If you’re looking for tips on how to clean a trumpet, you’ve come to the right place. It’s important to keep your instrument clean. Not only does it help to prolong the life of your trumpet, but it also ensures that you’ll sound your best when you play. So how do you go about cleaning a trumpet? Here are some tips.
What You Will Require
Snake/Pipe Cleaner for Close-Quarter Cleaning
To clean the slides’ interior, you will need either a small cleaning snake or a pipe cleaner. The cleaning tools for a trumpet ought to always include a cleaning snake.
A cleaning snake won’t put a dent in your bank account and should last you for a long while; in addition, they are typically included with any trumpet cleaning kit for sale.
Brush for the Valve Casing
The valve casing brush is a straight brush mounted on a robust wire, and it will assist you in cleaning the inside of the valve casings.
After submerging your trumpet in water, proceed with this step if you want to ensure a complete cleaning. When you use one of them, you will pull a shocking amount of gunk out of your trumpet and amaze.
Brush for the Mouthpiece
The trumpet mouthpiece can be cleaned using the mouthpiece brush* that is provided. It is comparable to the brush used on the valve casing, but the bristles are placed in a cone-shaped pattern.
Since you are constantly pressing your mouth to the mouthpiece, it is essential to keep it clean and sanitary. You can use this product regularly to achieve this goal.
To thoroughly clean your trumpet, a bath in any standard mild dish soap will do the trick.
After you have finished cleaning your trumpet, apply valve oil to the instrument’s valves before reassembling it.
Any valve oil, from Music Nomad to Al Cass, will work well. Because many oils have a distinct aroma that may not appeal to everyone, you might want to experiment with a few different valve oils before settling on the one you like the most.
Slide grease is applied to your tuning and valve slides to lubricate them. Again, test out a few different brands to determine which one suits your preferences the best, but don’t spend too much time doing so.
A towel used for polishing
To bring out the full brilliance of your trumpet, use the polishing cloth.
A sink, a tub, or some other type of container
It should be large enough to submerge your trumpet inside its confines. You may also utilize your bathtub for this purpose; however, a more compact container would help you save significant water.
How To Clean The Trumpet
Assuming you possess the items described above, it is time to get started on the process of cleaning. Before you get started, you should give each of them a thorough reading to familiarize yourself with what needs to be done.
It is important to note that although these instructions were written for a trumpet tuned to Bb, they apply to all types of trumpets.
Step 1: Make sure the bath is ready, and then fill it.
You first need to gather all the supplies mentioned earlier, then fill the sink or bathtub with enough tepid (not boiling) water, and add a few drops of dish soap.
There ought to be sufficient water there to submerge your trumpet.
Step 2: Disassemble your trumpet.
After you have finished filling the tub, you will need to take out the tuning slide and the other three valve slides and use a paper towel to clean any oil.
Remove the bottom valve caps from the valve casings by unscrewing them, and then use a paper towel to clean the valve casings and the caps thoroughly.
Lastly, unscrew the top valve caps, then take the valves out.
Be sure to make a note of the number that is located on each valve, as well as the direction that the number should face; this information is essential to recall when putting the trumpet back together.
Step 3: Soak your Trumpet in the bathtub.
Put the trumpet’s main body in the bathtub or sink, together with the tuning slide, the valve slides, and the bottom valve caps.
To protect the trumpet from scratching, you should probably lay a towel or a rubber bathmat down first.
However, DO NOT place the valves in the bath since the felts must be dry for the valves to function correctly.
Step 4: Place the Valves in a Glass of Water to Soak
In a glass, combine some lukewarm water with some dish soap, but do not fill the glass all the way to the top.
Place the valves, but the water should cover most of the valve. Ensure that the felt remains dry.
Step 5: Clean your Trumpet with the Snake.
Use your snake brush to clean the lead pipe, the tuning slide, and the straight valve slides areas.
