Most Useful Clarinet Accessories: Swabs & Pullthroughs

30th November 2023

In this upcoming series of articles we’re going to be looking at some of the most useful clarinet accessories. This will include swabs, cleaning materials, slings, supports, stands, mouthpiece patches, ligatures and more! Let’s first take a look at the most important accessory to use every time you finish playing; the cleaning swab/pullthrough.

Why Use a Swab or Pullthrough?

Every time you play your clarinet moisture develops on the inside of the instrument. This moisture needs to be removed to prevent damage to the body and pads. It’s also a good idea from a hygiene point of view! Regular use of a swab will keep the instrument dry and prevent the pads from being degraded due to excess moisture.

How Do They Vary?

There are a range of materials that manufacturers use. These include cotton, microfibre, silk and even wool. In our testing we’ve found the microfibre cloths to be the most absorbent overall. The size and length can vary slightly, but all usually have a weighted end to make it easier to pull the whole swab through in one action.

Tips for Usage

  • Use every time you finish playing your clarinet
  • Pull the swab through from the bell end
  • Pull it through the whole instrument twice
  • If there is excess moisture pull through each joint separately as well
  • Wipe off any excess moisture from the end sockets of the joints
  • Consider a separate smaller swab for your mouthpiece – like this BG model

Our Recommended Swabs & Pullthroughs

There are a huge range and we know some players/teachers will have their own preferences. Here’s 5 of our most highly recommended clarinet swabs & pullthroughs in oder of cost.

  1. Windcraft Cotton Pullthrough
  2. Windcraft Deluxe Microfibre Pullthrough
  3. Vandoren Microfibre Pullthrough
  4. BG Microfibre Pullthrough
  5. BG Microfibre Pullthrough – for Mouthpieces