Cleaning your trumpet: what are the best tools? Is it necessary?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cdave, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. cdave

    cdave New Friend

    Oct 22, 2014
    Saint Paul, MN
    Hello all,

    I know the Internet is usually always right, so I was a little surprised to see this link about how cleaning your trumpet is unnecessary (Trumpet Care Cleaning Maintenance). I really feel the need to snake my trumpet or at least my mouthpiece. Is there any truth in the attached link? What ways do you think the trumpet should be cleaned?

    Thanks for your input, friends!
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is no one "how". Some take the instruments to a tech yearly, others bathe their horns from weekly to monthly to yearly. Some swab out the leadpipe, some spray alcohol to disinfect.

    If cleanliness is next to godliness, the BEST prevention is simply brushing your teeth thoroughly BEFORE playing. No other method works as well!

    My "active" horns are bathed monthly, I NEVER swab the leadpipe or spray the mouthpiece with alcohol. I use synthetic oil and reoil twice a week, removing the valves, drying them AND the casings completely and then oiling the metal instead of the moisture on top of the metal. Never had a horn rot away or slow me down on stage. In addition, every 2 years to a tech for a checkup.

    I ALWAYS brush my teeth. That is my warmup!
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    What you've stated is a good start for oral cleanliness, but I may suggest also to scrape your tongue and follow with a mouthwash. Many pharmacies sell tongue scapers.
  4. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    I just noticed that the horn Mr. Zachary is using for the maintenance photos is an Amati student trumpet...
    Although he tries to hide it, Kanstul makes his OEM Zeus pro horns (and I just found out that the Zeus student trumpet is a Blessing Scholastic stencil, but he does mention they are made in Elkhart)...
  5. WannaScream

    WannaScream Pianissimo User

    Nov 27, 2013
    The interwebs is NOT right in this case. In fact, there's a bunch of bad advise there.

    Clean your horn.
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    This depends so much on your body chemistry and hygiene regime...

    It's rather like the dogbreath/yamalloy situation: many people just didn't experience that problem. And I'm sure some people could get away with hardly ever cleaning the inside of their instrument. On the other hand, I'm sure the techs have plenty of horror stories about what has come out of some of the instruments they've serviced.

    I prefer to play safe and rinse through with hand hot soapy water every so often, but hardly ever use a snake as I wouldn't want the wire scraping the protective tarnish inside.
  7. Newell Post

    Newell Post Piano User

    Mar 31, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    1. Most of the modern snakes have the wire covered in plastic. The brushes are also plastic, unlike the old ones that were 100% metal. I use the plastic ones once in a while.
    2. I went to the sporting goods store and got inexpensive cleaning kits for a 30-caliber rifle and a 20-gage shotgun. I use the rifle cleaning rod (and fabric patches) to clean the lead pipe and the 20-gage swabs (and patches) are just right for cleaning the valve casings.
    3. I clean the lead pipe and tuning slide about every 2 weeks--a "lesson learned" the hard way from my old Getsen Severinsen.
  8. Bauerbear

    Bauerbear Mezzo Piano User

    Jul 11, 2012
    Winter Park, FL
    I use a flute swab on my 40b leadpipe after every use. I don't let it sit with possible moisture in the leadpipe because while all of my other horns have replaceable leadpipes (lord knows you can find a .438 bore leadpipe just about anywhere), my two 40b's double wall, tapered neck leadpipes are irreplaceable.

    I've also found that bottom spring valves horns tend to get dirtier on the inside of the bottom caps faster than the few top spring horns I own.
  9. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 29, 2014
    I hate to say it but that man is crazy. He is the same one who claims his cat "little boy" comes to him in his dreams and is the real brains behind his mouthpiece designs, which he refuses to disclose, the only information given is that they are "really good".
  10. Dviglis

    Dviglis Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 29, 2014
    He never said anything about them being Blessing stencils but, he specifically mentions elkhart on his website:
    [h=1][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] This Trumpet can get a student through grade school and even high school. American made in Elkhart, Indiana, by one of the major manufacturers, this is a basic student trumpet, but one of very good quality and durability.[/FONT][/h]

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