My saxophone has been leaking spit all over the first three keys that you put your fingers on (don't know the names of them) and I'm worried that it will damage the pads. My parents are renting it used and it has a couple problems like the octave key not working on high A and above every once and awhile, 1 or 2 screw coming loose, and the spit problem. The main thing I'm worried about is if those pads are getting damaged by the almost at this point constant spit all over they pearls and pads.

  • 2
    Spit is different from condensation, one typically has the latter with wind instruments, and it is not especially agressive. What you describe may indicate, that the pads are already worn/hardened, so you should present it to the people where it is rented from for fixing this and the other described issues.
    – guidot
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 7:22
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    If it is spit, there's something you're doing wrong in playing. As guidot says, it's more likely condensation, caused by the moisture in your breath. It's in everybody's.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 12:57

3 Answers 3


As said in the comments, what you observe is likely to be condensation, which is a normal phenomenon on a sax.

However, it is a good habit to clean it with a pad saver after you played in order to remove the moisture from inside the sax, preventing corrosion and eventual pad damaging… After cleaning with the pad saver, do not let the saver inside the sax as it will retain humidity inside the sax and prevent it to dry properly…

If you have the appropriate screw driver, fastening a bit these screws may prevent you from a bad surprise, like a bar falling off or something like that ;).


You should not be able to see fluid, be it spit or condensation, coming out of the upper holes. I wonder whether the pads are closing correctly.

If in fact you feel air escaping from your lips (not going down the saxophone "tube"), then you have embouchure problems - might benefit from lessons and/or a softer reed.

Similarly, if screws are working loose, take the sax back to the rental place and tell them to do a proper overhaul (cleaning the screws and rods so they won't work free, levellng pads, etc). You're paying good money right now for a poor axe.

  • Yeah I it is actually condensation from those upper holes, I was confused about that. I pretty sure my pads are worn and I haven't been feeling air escaping from my lips. I might just rent a new saxophone or buy a refurbished one because I don't really like the way my horn looks since it is used and because one of my pearls fell off. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 22:53

According to Charles Harris, who has been playing saxophone 35 years and been repairing them since 25 years, he has answered this question in a relative way on qoura.com

You can read the whole thing here:


Hope this helps!

  • 1
    Hi, since links often disappear, please add a brief summary of what Harris advises. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 14:30

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