Clean with 'alcohol'?



  • @Kehaulani said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:
    Check out all the snipes he deleted.

    I'm not going to let this deteriorate into a "he said, she said" bickering. I have nothing else to say. Just leave me alone and I will be more than happy to do the same.

    What in the hell do you think you just did? Again, listen to your own advice. It is right to the point, but when you cannot see it, it goes on... and on... and on... and on...



  • My cousin, who is one of my best friends and also a former trumpet player, was always intrigued as a kid by the idea that people would actually pay money and go to great lengths to consume alcohol, ostensibly with a desire to consume o'er much of it. He never understood what the big deal was, since he knew his mom kept alcohol under the bathroom sink all the time. Why would anyone go out of their way to drink the stuff?

    Thus beguiled to ascertain the magical essence of alcohol, he saw fit to sneak into the bathroom one morning and try this mysterious elixir for himself. We can all imagine his subsequent and immediate disillusionment with Isopropyl as a libation.

    Anyway, that was 30 years ago, but if I could go back in time, I'd show him this study on the different types of alcohol to save him from such instant and painful regret.



  • @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dale-Proctor said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    What about that spray made to disinfect mouthpieces? Label says 70% propanol, plus water and flavoring. Is it harmful? Effective?

    Once again, it will work on most organisms as noted by grune. And for mouthpieces, you really don't have to worry as much regarding maintaining the moist, warm environment that is trapped in the tubing the spore creating organisms of a closed horn system. So it should be fine to use, but I would recommend a rinse with plenty of water if using immediately after spraying. If you let the spray dry, it will be fine.

    Thanks. Yes, the instructions say to let it dry before using the mouthpiece.



  • @Dale-Proctor said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dale-Proctor said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    What about that spray made to disinfect mouthpieces? Label says 70% propanol, plus water and flavoring. Is it harmful? Effective?

    Once again, it will work on most organisms as noted by grune. And for mouthpieces, you really don't have to worry as much regarding maintaining the moist, warm environment that is trapped in the tubing the spore creating organisms of a closed horn system. So it should be fine to use, but I would recommend a rinse with plenty of water if using immediately after spraying. If you let the spray dry, it will be fine.

    Thanks. Yes, the instructions say to let it dry before using the mouthpiece.

    Great. Yeah, drying is key!



  • @grune said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    I use 75% Ethanol, as this is proven to be the most effective against germs and spores (higher % evaporates too rapidly, lower % is useless).

    This gets debated from time-to-time. But any concentration between 60%-90% is considered effective, with 70% considered the most effective.

    I prefer Ethanol, for a few reasons: not toxic; acts instantly against spores;

    Alcohols can kill many bacteria, fungi, and viruses. But they are generally not effective against spores.

    And paradoxically, high concentrations of alcohols are less effective at killing these organisms, because water is needed for them to act. High-concentration alcohols are meant to be used as solvents, not as disinfectants. This appears to be what @grune is alluding to in the last paragraph of his original post. And I agree with him, that ethanol is considered safer to use than isopropyl alcohol.

    I don't regularly use them myself. But alcohol-based agents can have a role in cleaning your horn. However, much of this may be moot. Because you won't get these organisms out of your horn, unless you first get all the "pizza" out of your horn. These organisms thrive in the organic material in your trumpet. This is why the best way to clean your horn is the tried-and-true method of dish washing liquid, a snake, and lots of warm water. Remove the organic material and wash it away, and you've gotten rid of these organisms more effectively than isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

    Mike



  • @tmd said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @grune said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:
    ...Remove the organic material and wash it away, and you've gotten rid of these organisms more effectively than isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

    Mike

    Actually Mike there is an N of 1 Evidence-based study that does not support your above cleaning comparison. Look up that September 2010 Chest Article. They have culture and medical evidence that isopropyl eliminates any biological effect of atypical mycobacteria and fungi. They blinded brass a brass player with hypersensitivity pneumonitis to see if the horn was the source, with pulmonary functions and everything. The gave the horn standard treatment (as you describe) and isopropyl cleaned above standard treatment. Patient cured with the isopropyl wash. Many other brass players instruments were then cultured., and post isopropyl treated horns had a significant inhabitant of atypicals and fungi growth. Amazing study.



