toothpicks, nylon bristle brushes to loosen and remove dust and particles. Back in the early 1970's, the Naval School of Music had a room with such supplies for cleaning your instrument. Just be careful around the glued corks and felts that you don't loosen them nor damage the pads, nor shift springs.

A good hour or two of work can do wonders.
Would it be a good idea to protect the pads with plastic wrap?
The pad mechanism work of the clarinet is tight enough compared with say an alto sax, that it would be more expedient to just take your time. The traditional pipe cleaners often now sold as art supplies are reasonably gentle in case a pad is accidently touched. This also allows one to get a closer look at the pads, to see if any need replacing, along with cork and felt bumpers, etc.

The pads being fragile, just like anything, exercise caution. However, if one has difficulty, then of course one can part with a little money and have a shop do it for them.
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