Things to avoid keeping with your flute include:
- Rubber. It will degrade silver and silver plated flutes.
- Wool and the Clothes in Your Closet. Okay, wool is used in pads. But wool does tarnish silver. And wool attracts wool moths that love to eat flute pads. So if you plan to store your flute, do so in an air-tight bag. I recently saw a flute with Straubinger pads (which use a microfiber “felt”) that was lunched on by what was probably wool moths, so apparently being stored in the proximity of clothes is too close for comfort. Again, the flute gets the air tight plastic bag treatment if in storage. And don’t worry about wool being in pads.
- Salt. It reacts poorly with silver and most metals. Remember that we have salt in our bodies, so that’s why you want to wipe down your flute after playing. And if you are a person who tends to tarnish your silver flute when handling it, wipe or wash your hands before playing.
- Water. Wipe down your flute after playing and if you tend to generate a lot of moisture in your instrument then wipe it down while playing and also blot the pads with absorbent paper. And if you play a wooden instrument, never store it without first swabbing away the water in its bore.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Between Meal Snacks. Please limit your intake of food before playing. If you need to eat before playing, then rinse your mouth or brush your teeth. Note also that some tooth pastes have sweeteners and gums in them that can sometimes linger in the mouth and get into your flute. If you have chronically sticky-sounding pads, consider trying a different tooth paste brand; in particular a brand with fewer ingredients.