Monday, October 22, 2012

Care Of Parks Whistles


I just got back from a week counting migrating raptors in the Florida Keys. They are mostly young birds who follow the coastline down and then jump across to Central and South America. For details visit

Upon return I found a question from a new customer in Germany. He was wondering how best to clean his Walkabout. Here's the meat of my reply. I thought others might have similar wonderments:



There are no wood parts. The fipple block feels like wood, but it's really sanding marks pretending to be grain. 

You can clean it with water, soapy water, or put the parts in the top rack of the dishwasher (standing up is best.) Just be sure not to use a "heat dry" or any other setting that would get the temp near or over 100C. Too much of this might lighten the engraved markings, but won't hurt if you have a really big mess to clean up. 

For stubborn beer residue or whatever, you can fold a strip of business card in half and when moist, run it into the windway. The only real sensitive part is the edge or labium. If you poke to strongly with something too stiff, like a wire pipe cleaner, you could damage it, and the sound will not be so clear. 

Condensation is normal as the whistle warms up. I usually find I have to give it one blowing out about the third tune in the first set. I can do this while playing if the tune provides and opportunity to play a second octave A or B. Otherwise, put your finger over the window and give it a good blow. Once warm, there should not be much condensation. 

If you want to minimize the problem, you can put a little soapy water in the windway, wipe off the outer parts and leave the soap in the windway to dry. This will help the water move out more easily and may just clear it during normal play. 

The plastic doesn't mind being played hard and put away wet, but watch for growth inside if this is done a lot. A good way to kill bacteria is to dry them out. 

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