  • @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @tmd said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @grune said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:
    ...Remove the organic material and wash it away, and you've gotten rid of these organisms more effectively than isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

    Mike

    Actually Mike there is an N of 1 Evidence-based study that does not support your above cleaning comparison. Look up that September 2010 Chest Article. They have culture and medical evidence that isopropyl eliminates any biological effect of atypical mycobacteria and fungi. They blinded brass a brass player with hypersensitivity pneumonitis to see if the horn was the source, with pulmonary functions and everything. The gave the horn standard treatment (as you describe) and isopropyl cleaned above standard treatment. Patient cured with the isopropyl wash. Many other brass players instruments were then cultured., and post isopropyl treated horns had a significant inhabitant of atypicals and fungi growth. Amazing study.

    Hi Gary. Yes, I'm familiar with the article. I agree that it's interesting with respect to this one person's hypersensitivity. But it's far from definitive with respect to general cleaning or disinfecting. There was no tissue diagnosis, to confirm cause-and-effect (although I realize there was indirect evidence). The presumed impact was on specific organisms, so it might be a stretch to extrapolate this to the eradication of bacteria and viruses and fungi in general. In fact, they don't say they verified that the mycobacteria were eradicated, only that this one person's symptoms resolved. Also, there was no description of the cleaning method, or discussion on the efficacy of the cleaning method.

    We may not agree on the best way to use alcohol-based cleaners. That's okay. But let me emphasize one point from my original post. A person's desire to disinfect their trumpet won't work all that well, if they don't get the grime out of their horn first.

    Mike



  • @Dr-GO Thanks for advice. I shall be giving my horn a propanol bath/rinse soon!



  • @grune said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dr-GO
    Thanks for clarification and advice. I defer to your expertise and accept spores are resistant to ethanol. Regarding single cell organisms, I am told (by other medical authority) ethanol will kill many, such as:
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa
    Serratia marcescens
    E. coli
    Salmonella typhosa
    Staphylococcus aureus
    Streptococcus pyogenes.
    Would you concur?
    If true, then I think I shall continue to use ethanol to inter alia avoid contracting the above. I do give my horn a soap bath and rinse regularly, too.

    • best regards,

    grune, this is one of the articles from the 2010 September Chest article and shows the actual bacteria cultured from brass instruments:

    1dea7315-9af1-4361-b589-1d0d187d4d46-image.png



  • @tmd said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    Hi Gary. Yes, I'm familiar with the article. I agree that it's interesting with respect to this one person's hypersensitivity. But it's far from definitive with respect to general cleaning or disinfecting. There was no tissue diagnosis, to confirm cause-and-effect (although I realize there was indirect evidence).
    Mike

    Mike, a tissue diagnosis was made in a subsequent article in Chest...
    c74e6a61-dbcc-432a-af1e-35fa389edc48-image.png



  • @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @tmd said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    @Dr-GO said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    Hi Gary. Yes, I'm familiar with the article. I agree that it's interesting with respect to this one person's hypersensitivity. But it's far from definitive with respect to general cleaning or disinfecting. There was no tissue diagnosis, to confirm cause-and-effect (although I realize there was indirect evidence).
    Mike

    Mike, Here is the link to the more recent article in 2019 chest did demonstrate this with a tissue diagnosis on a similar case:
    d39d53d5-0e09-413f-91f2-f82ccd197e3a-image.png

    c74e6a61-dbcc-432a-af1e-35fa389edc48-image.png

    As for the original article here was the original case descritpion:
    When a 35-year-old professional trombone player came to the Health Center seeking treatment for a chronic cough, the case wasn’t as simple as it first appeared.

    Dr. Mark Metersky, director of the Center for Bronchiectasis Care, quickly learned that the trombonist had been suffering from the recurring cough for approximately 15 years, and prior physicians had not been able to figure out the cause.

    “He didn’t have the typical symptoms that would cause a chronic cough. For instance, he didn’t have a stuffy, runny nose or esophageal reflux problems,” explains Metersky. “Allergy testing was negative, and a physical exam and chest x-ray were all normal.”

    Environmental causes or side effects from medication were also ruled out. More intense scans and exams still did not reveal the reason for the cough.

    But then the musician told Metersky that his symptoms improved significantly when he did not play his trombone for a couple of weeks. He also noted that the periods of more severe symptoms had been when he was playing more than usual.

    Metersky immediately suspected that his patient was suffering from hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a lung condition characterized by shortness of breath and a cough, and that his trombone was the culprit (brass players inhale with the instrument at their mouth between measures).

