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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 01-21-2015, 06:42 AM   #1
normthepiper
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Default How to sanitise my bagpipes

I am presently receiving chemotherapy and as such I have to be very careful I don't pick up an infection from my pipes. My oncologist has told me that playing and marching with the band is very good for my health. My pipes are 1938 Henderson with ivory mounts on the drones, mouthpiece and chanter stocks. The bag is a Bannatyne bag. I need to know what steps to take to ensure that my pipes are as hygienically clean as possible to make me feel confident I don't catch any germs of any kind that will endanger my health. I don't want to stop playing as this chemo. infusion can take up to six months to complete and getting back to playing condition takes awhile.

Any help you can give me will be truly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:06 AM   #2
Rooklidge
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

I'm sorry for your plight, Norm, and wish the best for a speedy recovery. It's great that you can still enjoy your hobby. Brushing and oiling the pipes should reduce surface molds in the wood. What is the interior bag material--hide or synthetic? I've sprayed vinegar in my Bannatyne hybrid with no apparent detriment to the material and the acetic acid may hinder bacterial growth. Don't know about long-term effects of vinegar on synthetic material, but at least I don't have a green-black bag interior. I believe there are commercial products that others can describe. all the best.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:06 AM   #3
Texas Gael
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

Keep your blow stick clean and you shouldn't have any problems. Use the anti-septic hand wipes that can be bought at the grocery store and wipe off the mouth piece and pull one through the blow stick bore every once in a while and things should be ok.

Cheers -

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Old 01-21-2015, 08:07 AM   #4
Rooklidge
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

I forgot to mention your MCS, Norm. I use a tube trap, and whenever I start to see hazy growth on the inside I give it a dose of vinegar and scrub what I can. I'm a wet blower and I clean about every two months.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #5
acadianpiper
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

Piper's Choice makes a product called MacClens that is available from Scott's Highland Services and probably other retailers. I haven't used it, but Piper's Choice claims it is safe for both synthetic and leather bags. It can be used to clean your mouthpiece and blowpipe and the inside of your bag. In the old days, many pipers used to use Dettol--I'm sure some still do--which you should be able to find in pharmacies.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:27 PM   #6
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

Keep the blowpipe very clean. If possible, use a backflow valve that's not attached to the blowpipe (ex Moose or Beck valve). That will help keep any nasties in the bag and further away from the blowpipe.

I hear having some copper (like an older, all-copper penny) in the bag can help to prevent mold growth on the chanter reed.

Maybe blow some whiskey into the pipes every now and then to keep the germs at bay.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
Rooklidge
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianpiper View Post
, many pipers used to use Dettol--I'm sure some still do--which you should be able to find in pharmacies.
A quick search brought up this: "As with other manufactured household cleaners, Dettol has the potential for causing lethal toxicity. It is poisonous when ingested and even when it is unintentionally inhaled".

I don't think I would recommend that for someone with a compromised immune system....or anybody else!

The high sugar content in old bag seasoning recipes probably kept the hide bags from forming nasties. Jimmy McIntosh's new book includes an interesting old recipe for seasoning.
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Old 01-21-2015, 02:54 PM   #8
longwind
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

I'm a big believer in the demerara sugar with thick tea seasoning. My last hide bag lasted over 30 years and no mold. Still never had to pay for seasoning, plus you know what's in there.
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Last edited by longwind; 01-21-2015 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 01-21-2015, 03:25 PM   #9
Rooklidge
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by longwind View Post
I'm a big believer in the demerara sugar with thick tea seasoning. My last hide bag lasted over 30 years and no mold. Still never had to pay for seasoning, plus you know what's in there.
Tell me your recipe and process, please!
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:33 AM   #10
Craic Piper
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Default Re: How to sanitise my bagpipes

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Originally Posted by ElRanchoHotTub View Post
Tell me your recipe and process, please!
Yes…please share
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