ReedJuvinate and Listerine

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  1. #1
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Forum Contributor 2010-2017 maddenma's Avatar
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    Default ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I've been using the ReedJuvinate reed holders for about 6 months now and I now absolutely swear by them. It's very cool to get a good cane reed out of the container and immediately start playing on it without any warm-up, not to mention having the reeds last a whole lot longer.

    However, after spending the last 30 minutes swabbing down pads on one of my tenors with naptha to fix a whole bunch of sticking ones, I thought I'd ask others using this method what they're using in them. The directions call for original formula Listerine -- presumably because the additional flavorings in the other flavors can cause the pads to stick. Well, clearly so does the original formula. I also presume that anything that doesn't evaporate on its own without leaving a sticky residue of some kind will do the same thing -- such as liquor.

    It's not a huge deal to clean the pads from time to time given the benefits, but has anyone using this system have any thoughts on something non-toxic that doesn't taste like you're licking a bottle of rubbing alcohol?
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    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Are you using neat Listerine? You can dilute it.
    I don't like this method and don't like the taste.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I use pure, clean (sugar free) alcohol such as vodka or tequila. I prefer it to listerine as it seems more neutral tasting.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I started using Reedjuvenate with original Listerine a few months ago and am also loving the system, but given the concerns expressed here, might switch to spirits. Maybe a nice bisongrass vodka. . . .
    A little bit louder and a little bit worse.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I've been using this system on almost all of my setups. I have not had the issue.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Maybe the OP's sticky problem is from stuff that is being loosened and carried along from inside the horn?

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    No issues here with OG Listerine. I couple this method with brushing my teeth (most times) before I play. YMMV, but that seems to keep things mostly stick-free, but, of course, some stickiness to the pads is just nature of the beast, if you will.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I know a couple of pro players who swear by Listerine and they use the blue mint stuff. Not the stuff with extra ingredients for your teeth but the mint flavor.
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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigmund451 View Post
    I know a couple of pro players who swear by Listerine and they use the blue mint stuff. Not the stuff with extra ingredients for your teeth but the mint flavor.
    That's interesting as I've seen the original formula recommended much more. A local sax teacher tried the mint flavour and wasn't liking it too much so I suggested trying the original formula and now she's using it all the time.
    Then again, I'm not sure if the original is the same as it was. Most mouthwashes have changed to alcohol-free after some concerns. I'm not sure how different the formulas are now.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I've been using the ReedJuvinater for several years now, with original Listerine, and have not had a problem with sticking pads. I also brush my teeth before playing, and never eat or drink anything but water during a practice session or gig. I think that food remnants or sweet beverages would be far worse for the pads than Listerine.
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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Of course just because they are great players doesnt mean they are reed experts either

    It just works for them.

    I personally never liked the wet all the time reed systems.

    I tried it once...not this product but using alcohol or listerine and reeds just felt funny.
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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I've been doing DIY Reedjuvinate for years; basically a 1.5" round glass jar, with a damp piece of sponge sitting in the bottom. The reeds are never "wet", just as cigars are never wet when kept in a humidor. I use any old mouthwash with higher alcohol content...about 21%. I used to used vodka.

    But lately, I have sort of noticed just a bit of residues forming. Nothing crazy or problematic, but methinks the vodka is pure-er and I play better cause the reeds are happier and "loosened up" more with the 'real stuff' as we all are. Just kidding, but I think clear alcohol is the best way to go (My method lets me keep about 6 reeds ready...not just three via ReedJuvinate, and less finiky to work with...you just toss em in the jar, in holders (original plastic ones they come in via Daddario, Rigotti, VD etc.)

    I'd never go back crinkly tip reeds. they come out flat, just damp to the touch and close to ready to play.
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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigmund451 View Post
    I personally never liked the wet all the time reed systems.
    Me neither. I gave the ReedJuvinate system a really thorough test over a period of time and yeah, the reeds felt 'funny;' mainly they felt soggy and less responsive (even when the sponge was just barely wet). But of course this is a very subjective thing and many will like the system. Now I use the reedjuvinate container to soak my reed in water for a few minutes before playing it. Very handy on a gig because I can fill it part way with water at home, close it up and attach it to my sax stand with the magnet it has on the side (no need to go to the bar and order a glass of water for my reed). As to crinkly reed tips, using a reed case solved that issue, but then again I don't live in a desert dry environment.

    Back to maddenma's observation, I'd be surprised if the Listerine is the cause of the sticky pads, but maybe it would be a good idea to try Vodka instead, as others have suggested, and see if that makes a difference.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Well, I think there is likely a set of "phases" of wetness that a reed goes through (more like a continuum). If it starts out bone dry, it will go through all of the phases. If it starts out damp, it skips some of the initial phases.

    In the first case, it goes through the phases either while you're wetting it (in water/mouth? ) and/or while you are playing it. So the way an initially damp humidified reed feels/responds is going to happen in any case. It has to go through that "range" of dampness. That's why I never understand those that don't like humidifier type systems because the reed feels funny, at the onset.

