Re: what do you do if you-
First of all, I would buy a silk swab, not a pad saver or a leather swab. Those pad savers start falling apart after a short time and those little fibers get stuck in between the pads and the tone holes....not good.
If you get a pad saver stuck, the best thing to do is try to twist it back and forth and pull. Usually the plastic piece on the end breaks off. Use a pair of vise grips. Be carefull. twist and pull. If a swab gets stuck, try pulling it back out the opposite direction. You may need to use a pair of needle nose plyers to grab it. if that doesn't work, take a metal coat hanger,bend one of the ends over and wrap a little electrical tape around it. Try working it through the smaller opening to push the swab back out the other end.
When you buy a swab, make sure that it's for the right horn. Don't try to use a tenor swab on an alto. It will get stuck.