I have a student with an antibiotic resistant staph sinus infection (MARCoNS) who is concerned she might be reinfecting herself during treatment by playing her horn. Does anyone have advice or experience in how to best disinfect a mouthpiece, leadpipe or the entire horn without causing damage to the instrument or the finish? Any thoughts on whether the whole horn would need to be disinfected, or just leadpipe and mouthpiece, or just mouthpiece? Suggestions I have heard of include boiling the mouthpiece in hot water for ten minutes, using Sterisol germicide and using Lysol. Also, any thoughts on whether the pressure created by playing make sinus infections worse? The treatment for this is at least two months, and the student does not wish to take a break from playing. Any advice is appreciated!
See this was asked in 2015 but will answer for future use.
Easy and safe way to disinfect the horn is with 91% isopropyl alcohol. I have done this using a set of small rubber corks bought @ the hardware store. Simply plug up a section of the horn(e.g. lead pipe) and use a small funnel to load the corked section with the alcohol. Let sit for a minute, scrub with a "snake" then drain off and rinse well with fresh water.. For the slides and mouthpiece, you can simply place in a small container and submerse them in the alcohol then scrub w brush or snake. Be sure to rinse the entire horn well with water and work in a well ventilated area with gloves.
In terms of sinus infections, having experienced chronic ones myself, playing the horn does not pressurize the nasal pharynx so it will not make it worse. Daily nasal rinse advise from my ENT Doc almost eliminated the chronic sinus infection issue. Suggest other suffers do the same.