It is essential not to force the brush around any bends since this may cause it to become jammed. When cleaning the valve casings, use the valve casing brush or the snake.
You can also use a mouthpiece brush, if you have one, to clean the interior of your mouthpiece. You can use a toothbrush if you don’t have a mouthpiece brush.
To ensure the area is thoroughly cleaned, you may need to run the brush over it multiple times.
Step 6: Clean the valves.
To ensure that the valve ports are spotless, use the snake brush or the brush designed for the valve case (holes in the valves).
First, wash the valves with clean water, and then carefully clean the exterior of the valves, taking care not to scratch them in the process.
Step 7: Rinse and dry
First, ensure the sink or bathtub is empty, and then use clean water to rinse all of the trumpet’s components thoroughly.
Arrange all components neatly on a large towel, and either pat them with a lint-free cloth or allow them to dry naturally in the air.
Using a regular towel to dry them off is not recommended.
Step 8: Prepare the slides by greasing and oiling them.
After making sure that everything is dry, apply a very thin layer of slide oil to the tuning slide and the second valve slide.
Place a few drops of valve oil on the first and third valve slides.
This is done to fine-tune the trumpet’s intonation so that the slides have more room to travel freely.
After that, place the slides back into the instrument where they belong.
Step 9: Apply lubricant to the valves.
After placing the valves back into the trumpet, you should apply a few drops of valve oil to each one so that it is covered in a thin oil film.
You will need to ensure that each valve has the proper alignment before continuing.
If you previously made a mental note of the direction in which each valve number pointed, you can repeat that process.
If this is not the case, you will need to do some experimenting; for example, if you blow through the trumpet and notice that the airflow is being restricted, this indicates that one of the valves is turned in the incorrect direction.
Step 10: Clean with a cloth.
If your trumpet has any remaining specks of dirt or tarnishes, you can remove them by rubbing them with a clean cloth that does not have any lint.
If any areas are difficult to access, you can clean them more thoroughly by using a cotton swab.
To remove tarnish from an instrument that is silver-plated more efficiently, you can use a silver polishing cloth on the instrument if you have one available.
Polish is something that should never be used on a lacquered instrument because doing so can cause damage to the lacquer.
How To Clean A Trumpet Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece of your trumpet is the part that makes the most direct contact with you. This implies that it is the section of your instrument that is most likely to carry germs and bacteria back to you while you play because it is the part that gathers the most moisture and bacteria of any other component of your instrument.
At the very least once each week, your mouthpiece should be cleaned so that it can continue to support your health and fulfill its intended purpose. If you haven’t played in a while, you should probably plan on giving your mouthpiece a good cleaning before you start playing again.
The mouthpieces of many professional trumpet players are cleaned twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, before and after using the instrument.
However, before you give it a shot, you must become familiar with the correct way to clean your mouthpiece.
You will only need one additional item, a mouthpiece brush, to clean your mouthpiece, which is fortunate. You can get these at your local instrument supply store, on the internet, or they might have come with the trumpet or the new mouthpiece you purchased.
It won’t take long to get the hang of cleaning your mouthpiece. To begin, take the mouthpiece out of your mouth. It should not be difficult to remove it. If you have access to warm water and soap, you can use those to clean it; however, you can use a spray bottle filled with plain water instead.
The exterior of the mouthpiece should be sprayed with water, and then the surface should be cleaned with either a very soft towel or your polishing cloth to remove any residue left by skin or oil.
After that, clean both sides of the mouthpiece using the brush that came with the mouthpiece. It is sufficient to have a few brushes at either end. You can take care of most things with just a brush that has been softly dampened, but if necessary, you can also apply a little bit of soap.
After giving the mouthpiece’s interior a rinsing with lukewarm water, leave it aside to dry. The best way to dry it is to lay it out on a plush towel, and the process shouldn’t take more than an hour.
It is recommended that you consider this an additional cleaning for your mouthpiece. Because of its significance, you should make it a habit to clean it at least once every seven days. When performing a thorough cleaning on your trumpet, you should also focus on the mouthpiece.
