Spit ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š

Too much can make for sloppy play,
Not enough leads to lips blue and gray.

Do it in public for the ire of those at hand,
Do it in private to be part of the band.

It cakes guck and gum on our beloved harmonicas,
But can be cleaned with the same, which is quite ironical.

Just enough can bring harmony to dissonance,
And bountiful beauty to a bleak existence.

~ Blazing Bobby McB
23 Apr 2024

Since starting to play the harp almost three years ago, I think I have thought more about SPIT than I had in my first 59 years of life!

What have been your experiences with the harmonica and SPIT? :thinking: :thought_balloon: :memo:

Daily I choose a different harmonica to play. Depending on how much I play that day, I find that it can get pretty gummy and gucky :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :point_down:

I always clean each harp before putting it away, to prepare it for itโ€™s next play. To do so, I usually first clean the SPIT with more SPIT and then wipe it down with my trusty Conjurer polishing cloth :point_down:

(As I rub the harmonica with the polishing cloth, I imagine I am enabling it to โ€œconjurโ€ up some awesome jams :notes: :sunglasses: )

Does anybody else out there use more SPIT to clean the SPIT that is already there?

Maybe this post should be rated โ€œGโ€ for gross? :joy:


Hi @HarpinBobbyMcB

For the external parts (cover plates) I do basically the same as you. Since I never let anyone play my harps, this really is quite convenient and quick. For everthing else (reed plates, comb, reeds) I use an ultrasonic โ€œjewelry cleanerโ€, which is very efficient and easy to do โ€“ but do not do it with wood combs or reed plates that have valves (โ€œwind-saversโ€).

โ€“ Slim :sunglasses:


Hey @Slim, could you provide more information about how you use the
ultrasonic cleaner?
Do you disassemble the harmonica and put all the parts in? aside from wooden combs of course.
How often do you do it?


Hello folks,
I also occasionally use an ultrasonic cleaner with a dash of dishwashing detergent, as described by @Slim.
@PapaCurly, I put the harps completely in the water. Then carefully tap it out and let it air dry.
Otherwise I use the Seydel disinfection bag for ALL harps. It works completely dry with ozone. Multiple harps fit in the bag, lasts about 5 minutes and occasionally needs to be charged with a USB cable. After the treatment, the harps smell fresh and I donโ€™t have any inflammation in the corners of my lips or anything else. Especially helpful for infections. I was skeptical at first too, but it seems to be sterilizing.

If a harp is blocked inside by lint or something else, only opening it and cleaning it manually will help. But that hasnโ€™t happened to me in a very long time because I only drink water when I play. I brush my teeth after meals to keep the harps clean.

After playing, I wipe the outside of the harps with the soft cloth and leave them open to air dry overnight without the case before I put them away.

Regards and good times Astrid :woman_in_lotus_position:


Just like Astrid @AstridHandbikebee63 described. Use warm water and just a drop of dish washing detergent. Rinse the harp with fresh warm water when it is finished in the ultrasonic device.

โ€“ Slim :sunglasses:


I think I may need to invest in one of these!

Thank you @Slim and @AstridHandbikebee63 for your thoughts on SPITโ€ฆ

I also do my best to always play my harps with a clean mouth, after rinsing out with water, but even so, the spit seems to accumulate.

Much of it seems to do with how dry my mouth is, but even when well lubricated with water, the spit seems to always accumulate no matter what. I think Iโ€™ve actually been able to keep my weight steady because I do my best not to snack if I anticipate playing my harp soon, and if I do, I always rinse out my mouth.

I know itโ€™s kind of a gross subject in general, but Iโ€™m sure Iโ€™m not alone to find out how dirty a harmonica can get even in one day, let alone several weeks or months without proper cleaning.

@AstridHandbikebee63 , the disinfectant bag also sounds like a good idea, though it sounds like the cleaning evidence may not be so evident.

However it be, we need to remain vigilant to keep our harps nice and clean. Iโ€™m sure Iโ€™m not the first one to open up a harp and be appalled at how dirty it is inside!!

Any interesting stories out there on SPIT, how to keep just the right amount, and how to keep it from getting so gross?