Cleaning Turkey Diaphragm Calls

Published on 31 March 2023 at 17:29

If you are anything like me, you enjoy using diaphragm calls for turkey hunting. Like anything else though, the more you use them you may notice they start to stink or get a bad taste. I think this is disgusting, so I do all that I can to ensure mine are clean after every use, and I periodically give them a "deep clean" to limit bacteria growth and to allow them to last quite a while! For this article I used some of my older calls that happened to need a good cleaning. 

How to Clean

Periodically I like to give my calls a "deep clean". To do this I utilize some simple household items listed below:

What you will need:



Paper towel

Small Bowl 


mouthwash, turkey calls, small glass, toothpicks

With all the materials in hand, you are ready to start your cleaning process. I start by adding a small amount of mouthwash to my bowl. I believe it is usually around 5% mouthwash and 95% water. If you go above though it will not harm anything. Once you have this concoction mixed together in your bowl, you can simply place your diaphragm calls into the solution. I like to think of it as giving them a bath. 

Turkey calls together in a bowl of mouthwash and water

Once they are in their bath, I will usually allow them to soak for a few minutes and sloshing them around every so often just for good measures. Once I deem, they are soaked well in the solution, I remove them from the bowl and prep them to dry. To dry them I like to take toothpicks, or in my case skewers from a past cookout, and carefully wedge them between the layers of latex allowing each layer to dry out. This is beneficial so you aren't allowing moisture to dry between the layers. Please be careful during this step though, as it can be a pain in the ass to get the skewers into place, and you don't want to be too rough and tear the latex and ruining your call. While they are drying I wash my call holder in warm soapy water.

turkey calls with skewers in them drying

Once you ensure that your calls are adequately dry, you can go ahead and place them into the container you use to store them! I like to keep mine in the freezer in between uses. This in my mind kills and prevents any bacteria that may get on them. A little treat is next time you use the calls after this, you will have a minty taste when you put it in your mouth. That is the process for this! It is very fast, straight forward, and effective. In between hunts I will rinse my calls in cold water for good measures. I hope that this process works as well for you as it does for me! As always, stay safe and best of luck to you in your hunting endeavors! 

turkey calls in container in freezer

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