Sticky pads on saxophone

Sticky pads on saxophone

Sticky pads on saxophone    09:55 on Thursday, June 7, 2018          

(13 points)
Posted by ChrisSmithUK

Hi guys - how do you stop the pads on your sax getting sticky?

I am an absolute beginner, and a few days ago, as I was exploring all of the different keys on my alto sax, I thought the G# was broken, as it sounded exactly the same as the G.

I discovered that although I was pressing the G# key, the pad was not uncovering the tone hole, it was stuck to it. I managed to free it easily, and for the rest of the session it was fine. However the next day it was struck again.

It's not a big issue, I just have to manually release it each time, but I wondered if anyone else has a solution to this?

Re: Sticky pads on saxophone    11:34 on Friday, June 15, 2018          

(1 point)
Posted by Karrot

My sax repair person advised me to use Zippo lighter fluid on cigarette paper pulled through the tone hole and the pad. This method is good as the fluid evaporates and does not leave any residue on the pad. I generally use the cigarette paper on its own to clean my pads and only apply the Zippo fluid on sticky keys.

Re: Sticky pads on saxophone    00:13 on Monday, December 24, 2018          

(1 point)
Posted by RuruSax

Sticky saxophone pads are very common on G# and low C# and low Eb because those pads stay closed to rot after you finish playing. A simple and safe way to prevent sticky sax key pads is Key Leaves sax key props. The little leaf-shape props slide safely under the key arms to open the Eb, G#, C# pads to air dry after you play. It costs less than a box of reeds and take only seconds to use. They are proven to stop sticky sax keys and a lot of great repair techs and sax players are recommending Key Leaves. The Saxophonist magazine gave it PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2018. Check it out at


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