Alcohol to the rescue!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Alcohol has been used for centuries to ease one's whoes. One of my whoes was that I had a valve or two dragging on a couple of my horns. This was after a through cleaning of the horn, and using vinegar on the valves, once. Recently I gave my horns a lovely soapy bath, and rinsed them throughly while my valves were bathing in a glass of 70% Isopropyl rubbing Alcohol. When fininshed, I rinsed everything THROUGHLY! Then I dried everything with a hair dryer, THROUGHLY, not on hot. After greasing slides and re-assemling the horn, I put a coating of Ultra-Pure valve oil on the valves, spun them once or twice in the valve cassing, screwed them down, never touching the lower section of the valves, and Eureka!, no more dragging! Veterans, is this good advise to pass on, or did I just luck out?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Great advice! I would use the alcohol after rinsing and before the hair dryer (let the alcohol evaporate first......).
    The alcohol has less contaminants than tap water so the blow dry will probably leave a slightly cleaner surface!
  3. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA

    Some musicians drink the alcohol instead and don't pay much attention to the sticky valves, or even notice. Also makes 'em "nine feet tall and bulletproof." ;-)

    I don't recommend it!

    Best wishes,

  4. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    That was me last night... luckily it wasn't Isopropyl though.... :lol:

    Seriously though, we use Isopropyl all the time in the electronics world for cleaning circuit cards and such, so I would think it should do a fine job of removing oil residue from valves!!
  5. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Thanks to those of you with a mature reply. I'm glad to see my instincts were right. ..............crow
  6. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    A bottle of Sam Adams applied to the player does wonders for the tone. (Boston Lager appears to work best.)
  7. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    I've always used Windex on circuit boards, evaporates w/o residue. Brake cleaner, a spray you can get at auto-parts stores, is also very non-residual. I've used that on guns. For lube, except for sharing my chap-stick with the slides, I'm finding Break-Free to work very well.
  8. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I like Spacefiller slide grease on my slides. It's lanolin based, and doesn't leave black stains on white clothes!
    Thanks for the alchohol tip, though - sounds like in idea to try on some of those really dirty yard-sale horns!
  9. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I wouldn't spin the valves around. Just seat them properly, the oil will definitely get where it needs to go, and quickly.

    The valves weren't made to spin around in the casing, and while you may not do any damage, if a piece of dirt gets in there and scores a ring into the valve in the wrong place, it might start to leak.

    Just seems to me to be tempting fate to do this.

  10. francolinni

    francolinni New Friend

    Dec 14, 2007
    Hey Crow: Been using alco as a final rinse for years. Based it on the fact we do the same thing to final clean lab piping before assembly. Has always worked fine for me,along with filtered compressed air to blow 'em down. Been in a few debates about it, some guys don't like it. But if it's cool with Old Lou & Rowuk,two pretty smart horn guys, what the hell. Franco

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