How often do you clean your trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ColinWhite, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Bay Area Brass

    Bay Area Brass Piano User

    Mar 2, 2007
    San Francisco
    I clean my horn every 3 to 4 weeks, sometimes sooner depending on what I have going on gig wise.
  2. forrest

    forrest Piano User

    Aug 14, 2007
    St Louis MO
    I always brush before playing.

    After playing, I pull all the slides. I swab the leadpipe and tuning slide, then let all the slides air dry before reassembling.

    I clean once a month. I wipe the valves and casings down with naptha once a week.
  3. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    On each of my horns, I clean the valves (inside and out), the leadpipe, and the tuning slide every 25 playing hours. I clean the 3rd valve slides every 50 hours, and I give the horns a total cleaning every 100 hours.

    The elapsed time between cleanings for all the horns of course varies from horn to horn. I would never be able to remember what part of each instrument needed cleaning without tracking the playing time on each. Fortunately my Excel practice log already tracks my playing time and I set up macros so that the cleaning intervals are self-calculating. Complicated system to set up but very simple to follow.

    I have found that these cleaning intervals (25/50/100) are sufficient so that I never see anything coming out of the instruments except soap and water.
  4. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    I typically clean as needed which is not enough.. I oil valves / grease slides and although from time to time may clean out only the valve block area, I like to clean the whole instrument out once a month. I suppose I should say I really "DON'T" like to clean the instrument so it sometimes ends up being more like every other month. I have some horns that sit in a case and don't get played too often so they rarely get cleaned.

    I did discover that there is something to be said for an ultrasonic / professional cleaning. I had a horn in a case for many years doing nothing and I cleaned it up to play and it still didn't seem to be where I wanted it to be but after a professional cleaning (they also replaced corks, etc. ) it played to my liking. I personally don't think I would do a professional cleaning more than once a year and maybe not even that much. If there is an alignment issue or other issue that required a professional tech, then I would take it in, but cleaning and high quality grease/valve oil seem to do the trick. I have had really good luck with the synthetic oil for the valves.
  5. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    hmmmm ... I never noticed a problem with the internal felts... I took off the outer ones ... good point though
  6. I always brush my teeth before playing and as others else mentioned before, I use a brush and some 85% rubbing alcohol to clean the inside of my lead pipe and my tuning slides. I thoroughly clean my valves and tuning slides once a week to clean them of old grease/oil. I give my trumpet a bath and run some alcohol through all the tubing once every 2 months. I rotate cleaning different horns regularly so I end up a cleaning one of my 7 horns every week.

    Make sure that you clean your mouthpiece or at least rinse it after every time you play it. I have a friend that that hadn't rinsed out his mouthpiece even once since the day he bought it (and he's had it about 4 years). One time during a rehearsal he complained that his horn was feeling far too tight and that he couldn't put any air through it, I looked at his mouthpiece and there was so much gunk built up that the backbore ended up being shrunken to the size of one of those tiny coffee stirring sticks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2011
  7. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    I oil the valves daily before practice and clean it thoroughly after every gig.

    Bad habit alert!!!! Some of the clubs I gig at offer free food and drink to the music and it's mighty hard to say no. This is generally before the 1st set.

    At times I've found microscopically masticated pieces of pasta, garlic, tomato even falafel and cous cous in my valves. It must be a testament to them Crysteel Conn valves that my compression hasn't materially suffered.
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    As an Army bandsman I cleaned my horn about once a month, or as needed, depending on how busy we were and how much I was playing. These days it's about once every 6 weeks or so. It's just not something I've never thought about too much. I understand that it needs to get done, so it gets done.
  9. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    I thought I was the only one who did this. My dentist loves how my gums have improved since I have taken up the trumpet again.

  10. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    In my first class in Brass Instrument Repair, which we had last Friday, we learned that the saliva contains an enzyme called palatin, which, if left to settle in your horn would eventually cause dezincification, which could lead to "red rot". Frequent cleaning helps keep your investment healthy.

    My project horn, an old Bundy, apparently had not been cleaned for years. It took me three hours to clean it. The lead pipe is severely pitted inside.

    I now clean my horns every other week.

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