How to clean brand new valves

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by den2042, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. den2042

    den2042 Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2015
    I've got new Bach TR650
    They say in the instructions the valves should be cleaned daily for the first 3 weeks.
    How do I actually clean them?
    Is it OK just to wipe them with paper towel and oil?
    I am very hesitant to clean them with water every day

    Thank you
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Use soap and water ONLY ON THE BOTTOM HALF! You don't want to get the felt wet. Afterward dry them off with a lint free cloth, also pull this cloth through the caseings to dry them out. Lastly put a few drops of oil on the valve and reinstall correctly. Don't use to much oil, especially on a new horn. You want just enough
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Get yourself a microfibre cloth especially for the job.

    Every day before practice, for the rest of your playing career, remove each valve and bottom cap in turn; wipe the valve and pull the cloth through the casing so both are dry. Add a few drops of valve oil to the face of the valve and reassemble.

    Repeat the process at the end of the day's playing.

    The idea is to keep water out of your valve block. This greatly reduces the build up of gunk on your valves and more aggressive cleaning sessions are seldom, if ever called for. Personally, all my valves get the same treatment whether they are brand new or older than I am.
  4. den2042

    den2042 Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2015
    Thank you for nice advises.
    PS BOTTOM part is clear, of course )
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  5. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    The way I would deal with new valves would be to remove them at the end of the day and wipe them down with clean paper towels. My reasons for paper towels are that they are cheap, slightly but not harmfully abrasive, and you can see every bit of wear that was shed during your playing that day. Also twist a paper towel to run though the valve bores after removing the bottom caps. Don't reuse any paper towel; you'd reintroduce the dirt you just removed before. Then rinse the valve bores with valve oil from the top, and let the excess run out into a sink or trash bag. The goal is to rinse any remaining lint away. Don't be afraid to use too much oil; it won't get in the way, and it's better than using too little. Next, I would do the same treatment to the valves (the lower part that contacts the bore, as stated before by dennis78), and gently insert them back into their bores, making sure the valve guides go in easily and properly. Follow up with screwing the bottom caps back on. The next day, before you play, hold the trumpet at enough of an angle that the valves will stay in place when you pull them out far enough to apply a few more drops of valve oil to them, and then gently reinsert the valves.

    When you get to the point that your daily ritual reveals no discoloration on the paper towels, you no longer need to repeat this part of the process, except when you periodically clean out the horn. There will be an accumulation of wear particles in the bottom caps over time that looks like dust or tarnish. Inspect them once in a while, and be sure to clean them when you notice it. Just oil the valves as I mentioned above before you play each day, and enjoy your trumpet!
  6. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I believe the reason new trumpets (with new valves) are recommended to be cleaned daily for the first few weeks is to remove any residues (swarf, filings, dust etc) from the manufacturing which would cause scoring on your valve and casing surfaces. My flugelhorn (new in January) got this treatment and I did find a couple of gritty bits in the water I bathed it in in the first day or so.

  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Cleaning the trumpet is something that I repeatedly teach during lessons. At least once every 90 days we use the lesson time to completely disassemble, clean and reassemble the instrument.

    I would never have a student use paper towels as they fall apart when moist and the pieces can get stuck, making the valve stick in a serious way. A lint free rag (old t-shirt) is just fine.
    I fill a not so tall glass with hot water and a very small squirt of dishwashing liquid. I take the valves out one at a time and put them in the glass. The glass is filled so that only the bottom grey/silvery part is covered with water. I let the valve soak for a while and then wipe it with the cloth and then rinse, rinse, rinse. We need a thorough rinse because soap destroys the lubrication properties of oil!
    I dry the valve off and lay it down on a soft lint free cloth. Then comes the second valve, then the third. When finished, I wipe down the inside of the valve block with the soft cloth using a wood dowel to push it through. After that, I put several drops of oil on different parts of the grey/silver part of the valve and reinsert it into the valve casing, being sure not to mix up the order.

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