    An examination of the inside of the instrument showed innumerable whitish plaques, and a further analysis revealed the presence of mold and/or bacteria contamination.

    A few weeks after the musician began immersing his instrument in 91 percent isopropyl alcohol, his cough went away completely.

    The case intrigued Metersky enough that he decided to study several other musicians and their instruments.

    “All seven musicians had at least one instrument contaminated with either mycobacterial or fungal species previously associated with HP,” he says.

    Metersky speculates that since most brass and wind instruments may harbor large numbers of mold and bacteria, many other musicians may be at risk for HP.

    The study is published in the Sept. 7 issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.



  • I have been watching this thread for a while and was not sure that I even wanted to get involved...

    There is a strong tendency to "want to be right" which is OK, but I would ask if the original question was even the correct one. More on this later.

    If we talk about cleaning instruments, surely alcohol - in whatever form is just a small piece of the picture. So, I think that this thread has identified the organic contaminants, but is that all that we are after? If Alcohol does not "remove" the contaminants, could it possibly decrease our chances of getting sick with a quick disinfect?

    And here is my bitch with this thread - we have all the expert opinions but have ignored the fact that alcohol is NOT a cleaning agent of choice for the home. Water, a surfactant and some brushes are the primary choice to CLEAN the instruments - get the organic material that gunks up the valves, spit valves, promotes corrosion and would need disinfecting in the first place. Once the instruments are clean, they play best. Alcohol can be used as a disinfecting agent AFTER cleaning. Just like corona, or any surgical activity, we ALWAYS scrub first, THEN disinfect.

    Now, we could argue that excessive disinfecting actually is a bigger problem than cure in many ways. Our immune system is capable of developing when exposed to small amounts of "contaminants". Kids that play in the mud seem to be healthier than the ones "protected" by overzealous parents. Could we not have a similar situation with the trumpet?

    So, now we have enough information to replace "theory" with practical recommendations:

    Many of us use excessive oil to "flush" aerosols and contaminants out of the valve block - instead of cleaning. I generally oil once a week. Mouthpiece and leadpipe/tuning slide get CLEANING with water, dishwashing liquid and a brush at least once a week - perhaps more often if we gig A LOT. The whole horn gets a bath/scrub once a month/quarter/year depending on how much it gets played. That is probably enough maintenance for any healthy trumpeter.

    I only use alcohol when someone is trying my mouthpieces or I am in a store trying new mouthpieces out. I have NEVER disinfected my trumpet. If I wipe down the outside on my gold plated instruments, glass cleaner seems to be a really good thing.

    So, I think that we have to pick our words carefully, otherwise we are just arguing about NOTHING.



  • I don't see an argument here. My understanding of the OP's intention was how to address biological organisms collecting in brass instruments, not so much in cleaning a trumpet. I also agree from the perspective of tmd that reducing the burden the increases the colonies of biological species is equally important. To this I totally agree. My discussion primarily centers around the point that to date only one type of alcohol has demonstrated that isopropyl alcohol is successful in protecting a clean trumpet from additional complications of immune sensitivity reactions to musicians at risk. Does ethanol do the same? It might, but that has yet been proven.

    Argument? I see the posts focused on this topic enlightening from the perspective of all contributors that have focused on this topic. Am I missing something?



  • I was going to forget this thread until I saw that Robin had made a post. As usual, he makes a solid case on anything he discusses. I don't use alcohol either so what he had to say made good common sense to me.
    Now I am saying farewell to this thread.



  • @ROWUK said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    I have been watching this thread for a while and was not sure that I even wanted to get involved... And here is my bitch with this thread - we have all the expert opinions but have ignored the fact that alcohol is NOT a cleaning agent of choice for the home.

    So here is my bitch with your bitch ROWUK... how in the hell did you get the idea this was a discussion about using alcohol as a cleaning agent? The posts above are discussing alcohol as a disinfectant:

    grune: I prefer Ethanol ...a reservoir for disinfectant. ORIGINAL POST WITH TOPIC MATTER CLEARLY STATED

    Dr. GO: ...Ethanol does not eliminate difficult to remove organisms... ONLY isopropyl alcohol at 91% ... was shown to eliminate resistant organisms.

    grune: Regarding single cell organisms... ethanol will kill many...

