Horn cleanliness

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mgcoleman, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    what about autoclaving the trumpet? ROFL ROFL ROFL
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    interesting that you should mention trombone --- I'm sort of like those woodwind players (ie. the clarinet people) who swab their instrument out each time they use it. NOT THAT I SWAB the trombone out each night, but you know about once a week, I take the "trombone tube brush", and a piece of cotton cloth on a string and run through the horn. My trombone is actually pretty clean.

    NOTE -- I also found that doing this to the leadpipe and tuning slide on the trumpet at 1 week, or even bi-weekly intervals seems to keep the horn very clean, so on those bi-annual, or yearly (or is GM's case 3 month) cleanings, the horn is relatively speaking ---mostly Clean anyhow ---------------------and of course, I give the instruments a shot of rubbing alchohol every other week or so anyhow!!!
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    If you have one, that should be fine an a pure brass horn. Would hate to see what it would do to lacquer. Remember, the intent of this method was for stainless steel. Not sure how the structure of brass would survive to autoclaving. Here is what the medical literature recommends regarding autoclaving brass:

    •Dissimilar metals, such as aluminum, brass, and steel, should be sterilized separately to prevent electroplating, as this could cause permanent staining.

    Bottom line, do not have any other metals in with the autoclave and silver or gold plated instruments would not be advised.
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    good point, I forgot all about the electroplating aspect -- that reminds me of the time I used "disimiliar" wire to hook up some lights/radio to my car battery --- it had like the cheap brass/copper battery cable connectors connecting to the battery terminals, and as I recall I used an aluminum/steel alloy wire or something ----and YEAH, my lights/radio connection didn't last very long before the wire reacted with the Juice from the battery and the copper/brass to cause "corrosion" and breakdown of that connection.

    not that this had anything to do with trumpets --- except that the phenomenom occurse, and can easily be seen in real life --- so a laquer finish, disimiliar materials in the trumpet, leadpipe and bell perhaps ----- and yeah, I will just keep autoclaving the dishes, and not the trumpet!!!!
  5. bobd0

    bobd0 Piano User

    Jan 10, 2009
    My very first private teacher, Pops Villanova, way back when, taught me to give my horn a bath once a month, and to clean the parts while it's soaking in its bubble bath.

    Maybe I should have lit candles??? A glass of wine, perhaps???

    I've fallen back on that training since picking up the horn again. I play two horns alternately and clean them about every three months. I swab the leadpipe and tuning slides usually every time I play and I'll clean and lubricate the slides and leadpipe occasionally between full cleanings. That's approximately every six weeks per full cleaning per horn which isn't too bad, Pops. (soon to be three horns and every month on average again)
    ;-) :-)

    But these days the wife complains when I use one of "her" tubs or showers to bathe my beauties. But I put my foot down and do it anyway. Or, as the wife sees it, I whine and annoy her until she acquiesces.

    I'm definitely doing the 91% isopropyl alcohol from now on too. Thanks for the tip, gmonady!

    Here's a tip I came across by accident. Do you know those bamboo skewers you can find at most super markets? I use them to guide a microfiber cloth under my guitar strings to wipe off the body oils and such after playing. The strings last far longer.

    Well, while struggling to polish my horns one day the idea struck me to use the skewers to guide the cloth between the valves and into every nook and cranny. The bamboo skewers work very well and are safe. I can't imagine how they could ever harm a horn. Too much pressure and they just bend and snap so you learn to use a light touch.

    I wrap a microfiber cloth around the end of one to dry inside slides, the valve body and elsewhere too. I can even get a thin cloth all the way through a mouthpiece shank.

    I hope there isn't a shortage of bamboo skewers or spot bamboo prices rise with demand now.

    A clean horn is a happy horn.


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