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How to Sanitize a Flute

The inside of your flute will collect moisture each time you play it, thanks to the buildup from your own saliva. If you fail to clean your flute on a regular basis, it can damage the instrument, causing a distorted sound. Besides cleaning your flute, you must also sanitize it. Sanitizing your flute is a simple process, but one that you must take great care when conducting. To avoid large messes, always have a clean, food-free mouth when playing your flute.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Small Bowl
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Cleaning Rod
  • T-Shirt

Cut your T-shirt into two pieces and set them aside.

Disassemble your flute, as though you were putting it away in its carrying case.

Pour rubbing alcohol into a small bowl. If you have a special flute that is made from a material other than metal, use a disinfectant (a few drops of liquid soap mixed with water) rather than rubbing alcohol.

Dip one piece of your T-shirt into the rubbing alcohol and wring out any excess moisture. Run the T-shirt over the outside of your flute, using gentle pressure. Make sure to clean all three pieces, including the mouthpiece. Use the cotton swabs to get into any small spaces. Set it aside and allow it to dry.

Dip the second piece of the T-shirt into the rubbing alcohol and wring out any excess moisture.

Wrap the wet T-shirt around the cleaning rod and insert it into the body of the flute. Push it in and out, being gentle with the pressure. Repeat on each piece of the flute. Allow it to air-dry before packing it away.


  • Be gentle when sanitizing---you don't want to realign the keys.
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