Oboe (Plastic) Cleaning Instructions

The Oboe is one of the most delicate and ‘touchy’ instruments made. Great care and time must be used when assembling and disassembling the upper and lower joints. The following instruments should assist you with proper care and maintenance of your oboe.

Recommended Accessories: 
Cleaning/Care Kit  /  Cleaning Papers   /   Oils&Lubricants   /   Reeds    /    Reed Saver


Prior to each use, soak the reed in water for a minute or two. This will help the oboe to play easier and better. An empty film container works well to soak the reed. Change water every day.

Apply a light film of cork grease around all 3 tenon corks (reed, middle and bell tenons).

With a slight twisting motion, straightly insert the reed into the upper joint and push all the way down. Repeat the same procedure while putting the bell on the lower joint tenon.

Always assemble connections in a straight parallel manner. Be careful that you do not ‘rock’ sections back and forth to assemble as this could cause the tenon to break off.

Assembling the middle tenon is a very important process. With your left hand, pick up the upper joint near the middle and with your right hand pick up the lower joint just above the bell tenon connection. Carefully align the two upper and lower bridge keys and slide straight together with only the smallest twisting motion.

Be careful that you do not knock off the two cork bumpers on either bridge key. The lower bridge keys must align with the upper bridge keys to operate. Again, be careful that you do not ‘rock’ the sections back and forth as this could cause the tenon to break off.


Remove the reed and rinse with water. Blow or shake off any excess water and put the reed back into a reedgard.

Remove the bell by pulling straight off with only a slight twisting motion. Secure bell in the case.

With your left hand grab the middle of the upper joint and with your right hand grab the lower end of the lower joint. Carefully pull the two joints apart with only the slightest twisting motion. Be careful that you do not knock off the cork bumpers. Secure joints in case.


Always remove the reed and carefully slide the reed into the Reedgard.

With the instrument disassembled pull the oboe swab completely through the lower section. Start from the bell tenon up. Repeat if necessary.

With the horn disassembled pull the oboe swab about ½ to ¾ of the way up the upper joint section starting at the middle going up and then pull back out. Do not pull the swab too far into the top joint or it will get stuck. If the swab gets stuck in either section Do Not attempt to remove it as this can damage the bore and tone port areas. See a qualified Double Reed Technician for proper removal.

     NOTE:  Use only an Oboe Swab for cleaning not a Clarinet Swab.

The small duster brush can be used to clean the dust and dirt under the key shafts. Be careful not to force the brush into any tight areas or damage the pads.


Vacuum the inside of the case to remove dirt and lint. Clean outer case with a wet cloth. Vinyl cleaning polishes work well to clean and shine the outer side of your case.

Periodically wipe off the silver/nickel plated keys with the polishing cloth. Give extra attention to the areas where your hands touch and hold the keys.

With a damp cloth (not wet) wipe the plastic body off where reachable. Dry water spots immediately.

As time progresses you may find pads sticking. Use a pad cleaning paper and insert it under the sticking pad. Press the key down and gently pull the paper out to remove the film and dirt from the pad.


Do not chew gum, eat or drink soft drinks just before or while you play your instrument. Food particles and sugar are difficult to dislodge and eventually will affect the playing qualities. If possible, rinse your mouth with water before playing.

Never force the joints together. Additional cork grease should be added weekly or as needed. If joints are loose or too tight, they may need to be adjusted or replaced. See a qualified repairman.

Do not stand an assembled oboe upright on the bell unattended. If bumped or knocked over, damage can occur.

If you stop for a break or end your playing session; put your instrument back into the case. Avoid laying the instrument down unprotected.

Unless your case has a proper compartment, it is not advisable to carry books, music, papers or other large objects in the case.

Do not loosen or tighten the various adjustment screws located on the body. Only an advanced oboist or qualified Double Reed Technician should perform these adjustments.

For Repair costs and estimates, please feel free to contact us.

Call:  1-800-872-2263
Fax:  1-605-225-2051
Email:  repair@taylormusic.com

We offer repair services on all Brasswind, Woodwind, Strings and Percussion Equipment.


Recommended Accessories: 
Cleaning/Care Kit  /  Cleaning Papers   /   Oils&Lubricants   /   Reeds    /    Reed Saver


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