How Do I Get Long Life from
My Reeds?

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A daily 5 minute soaking in hydrogen peroxide followed by a rinse may help keep your reeds playing longer.

dsears@efn.org writes,

"I have rejuvenated some old reeds by overnight soaking in hydrogen peroxide..."

CMIDERSK@catawba.edu by way of JDKRIDER@catawba.edu writes,

"Peroxide generates highly reactive free radicals (like Cl from CFC's relative to the ozone layer). These free radicals attack pretty indiscriminately but the greatest effect is on small organisms like bacteria and molds and such since a little damage to a very tiny organism adds up quickly. This is why peroxide is such a good disinfectant. Peroxide is also a good bleaching agent since it breaks color molecules into smaller pieces which do not absorb color in the same way (see: M. Monroe?).

Short soaking should kill any saliva enzymes or bugs (bacteria) trying to help digest the wood fibers without the peroxide attacking the wood itself. Long soaking is probably not a problem since most of the available chemical activity will probably be used up before any noticeable change in the wood accumulates. If you're looking to do this frequently, a 2-5 minute soak will probably kill all the bugs and minimize possible damage to the reed. If you're only doing it now and then, a longer soak is OK."

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