cleaning advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DoreRJ15, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. DoreRJ15

    DoreRJ15 New Friend

    Nov 17, 2010
    so everyone, im looking for what you all use to clean your horns?

    i have a little cleaning kit: MP brush, coil snake, bigger brush for slides, grease oil, brillo pads.

    but what you all use? any tricks for cleaning the hard to reach spots

    what about polishing?
  2. harveyhassanator

    harveyhassanator Pianissimo User

    Sep 5, 2010
    depends what finish you have on your trumpet cloth. if its silver then you can purchase silver polishing cloths.from what i can see you've got, you don't need much else. there are products that are sold that are "supposed" make cleaning better but, so far i have found no need for them.

    when you fill up whatever you bath it in, put some washing up liquid into it. i find the grime shifts much more easily with it and it doesn't damage the finish. also, dont make the mistake that many do and dont leave it to soak. leave it soaking for a good while because there is alot of muck in your horn and a quick dip will make cleaning difficult :)

    hope that helps
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Do NOT use liquid silver polish - a blue silver cloth works best if the finish is in relatively good nick. Do a search and there is LOTS of info on cleaning and restoring the finish. Search ROWUK as a start.
  4. craigph

    craigph Piano User

    Mar 12, 2010

    Brillo pads? Seriously? What do you use it for? I wouldn't put a brillo pad near a brass instrument.
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    If silver, wrap it in aluminum foil, add very hot water, and salt or baking soda, along with the dish washing liquid. Let soak for an hour. Will remove silver oxidation and keep the horn clean.

    Do NOT put valves in with the horn. I use a partially filled glass -put valves in it but do not get water to corks or felts.
  6. TrumpetChica

    TrumpetChica New Friend

    Jan 30, 2011
    Also remember to NEVER run the coil through your valves.They're really easy to dent.
  7. gchun

    gchun Piano User

    Dec 10, 2003
    I use Alysyn cleaner/degreaser (made by the same guys that make the synthetic valve oil) to break down all the oil and grease. Then I soak in warm water with Dawn dishwashing liquid. The soap helps to get out the gunk and the degreaser residue. After soaking for about a 1/2 hour, I scrub the insides with nylon brushes/snakes, etc. Then I soak in clean water and re-scrub with brushes to get all the soapy water out. Flush again with clear water.

    There is also a degreaser made by LDC (?) that works well. It is available commercially. All the degreasers leave a residue that MUST be washed out with soapy water.

    I do all the soaking in a 3 gallon bucket you can get from a hardware store.

    I towel dry, then dry with a hairdryer (not too hot) the remove any dust/lint. Then reassemble with appropriate lubes. I also blow valve oil through the leadpipe to coat the horn.

    Daily maintenance includes oiling the valves before playing. I end each playing session with a leadpipe swab through the leadpipe and main tuning slide. Blow more oil through the horn.

  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There are two major philosophies in cleaning that determine what works best. On-time and on-demand.

    IF we clean our instruments ON-TIME, we can use mild dishwashing liquid in a sink filled with water, a couple of soft brushes and we get EVERYTHING out with little work. There is a brush perfectly well suited for the valves and casing and there will be no dents if even a minimum of common sense is applied. This means worst case once (or twice) a month

    The second method, ON-DEMAND, means that the player waits until there is no choice but to clean. Then there are several issues where soapy water may not be enough.

    Abrasives like brillo pads are only suitable for washing the mouths out of those that suggest using them. They have no place in cleaning precision anything!

    Do what you are supposed to when you should and you will not have to when you have to!

    I used liquid silver polish on my trumpets for 20 years until I learned that a sink with hot salty water and a big piece of aluminum foil did a similar job with no removal of silver. Electrolysis moves the oxygen atom from silver-oxide (the tarnish) to the aluminum foil, leaving all of the silver on the horn and the tarnish on the aluminum foil.
  9. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    I find that using a plastic tub in the bathtub works well to save water and speed up the process. It's also a lot safer for the horn because its a softer surface to work in. Storage containers from a place like Target or Walmart work well.

    Also, after watching a Monette cleaning video, I now disassemble my valves when I clean them rather than trying to partially submerge them. It's much easier to do a good cleaning on the valves that way without worrying about the felts.

    I also really like the cleaning brushes that I got from Dillon Music. They are very flexible and safe for the horn:

    H.W. Brass Saver
  10. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    yeah, my eyes just popped out towards the screen like a cartoon when I saw 'brillo pads.'

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