Mold growing inside Sylpho

  • To avoid blowing hard you may partially plug the exit hole of Sylpho. It works very well making the sound much louder, but your saliva stays inside and looking through the mouthpiece I see mold growing inside. This was really bad for me, and I have to clean it with antiseptic tissue, which is not quite easy. I guess for some people this may be a problem, and you should clean it frequently. Unless the interior of the instrument is silvered, as it is done in some refrigerators, there is no easy way to avoid it.

  • Anyone know of a bottle brush or other cleaning product that works well for the Sylphyo?

  • @troy

    From the manual : Cleaning the Sylphyo


  • Looking into my wood flute one day and seeing a forest of green and brown hairy things growing inside made me cringe. I did a lot of research and eventually used Tea Tree oil, with excellent results. The mold was gone for good within a week, and the Tea Tree aroma dissipated completely within 4 weeks.

    However, there are caveats ...

    I have added recommendations regarding Tea Tree oil to my page on Flutopedia - see the bottom of this page:

    I'm hoping someone from Aodyo can respond ...

    Is it OK to use one or two drops of Tea Tree oil in the Sylphyo?

    Also, see cautions on that Flutopedia page about possible allergic reactions.

    As an alternative to placing a drop or two of Tea Tree oil directly into the Sylphyo, you could use a diffuser. You place a drop or two of tea tree oil on an medical swab (not a Q-tip, which can leave lint) and suspend the medical swab inside the bore of the instrument. The fumes of the Tea Tree oil provide the antifungal action. I believe that WoodSounds Flutes distributes a product specifically for this purpose

  • @Clint What you could do is put a bit of the tea tree oil on a thin rag (like the cleaning kit that we sell) and carefully pass it through the Sylphyo. Do not force it through as that may damage the internals depending on how much strength you use! I would recommend against pouring it directly down the Sylphyo however, as I am not certain how it would affect the inner tubing or the electronics if it gets to them (which it really should not).

    We have found that cleaning your Sylphyo somewhat regularly should prevent any kind of fungus from growing in it. I also don't think fungus likes plastic very much, as wood is a much more natural habitat for them.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Aodyo Instruments

  • @Support_AODYO said in Mold growing inside Sylpho:

    ... I also don't think fungus likes plastic very much, as wood is a much more natural habitat for them.

    This article: (possibly self-serving, but it does look reasonably balanced) talks about the ability of mold to break down the additives to many plastic, and also the ability to thrive in a moist environment with deposits on the plastic surface.

    However ... the mold issue that I described above happened once in 17 years to a single flute (of 300+) that I overplayed for several days in a row and did not allow to sufficiently dry.

    I am suggesting Tea Tree oil only as a possible remedy - not on a regular basis.

    I am thinking that removing the mouthpiece and suspending a medical swab with one or two drops of oil in Sylphyo main chamber would be a good first attempt at a remedy for mold.

    Here is my diagram of how I recommend this for Native American flutes (a two-chamber flute) ...


    Another idea would be to put 1-2 drops on the inside of the mouthpiece, insert the mouthpiece, and lay the Sylphyo down overnight horizontally (so the oil does not drip down into the instrument). The idea is that the fumes of tea tree oil are what affects mold. The mouthpiece is ?probably? impervious to tea tree oil), and in any case could easily be cleaned or replaced.

    Again, these are my (untried) ideas for a remedy ...

  • I use a clarinet pad guard (Rico Pad Guard) to dry off whatever it will reach and I store my sylphyo with the pad guard inside to absorb moisture. Link to US Amazon page for this product is below.

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