Is a Hohner Piano 26 dishwasher safe? Yes it is.

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    So I purchased a Hohner Piano 27 from an auction, and the owner sent me the wrong melodica. He sent me a broken junker as shown below. He refunded my money, so I had nothing to lose in terms of trying to fix it.

    The approximately 50-year-old melodica was pretty dirty, and who knows what was on the inside and under the keys. Scary thoughts. I did not want to spend hours disassembling all the keys for cleaning. So, based on my hypothesis that all the adhesives used in a melodica are waterproof, even after 50 years, I removed the top cover, back cover, reed plate, and stuck them along the with the main chassis with the key assemblies in the dishwasher. About every 10 minutes, I stopped the dishwasher and rotated the main chassis so water would strike and drain through the keys at different angles. After about an hour, I removed the parts from the dishwasher and rinsed them with water. (I did not trust the parts going through the entire 2.75 hour wash cycle with heated drying.)

    I used my secret hammer technique to keep the all the valve pads open for a few hours to enable them to dry quickly (see photo below). I also patted down the felt and gasket components with paper towels to remove excess water to speed drying and limit their exposure to water. None of the adhesives and sealers failed. I reassembled the melodica, glued part of the mouthpiece receiver back together, and am working on a final repair of the mouthpiece receiver.

    Since I have fully submerged another Hohner melodica for cleaning (without even taking it apart), I am changing my water-proof adhesive hypothesis to theory, at least for certain model Hohners. USE MY THEORY AT YOUR OWN RISK! Start with a junker. Your melodica or soap or dishwasher or experience might be different.

    Not recommended for Victoria Vibrandoneon VB600 Mk IIs. 🙂

    Lowboy Bootay

    Melodica as received

    As recieved 001

    Main chassis ready for the dishwasher

    Main chassis ready for dishwasjer

    Secret hammer technique to keep all valves open at once with no hands

    Hammer 1

    Hammer 2


    Lowboy, do you use any specific dishwasher soap or does it matter, how does it affect the reed plates or are they not exposed?


    Hi Melodica-Me:

    On this model Hohner, the reed plate is removable (screwed in place). I removed the reed plate and put it in the dishwasher as well. So four parts were in the dishwasher as separate entities: top cover, bottom cover, reed plate, and main chassis with key assemblies.

    I repositioned all four parts about every ten minutes including the reed plate to ensure even exposure to the water jets. I was careful in handling the reed plate so that it would not fall over and maybe push a reed tip into one of the dishwasher tines. I used whatever dishwasher soap was under the counter. Cascade packets I think. The water gets pretty warm, but not warm enough to affect the reed plate. The reed plate remained in perfect tune.

    All the parts came out looking really bright and clean.

    I took the parts out after an hour because the paint on the burgundy covers appeared to be getting hazy. As soon as I took the covers out and wiped them down, they were fine. I think exposing the adhesives/sealers/felts to more than a hour of warm soapy water is probably pushing the limit.

    The experiment is not over quite yet. I don’t have experience with the long term effect. Maybe the valve pads will all disintegrate in four weeks. I don’t know. But I am pretty confident all will be well for some time.



    Alan Brinton

    What brand of hammer do you recommend, Lowboy?

    Are you working up a routine for Saturday Night Live?



    Yes, the brand of the hammer is key. However, I cannot reveal this information. I am planning on selling these proprietary hammers as a “Hohner Piano 27 melodica simultaneous valve pad opening device.” If I reveal the brand name of the hammer, then my business opportunity will dry up.



    Please note that not all waterproof items are dishwasher soap safe.
    I had a Bialetti Makineta which is obviously waterproof. (it makes coffee, for god sake!)

    After putting it in the dishwasher, all the metal parts became grey and touching it removes never-ending grey material.
    This is not fixable in any way so I purchased a new one, saving the old one as a reminder-monument.
    So to conclude, watch out for metal parts for your future dishwasher attempts; I would keep the reed plates out of the party.


    Hi Ofir,

    The reed plates and reeds in nearly every model of Hohner piano harmonicas are made of brass, so water with some relatively mild detergent should be no problem at all for these reed plates. And in fact, mine sounds fine after going through the dishwasher.

    The photo of your drip coffee maker suggests at least the top part is made from pot metal, also called white metal. Most of those drip coffee makers I have seen and touched in person have also been made of pot metal. Pot metal is about the cheapest metal in the world and has no standard of manufacture. Anything goes. There are numerous technical reasons why, but the use of pot metal is probably why exposure to a modern soap initiated an ongoing oxidation reaction in your coffee maker.

    Beware of pot metal.



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