Recommended Care of Instruments

Wooden Instruments?

Daily: After playing, remove excess moisture from the bore with a recorder brush or other cleaning rod. Always keep the instrument disassembled when not in use to preserve the fit of the tenons (the peg part of the joints), and to let the bore dry. Don't use a chair as an instrument stand. Chairs are for sitting, and sooner or later, someone is going to sit on an instrument left in a chair.

Occasionally: When the bore is too dry, swab it with clarinet bore oil or almond oil. Keep oil away from the pads. Inspect the tenons and apply a little cork grease or lip balm frequently. If the tenons become loose, they can be built-up with TeflonĀ® tape or re-wrapped by an instrument repairman.

Storing and Transporting: Remember that extremes of temperature and humidity cause terrible stress in the materials (the biggest threat being dryness and the shrinkage that results). Avoid hot sun. In dry climates or during the heating season, keep a humidifier running nearby. These measures are necessary to prevent cracking. If you travel to performances in winter, moderate the changes in temperature and humidity: once you bring the instrument inside, let it warm up in the ambient air before playing.

Instruments With Internal Cork At The Joint?

During storage, disassemble it so the cork will maintain elasticity. Apply a little cork grease or lip balm frequently. On the Enfield Fife, keeping the barrel with the head relaxes the cork and ensures continued protection of the tuning slide.

Polymer Instruments?

Although polymers are known for low maintenance, a fine instrument still deserves your respect. Clean it as you would a wooden instrument. Store it disassembled. Important! The internal o-rings need regular lubrication with cork grease or the tuning slide will seize up, and that's not easily remedied.


With all pennywhistles, moisture tends to clog the windway. For best performance, mix a 1:5 solution of dishwashing detergent with water. Apply to the windway at the first sign of trouble, or when you put the instrument away after playing. Be careful that your applicator does not leave any debris in the windway. NEVER use any sharp object that could scratch or re-shape the windway: this may void any warranty.