Friday, June 27, 2014

End of the Year Orff Instrument Cleaning and Maintenance

I'm back!!!  Sorry for the gap in posts.  The end of the year was a bit crazy for many reasons and blogging had to be put on the back burner.

Every year at the end of the year, I spend some time with my students maintaining and cleaning the Orff instruments, xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels, oh my!  It always amazes me what can be found living inside! 

When I first started teaching, I had no idea what to do to keep the instruments in great condition.  Throughout the years from other teachers, I have learned some great tips on upkeep that I will share with you here.

To get started, I have the kids partner up, take off the instrument bars, and shop vac out the plethora of dust and other fun things found inside the instruments. 

After the instruments are cleaned out, students use a wet rag, and a bucket of Murphy's Oil Soap to wash the boxes and the wooden bars.  I do not have students clean off the metal bars.

Once the bars are washed, they take a different wash cloth with a little bit of Old English furniture polish, and they polish the box and wooden bars.
I also, at this time, have students put post it notes on any spots where pins have been broken on the instruments.  My wonderful custodian then pulls out the old pins and puts in replacement pins.

The final product is a beautiful, shiny instrument that is ready for a fresh start next school year.
Happy Cleaning! 


  1. I had to smile when I saw those dust bunnies. That's exactly how mine look at the end of the year too :)

  2. Thanks for your post. I do a similar procedure. I love the smell of the lemon or orange oil and the deepened hue the bars take on. In our dry climate it's so important to do a regular maintenance.

  3. Thanks so much for this great post! I was in such a rush at the end of the school year that I will have to clean mine before the kiddies come back!

  4. Where do you get the replacement pins?

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