20. October 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

I’m sure any reed player has had to deal with mold. Let’s face it; we put pieces of cane in our (not-so-perfectly-clean) mouths. They get wet. They get put back in reed cases that don’t always circulate air well so reeds stay moist. What a perfect place to grow mold, don’t you think?

I rarely get mold on my reeds. My cases allow for better air circulation, I think. And of course I do, for the most part (yes, on occasion I “cheat”), brush my teeth before I play. But I have sometimes seen my reeds get a little grungy where the sides meet. I toss those reeds, unless they are so incredible I can’t bear the thought. If that’s the case I soak them in hydrogen peroxide or a solution I purchased sold specifically to sterilize our reeds (not that I believe the stuff really does … I’m skeptical that way).

But I have an issue and I’d love some help on this one. Anybody out there know about pink mold? No, not on my reeds, thank you very much, but on someone else’s. One of the reeds was very new, so it wasn’t an age thing. The person says teeth are being brushed before playing. Could this be a sign of some sort of infection? I would think maybe the player’s mouth should be swabbed. But I’m no doctor or biologist or anything. Anyone have thoughts on this?

1 Comment

  1. It’s unlikely it has anything to do with an infection, unless the player is immunosuppressed. Rhodotorula is a red colored yeast that commonly grows in the shower, in my outdated yogurt, etc. Is the person keeping the reeds in an unventilated case?

    That’s assuming it’s not really lipstick on the reed, of course.