cleaning trumpets

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, May 6, 2009.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    I read an article on line by a company that sells brass instuments and the article says that you really do not need to buy trumpet cleaning kits or that you really dont have to clean you horn , it went on about that you only need to make sure that you oil your pistons and grease your valves ,I thought that if your pistons were slow you should clean them with warm water and lemon detergent to get them clean and then oil them ,anyone have any comments ,Anthony:-(
  2. TotalEclipse

    TotalEclipse Piano User

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brisbane in OZ
    I don't know if you would want to grease your valves.......might slow them down a bit.
    Be careful using some types of detergents as well as they can leave a residue which reacts with some oils and turn them into sludge.
  3. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    That would be an incredible invention, a maintenance free trumpet. It would probably have to work like an oven with some type of mechanism (pyrolytic converter) to burn out the deposits on a regular basis. That could really trash your lips if you weren't careful!

    Cleanliness is next to godliness in my book! There are horns that I will not put up to my lips out of fear that I might catch something - or get bitten! The smell from the trumpet case really makes you popular with the colleagues too!
  5. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    thanks guys I guess I should order a trumpet cleaning kit now and clean my horn ,Again thanks Anthony:-)
  6. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    On the subject of cleaning of trumpets, or any brasswind instrument, I fully agree with Robin. As an instrument tech for one of the greatest instrument makers in the history of brasswinds in the U.S., A.J.'Bill' Johnson, who was the owner and chief designer at York Band Instruments prior to selling out and opening Grand Rapids Musical Instrument Exchange I learned that a good portion of the mechanical and structural problems encountered in the horns that came into our shop were from lack of proper maintainance-LACK OF CLEANING!!!

    For all of the horns in my 'accumilation' I pull a weighted swab through the lead pipe and tuning slide crook after each usage. 'Periodically', when the horn responds improperly and the tuning slides get difficult I give that horn a bath in a plastic window planter tub, using Pine Sol Green in warm water, soaking the horn until the water temperature is down to room temp,( about an hour of soaking ). The slides and through ports of the valves are scrubbed out with a nylon bristle pistol bore cleaning brush on a pistol cleaning rod. The valve casings are scrubbed with a specialty casing brush. Likewise for the mouthpiece. The Pine Sol is a fine degreaser and a delightful deodorant. This is absolutely nessecary because any slide lube grease will over time migrate into the valve chambers, slowing down and degrading the valve lube. My 'personal choice' for slide lube is the same as old 'Bill' sold for over a half of a century. It is just common old Bag Balm. My choice of valve lubes has changed a few times over the years to Hetmans Synthetic in whatever grade is needed, depending upon the degree of valve wear in any given horn. Of course, I flush all of the detergent completely after the scrub. While all of this is being done, The valve pistons are soaking in the same solution in a water glass, filled to the top os the piston portion of the valve, keeping the corks and felts as dry as possible. Any accumilation on the valve pistons is cared for by an additional soaking in cider vinegar, ( ascetic acid ).


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