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Why Has My Oboe Reed Case Gone Mouldy?

Oboe reed cases and reeds go mouldy because they never properly dry out. This is usually caused by a lack of ventilation in the reed case. Once you have a mouldy oboe reed it will start to play badily very quickly. Do not leave this reed in your reed case with other good oboe reeds as it can make them go mouldy. If your oboe reed case or any reeds go mouldy we advise to throw that reed or reed case away as otherwise it can make your other oboe reeds go mouldy!

How to Stop Your Reed Case & Reeds Going Mouldy

Have a well ventilated oboe reed case

Most reed cases have small gaps at either end of the lid to allow air to circulate through the reed case and dry out the oboe reeds. If yours doesn't you can find some which do here: Oboe Reed Cases with Ventilation 

Make sure your reed case doesn't use wooden pins

If you reed case has wooden or worse, metal pins / pegs that you put the oboe reeds onto stop using it straight away! These pins don't allow air to fully circulate around and through the reeds while they are in the case and so they cannot fully dry out. This leads to mould. None of our oboe reed cases use pins, you can find all of our oboe reed cases here

Leave your oboe reed case open overnight

Leaving your oboe reed case open overnight allows all of the reeds in the case to dry out fully, ocassional when you leave a reed case inside your oboe case the air doesn't circulate freely enough to fully dry out your reeds.

Don't ever put your oboe reeds in a plastic box or case

Plastic reed cases or even worse, the small reed containers that you can be sent reeds in should not be used once you have played the reed. They do not allow the reed to dry out and so mould will start to grow. This why we always send out oboe reeds out wrapped in cotton wool in a protective cardboard box!

I live in a High Humidity Area

If you live in an area with a high humidity then reeds going mouldy could be a very common thing for you. The best way to combat this is by using a Hygro Oboe Reed Case which controls the hymidity of the reeds inside the reed case. You can find these here: Hygro Oboe Reed Case

Matthew Petrie


Double Reed Expert at Crook and Staple