    Dale Procter: What about that spray made to disinfect mouthpieces?

    Dr. GO: Once again, it will work on most organisms as noted by grune.

    tmd: Remove the organic material and wash it away, and you've gotten rid of these organisms more effectively than isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

    Dr. GO: Many other brass players instruments were then cultured., and post isopropyl treated horns had a significant inhabitant of atypicals and fungi growth.

    So get the bitch out of your soul ROWUK and understand this is NOT a thread about cleaning, but about disinfecting. This is important and I want to make sure others see the discussion in this context. Why?

    Do most people need to use a disinfectant on their horns? My answer: NO
    Who needs to use disinfectant? My answer: Those individuals that have hyper-immune response to allergens
    OTHERWISE a simple cleaning will do just fine....

    Bitching!



  • Gary,
    normally I do not answer your 20 posts answering each of mine or anyone elses (must have something to do with keeping your post count high). In this case I make an exception and quote "So here is my bitch with your bitch ROWUK... how in the hell did you get the idea this was a discussion about using alcohol as a cleaning agent? The posts above are discussing alcohol as a disinfectant:"

    Well, what is the title of this thread? I rest my case. How in the hell did I get the idea? Simple reading. The OP even goes into detail in the initial post about much more than disinfection. In fact, what he does is something that I would never do - for various reasons.

    Now, unrelated to the content - why do you respond with "how in the hell did you get...". Do you ever look in the mirror (figuratively) and think about how you address people - who you even are? I know that you consider yourself to be a top expert on many things - unfortunately the shitty presentations does reduce the urge to even bother to get involved to about zero.

    So, as far as this thread is concerned, I am done too. Don't bother to respond to me, I am not coming back to this thread. There is nothing that you could add to "clear" the situation up. Be sure that what I have said here will not get repeated elsewhere, it is simply not worth my time.



  • @ROWUK said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:
    ...why do you respond with "how in the hell [Dr GO] did you get...". Do you ever look in the mirror (figuratively)... shitty presentations [ROWUK] does reduce the urge to even bother to get involved to about zero.

    Guess I leaned from the best. Apparently we use the same mirror (figuratively). And I mean that, have the most respect for you and always will.

    By the way, my post count is high because I have a lot of time between patients, just to set the record straight.



  • Everclear is 75.5% FWIW. I was using it as hand sanitizer when the stores were all sold out.
    everclear.jpg



  • oh my,,, I expected discussion, not aggression. A pity: a reflection upon our times now?

    Some excellent points are made, for which I am thankful. I see I should have self-reflected a moment to specify the thread, as one person notes; true, my focus is upon disinfecting; not general cleaning per se. My apologies.

    Disinfection is of high concern to me these days. I reside currently in a tropical environment: which, to use a vernacular, is a 2nd world country, with the reduced affluence and sanitation standards when compared to 1st world. In such environment, organisms are everywhere literally and need only a few hours to propagate. I like to keep my horn exposed to open air: enables evaporation, but opens the possibility of air-borne organisms. A proper cleaning pre and post each practice session is impossible. Thus a quick 'treatment' between cleaning rounds is of great benefit.

    I have a compromised immune system, and zero immunity to tropical diseases. Even the 'common cold' gives me near-pneumonia symptoms. I have used ethanol for years, as I was then most concerned about single-cell bacteria. But I see now, thanks to this thread, I should include spores in my deliberations and thus alter my methods. The advice and points noted are very helpful.

    To summarise the consensus as I see it: ethanol is effective against single cell, and safe; propanol2 is effective against spores and single cell, thus a better choice with caveat; a general cleaning removes 'gunk' with caveat; disinfecting with propanol2 should follow general cleaning.

    with thanks,



  • @grune said in Clean with 'alcohol'?:

    oh my,,, I expected discussion, not aggression. A pity: a reflection upon our times now?

    Some excellent points are made, for which I am thankful. I see I should have self-reflected a moment to specify the thread, as one person notes; true, my focus is upon disinfecting; not general cleaning per se. My apologies.

    No need to apologize, grune, as those of us without anger in our hearts could truly understand the intent of your question within the text of your post and I am proud of all the people that heard your call to provide a creative and educational discussion. You created a very nice thread and enough information was provided to allow any reader to make a solid personal decision as how aggressive one needs to protect themselves from an immune response (yours truly included) through extra care of their horn.


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