    A potential 'real' reason for being against them is that some think it shortens the life or change the fundamental character of the reed. I don't know or have any real thought on that though. But, when a reed tip goes waaaay crinkly, I'd suspect that is a bad thing for those fibers along the way. And I don't like the initial 10-15 minutes to get a reed to a "steady state" when practicing or gigging.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    Me neither. I gave the ReedJuvinate system a really thorough test over a period of time and yeah, the reeds felt 'funny;' mainly they felt soggy and less responsive (even when the sponge was just barely wet). But of course this is a very subjective thing and many will like the system. Now I use the reedjuvinate container to soak my reed in water for a few minutes before playing it. Very handy on a gig because I can fill it part way with water at home, close it up and attach it to my sax stand with the magnet it has on the side (no need to go to the bar and order a glass of water for my reed). As to crinkly reed tips, using a reed case solved that issue, but then again I don't live in a desert dry environment.

    Back to maddenma's observation, I'd be surprised if the Listerine is the cause of the sticky pads, but maybe it would be a good idea to try Vodka instead, as others have suggested, and see if that makes a difference.
    The guys I know who do it play really heavy reeds also. Maybe it makes less of a difference?
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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Quote Originally Posted by High Fly View Post
    Well, I think there is likely a set of "phases" of wetness that a reed goes through (more like a continuum). If it starts out bone dry, it will go through all of the phases. If it starts out damp, it skips some of the initial phases.

    In the first case, it goes through the phases either while you're wetting it (in water/mouth? ) and/or while you are playing it. So the way an initially damp humidified reed feels/responds is going to happen in any case. It has to go through that "range" of dampness. That's why I never understand those that don't like humidifier type systems because the reed feels funny, at the onset.

    A potential 'real' reason for being against them is that some think it shortens the life or change the fundamental character of the reed.
    What you say would seem to make sense. However, it's not what I experienced. And, as I said I gave this a real good shot because I wanted it to work. I liked the idea of having 3 or 4 reeds all ready to go at all times. But what happened is, yes it seemed to change the fundamental character of the reed. When I allow a reed to dry, then soak it briefly (2 or 3 minutes), it is ready to play immediately after that soaking period but it doesn't seem to be 'waterlogged.' And 'waterlogged' is the best description for the reed after it's been left in the reedjuvinator, even with only a damp sponge. I also found that the waterlogged reed would play just fine after being allowed to dry, then soaked for a couple of minutes. What I conclude from all that is that there is a definite difference in a reed that is allowed to dry, then soaked briefly, and a reed that is kept moist constantly. Why that is, I don't know. And why some of us have found this to be the case and others haven't is also a mystery.

    As I said, my reeds don't warp because I put them in a reed holder that keeps them flat on the tip.

    Phil, I play Rigotti Gold 3 light reeds. So medium strength. It could be possible that a 3.5 or 4 reed would work better with the wet all the time system (than a #3 reed), but I don't really see how and since I don't play reeds that hard, it's not an option for me.

    Hey I'm not complaining; no worries because it's easy enough to put a reed into the reed holder, then give it a brief soak before playing it. Everyone has to find what works for them.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    And 'waterlogged' is the best description for the reed after it's been left in the reedjuvinate, even with only a damp sponge.
    This was my experience also, and I thought I was doing something wrong because many people really like the system. I have tried the reedjuvinate a few times now, but I keep going back to a Rico reed holder with 72% humidity packs. It really seems to help, particularly in the winter, but the reeds never feel wet/saturated when I take them out like they do with the reedjuvinate.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Use the original (yellow-ish) formula Listerine. I've been using my home-made reedjuvinate system for about 3 yrs. now with zero problems. I'd assume the sticky pads are from something you eat or more likely, drink while (before or during) playing. I seriously doubt the incredibly small amount of listerine that actually gets into the reed "bleeds" into your pads. If some of you don't like how moist your reeds stay, simply use less listerine in the sponge. It ain't rocket science. ;-)

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    I like the orig listerine flavor. I make sure though that the sponge have just barely enough liquid that it wont bleed into the reed holder, coz that's what causes the sticky thingy as the tube tumbles around your sax case.

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    Default Re: ReedJuvinate and Listerine

    Quote Originally Posted by jgreiner View Post
    I seriously doubt the incredibly small amount of listerine that actually gets into the reed "bleeds" into your pads. If some of you don't like how moist your reeds stay, simply use less listerine in the sponge. It ain't rocket science. ;-)
    I agree that it seems highly unlikely the tiny amount of listerine can get on the pads.

    As to using less listerine on the sponge, I tried that. I used the tiniest amount possible and still had the same problem with less-responsive reeds. But, as I said, it's not a problem at all now since I simply let the reed dry in it's holder between playing sessions, then wet it with H2O before playing. Problem solved; not rocket science!

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