How to clean the inside of your didgeridoo

Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 in Info & Education by Posted by

When playing a didgeridoo it is inevitable that a fair amount of moisture (dribble) is going to get on the inside. Most brass wind instruments have a “spit valve” to deal with this. With the didgeridoo, this valve is the end/bottom. If you play for long enough, you may see some dribble come out the end – don’t panic, this is normal :).

So do you need to clean the inside?
You don’t NEED to, but you sure can. It’s not something that needs to be done every week though. How often you clean your didge is up to you.
If you play your didgeridoo straight after eating a tuna sandwich, then in a day or two you are probably going to want to clean it (or turn back time if you could :)).

With water
One way to clean the inside of your didgeridoo is to hose it out with water. Put the end of the hose just inside the mouthpiece and give it a squirt through with water.

If your didgeridoo is painted, make sure that water is not going to damage the artwork. If it’s painted with an acrylic paint, or is sealed over the top of the artwork, you should be fine. If the artwork is a mat finish or ochre style of paint, it is best not to get it wet as it will get damaged.
Also check the inside of the didgeridoo, try to see if it has been sealed. If it has been sealed down the inside then you don’t have to worry about too much water being absorbed into the timber, so you can give it a good hose out. If it is raw timber, I would keep the hose out short and sweet – just a quick blast.

No cracking
When timber gets wet and warm, it will expand. This will increase the chances of it cracking. The last thing we want is our didgeridoo cracking!
Make sure once you have cleaned the inside of your didgeridoo, let it fully air out and dry in a moderate temperature room before you put it back in your didgeridoo bag.

Do I pour oil down the inside?
Some people like to oil the inside of their didgeridoo. If your didge has been sealed on the inside with a varnish or resin, don’t bother oiling it as it won’t soak through to the timber. It will run out the end and leave everything oily.
If it’s a naked/natural finish, you can pour some linseed (or similar) oil down the inside. This will moisturize the timber and reduce the chance of it cracking. Once you pour it through, leave your didge propped upright for a few hours so the excess oil can drain out the bottom.

What if it my didgeridoo smells?
Some people like to put a small drop of their favorite essential oil inside the didge to make it smell nice. Make sure you start with a SMALL drop, you don’t want to overpower your senses.

Hope this info helps with your didgeridoo cleaning and maintenance. Please let us know if you have any questions or we can help in any way.
Happy didging