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I was wondering whether keeping silica packets inside my clarinet case would be a good idea considering that it is a wooden clarinet. Also, what about putting silica packets inside a bag of reeds to prevent them from getting moldy?

I wanted to put a silica packet with my clarinet to draw away any excess moisture that may damage the instrument.

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    You could go for the Planet Waves 2-way humidipack system, which dries out the instrument like a silica packet if it's too wet and increases the humidity like a sponge if it's too dry. I thought it was good for the reeds to be damp? – Todd Wilcox Mar 22 '18 at 3:04
  • @ToddWilcox Yes, these work. There is a youtuber who uses these types of packets, but I don't have any and can't get them. – Erik Mar 22 '18 at 3:18
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Wood's least worry is humidity. It cracks from being overly dry. The metal mechanisms will appreciate not being exposed to excess humidity but silica packets are sort of a mixed blessing: unless you explicitly heat them, they are more a buffer of humidity than a drier. That's why they are usually labelled with "throw away": their job is essentially done when some item susceptible to humidity is opened for the first time or a few times afterwards. Their purpose is extending the shelf life of metal or electronic items.

You can heat them to get back the drying property but for a partly wooden instrument like a clarinet, I doubt that this is a really great idea.

Did you actually have reeds getting moldy? Wood by itself is somewhat resilient against bacteria and fungi, and most people are comfortable leaving their trees out in the rain.

  • I don't have moldy reeds, but almost all of them are damp when I open them up the next day even though I let them dry for 20 minutes on the day prior. I'm mostly just worried about them getting moldy and want to prevent it. – Erik Mar 21 '18 at 22:00
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If you have a problem with reeds getting mouldy you could try it. Otherwise, don't. Wooden items generally suffer more from drying out and cracking than from being moist.

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I have never heard of mold sneaking in. Do you happen to live in some tropical climate, or are you just worrying?

If you don't already have one, get some kind of reed case which holds the reeds gently but firmly onto a flat surface such as plate glass. I can't stress strongly enough how important to reed life it is to keep the bottom face flat.

The reason to swab out instruments (notice that metal ones such as saxophones and trombones get swabbed too!) is to keep them clean, avoid soaking the pads themselves, and so on. [use cigarette paper to clean and dry the pads themselves] The wood doesn't care if there's a little moisture there, tho' you should swab the interior now and then with a small amount of bore oil

  • I'm mostly just worrying since my reeds are damp whenever I take them out of their bag. Thanks for the advice. – Erik Mar 22 '18 at 16:59

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