Brass Players Clean Your Horns

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by farnellnewton, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    There's a story about Renold Schilke regarding valves which is just what you said above - that gripping the horn too hard would cause them to hang. In spite of his instructions for specific tolerances, his folks working on his valves loosened them ever so slightly to prevent issues caused from things being too tight.
  2. Tomaso

    Tomaso Pianissimo User

    Oct 2, 2014
    New York City
    When I first began trumpet I figured I should wash out my new used horn. so I duly made a sink full of dishwashing detergent water, disassembled the trumpet and dunked and washed it real good.
    Then I thought I should rinse it just as thoroughly, so after rinsing the individual parts I re-assembled the horn and for good measure, held it under the shower-head bell up.
    Yes, I held it by the tuning slide and yes, the trumpet clattered down to the shower floor leaving me holding the tuning slide.

    Did I dent the horn? You bet!
    I was so angry at myself I hopped in the car and drove down to Dillon's in Woodbury (NJ) that morning and gave it to the repair man.
    That horn ain't been washed since! I just shoot Blue Juice down the lead pipe once or twice a week and swish it around in there.

    There's still a slight disfigurement of the lacquer on the back curve to remind me . . .

    How stupid I was/
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Regardless of how stupid that you felt, the cleaning was not the issue and "not" cleaning is even more "stupid". Thinning out aerosols from your breath that create sludge so that they can even wander further down the horn is not a good strategy. The best strategy is to get the crud out. One hot summer day and the oil is baked off leaving all of the gunk in your horn like a cookie full of germs and rotting mass. Oil does not prevent the biological breakdown and associated issues.

    I suggest cleaning in the sink with lemon dishwater liquid, thouroughly rinsing in the sink, rinsing again, letting all the parts dry on a towel until they are "bone dry". Then reassemble and put the horn in the case.

    I do not recommend the tuning slide for anything except tuning. The valve block was designed for holding the instrument.


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