Why it’s Important to Keep Your Trumpet Clean
By consistently giving your trumpet a thorough cleaning, you can help maintain it in the best possible playing condition and prevent any buildup of dirt or corrosion.
When grime and filth accumulate inside the trumpet, it can distort the tubing’s shape or cause corrosion, making the instrument more difficult to play.
The protective covering of lacquer or silver plate on the instrument’s exterior may be worn away by corrosion, exposing the raw brass to the surrounding air.
This increases the likelihood that the tube may corrode more quickly, resulting in a few tiny holes forming.
The accumulation of dust in the slides or valves can make them more challenging to move, which makes it more difficult (or perhaps impossible) to move them swiftly.
Keeping the interior and outside of your trumpet clean will prevent this from occurring and ensure that your instrument continues to play better for a longer time.
When Should You Clean Your Trumpet, and How Often Should You Do So?
Every three months, you should give your trumpet a thorough cleaning to prevent dirt and grime from building up in the instrument’s tubes, valves, and slides.
However, more chores need to be completed on a more regular basis.
Every one to two days, clean the trumpet with a towel, lubricate the valves, and grease the slides. Greasing the slides should be done every week for two weeks.
What Should Be Avoided
When soaking your trumpet, you should avoid using hot water because the lacquer covering the instrument might become damaged if the water is too hot.
When cleaning the valves, you must watch that the valve felts don’t get wet.
When cleaning the trumpet, it is no need to take off the water keys because it would be difficult to put them back on without specialized tools.
Never use polish on an instrument with a lacquer finish; while working on a silver or brass instrument, be sure to use just the suitable polish.
If you cannot move a blocked valve or slide, you should never use excessive force or attempt to pull it out using any household equipment. Instead, you should try to move the valve or slide using a different method.
Brass is a highly soft metal that readily loses its shape or can be damaged.
How To Polish A Trumpet
You should finish off by shining up your trumpet as the very last step. You should also make it a habit to run the polishing cloth over it to remove fingerprints after each play, but if you want to keep the finish in good condition, you should use a polish designed specifically for that purpose.
Here is where the process of cleaning a silver trumpet and cleaning a brass trumpet might diverge slightly from one another. The kind of trumpet you have should determine the type of polish you use, not the other way around.
What Is The Going Rate For Getting A Trumpet Cleaned Professionally?
If you want to get your trumpet chemically cleaned, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 for a simple flush to $145 if you also want to get it cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaning will remove filth without causing any damage to the metal, making it a preferable alternative to cleaning with strong chemicals.
Is It Possible To Boil The Mouthpiece Of A Trumpet?
Yes, you can disinfect your mouthpiece by putting it in boiling water for a few minutes. This is especially beneficial if you bought it used and want to ensure it’s extra clean before you play it since this will help you remove any dust or debris.
However, there is a good chance that boiling will not assist you in removing any apparent spots or discolorations. Refer back to the technique outlined up there to take care of those. (The layer of silver that lies beneath your gold mouthpiece may have corroded, which can be seen as black spots.)
If You Don’t Have A Cleaning Kit, How Do You Clean A Trumpet?
Dish soap should be added to the water in a very tiny amount (only a few drops). Both too hot water and the use of dishwasher detergent have the potential to ruin your instrument, so take care to avoid doing either of these things.
After submerging the slides for around five minutes, you should rinse, dry, and lay them out on a towel. Next, repeat steps (a) and (b) for the whole body of the trumpet.
‘Take care of the trumpet, and the trumpet will take care of you!’ says a brass player. It may appear to be a lot of work at first, but once you’ve cleaned your trumpet a few times, it becomes much quicker and easier. Regular maintenance and a bath every few months will ensure that your instrument produces a much better sound is easier to play, lasts longer, and looks shinier!
Fidlar hope you found this article beneficial, and let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!