Cleaning question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rsgtjc, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    All of you are missing out on the ascetic acid method of at home trumpet cleaning. The subject acid will not damage any part of the horn, except the felts and corks, which must be removed prior to an acid soak. A light amount of brush work with the snake brush finishes up the job. I just know some of you are wondering what the magic potion is that cleans so fantastically. CIDER VINEGAR!!! When, as a college student, I worked for the former owner of York Band Instrument Co., in his retail store and repair facility, this was standard procedure. We got in our cider vinegar in wooden barrels, and used at least a barrel per week in the overnight soaking of dirty brass instruments. I do have to admit that it tends to turn old style nitrocellulose lacquers a bit cloudy, though. I have no idea what might happen to the newer synthetic lacquer finishes.

  2. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    i have done that as the cheap (or poor) persons way to do the chemical flush. Would like to get it done at the repair tech eventually.
  3. J. Landress Brass

    J. Landress Brass Pianissimo User

    Feb 3, 2007
    New York City
    DO NOT use vinegar!!! It is an acid and will clean the horn, but will also leave bacteria and etch the metal.

    The most effective and safest method to clean your horn is:

    1. Remove slides (this is to be done first to eliminate any risk to damaging the valve casing from stress)
    2. Remove bottom caps
    3. Remove valves
    4. Soak horn is very soapy degreasing detergent (I prefer Dawn blue and palmolive). Use luke warm water as hot water may damage lacquer.
    5. After soaking, go through horn with brushes and snake.
    6. Rinse with warm water.
    7. Let dry
    8. Go through all parts with a cleaning rod using cheese cloth or lint free cotton cloth.
    9. Go through piston ports with cloth * Do Not use the rod!!!
    10. Oil Valves and put back in
    11. Put on bottom caps (make sure you get all the crud from the inner lip, many times sluggish valves may be due to over oiling mixing with the crud).
    12. Grease slides

    This is the basic steps for cleaning and I recommend everyone to do this once a month and to bring it in to a competent repair technician once a year form a professional (chemical or ultrasonic) cleaning.

    To also prolong the life of your horn put a few drops of valve oil down the mouthpipe before you play. This will give a little coating to the tube and help prevent buildup and red-rot.

  4. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    OK, so here is a followup:
    There are two opinions on this page - use vinegar, and don't use vinegar . . . I don't see consensus on this, but I think I read somewhere that OLDLOU is something of an authority on metals . . . Question, does it make a difference if you have laquer, silver plate, nickel, etc? I'd hate to etch my silver Benge . . .

    Another thing that's been bothering me - if we use a snake, but don't push it through tight turns, aren't we in effect pushing all the crud into a constricted space in the horn?
    Last edited: May 9, 2008

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