Leadpipe cleaning - SUPER nasty in there - how do YOU clean it?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Osren, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

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    Ditto on Herco Spitballs, brush and floss. I also sip water whenever possible to dilute/rinse saliva. You need to stay hydrated anyway, and this is a "kill two birds with one stone" approach. I pushed a small cotton ball down the leadpipe on my trumpet after playing tonight, and it came out wet, but spotless. Of course, I did wash it out with a brush about a year and a half ago....
     
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    The "nasties" in a trumpet are much like the reason one could not retain your first love ... vis your mouth was "filthy" or what came out of it was. While a lot of verbage is garbage and what you eat alters your breath to often smell like garbage, my observations are that only a miniscule few wind (brass and woodwind) instrument players brush and floss their teeth, and gargle a mouth wash within a half hour prior to playing ... and nearly none scrape their tongue. Oh, so you had that mint while you waited in the wings to enter the stage. As an experiment, place a mint on a clean cloth and dissolve it in hot water and let the water drain away, wait a few minutes and then lightly touch the remains of the mint in the cloth and notice how sticky and then consider how this stickiness in your mouth would pass into your instrument and attract all the other nasties. It's the same with chewing gum. Too, I hated to draw the chore of stacking folding chairs where many attach their used gum underneath the seat. School desks, seats, and even underneath church pews. I digress from the gross that one puts into their instrument and then neglects to clean it.
     
  3. rayj3497

    rayj3497 New Friend

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Earlton ,NY
    does anyone have an idea about what to do with very hard water, i had my bach 72 redone, i wash it at least once a month and within a year i have red rot back , tuning slide and lead pipe, is there a solution to prevent this , no i can not move, so i only have very hard well water to deal with. any suggestions?? please and thank you
     
  4. rayj3497

    rayj3497 New Friend

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Earlton ,NY
    does anyone have an idea about what to do with very hard water, i had my bach 72 redone, i wash it at least once a month and within a year i have red rot back , tuning slide and lead pipe, is there a solution to prevent this , no i can not move, so i only have very hard well water to deal with. any suggestions?? please and thank you
     
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Ithaca NY
    The predominant thinking on this is that certain brass alloys are more susceptable to RR than others, and that the body chemistry of the player is a strong factor. The water used when cleaning probably doesn't stay in contact with the RR prone areas for very long, so that hard water shouldn't be a factor. Also, hard water is typically non-acidic, and shouldn't attack the brass in your horn.

    Clean it after every playing with a leadpipe swab and apply some oil to it and it should not go south to RR land. What did you have redone on your 72? Certain vintages of Bachs seem to be more prone than others, and if you changed leadpipes and replaced Bach with Bach you may have missed an opportunity to avoid further problems.

    You can install a water softener and you may like the benefits for your health and things like laundry and shopping, but it won't make much difference when cleaning your trumpet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  6. Randall Nelson

    Randall Nelson Mezzo Piano User

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    Hi All,
    Since in real life I'm a chemist, I thought I would tell what I do that takes most the deposits out easily and won't make your horn or whole house and hands smell like the vinegar bin.

    Let's start with some back ground info: Vinegar works because it is dilute acetic acid and has a pH around pH 4 and magnesium and calcium acetates salts formed when you flush with vinegar are soluble. The vinegar (at 5% acetic acid solution in water) converts calcium and magnesium carbonate and oxalate scale in the horn to soluble acetate salts. Citric acid does exactly the same type of conversion to a citrate salt but the citric acid I am suggesting using is a water soluble powder with minimal smell.

    You can easily make a simple water solution of citric acid by adding saw two or three tablespoons of powdered citric acid to a coffee cup full of warm water. If the horn is really horrendous in there (like a 40 year old student Ambassador), this citric acid solution can be followed with a 5% hydrogen peroxide flush (the over the counter peroxide you buy at the drug store) to further kill bacteria and smell. Pour the solution(s) through the horn with or without a snake/gun bristle brush and afterwards IMPORTANT:flush the horn with a solution of two or three tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in a coffee cup of warm water. This is necessary with either the vinegar or citric acid flush to get the pH up over pH 7 and to make sure there is no slow acidic corrosion. Follow the bicarb wash with a warm water flush, blow any water out, lube, and play.

    Citric acid is used as a flavoring agent and my local food store even carries it. I've also seen it in Williams-Sonoma and Ace Hardware. A small bottle is enough to last 10 years for one horn or 10 horns for one year ...depending on what stage of N+1 you are in.
     
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  7. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

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    Brisbane, Australia
    You can get citric acid in powder form in the canning section of your grocery or hardware store. It's the thing that makes lemons sour. I keep some on hand for cooking. It helps keep apples and avocados from browning, and adds tartness to fresh tomatoes without adding liquid like vinegar would.
     
  8. Osren

    Osren Mezzo Forte User

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    Oct 17, 2010
    Mesa, Az
    wow thanx everyone... I liked the Vinegar idea and Randall... the Citric Acid solution seems like a GREAT way to go. I may try the Citric Acid wash this weekend.

    I am also going to try and get me a .38 caliber cooper brush... that may be helpful ;)


    Keep the ideas coming ....
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    The Hoppe brand brush is sold at Wal-Mart and is the same brush for 38 cal, .357. and 9mm, but you also need a rod to attach it too. I also acquire the loop for the rod, and use 12ga patches threaded in this loop both dry to swab the leadpipe, and with valve oil to lubricate the leadpipe. DO NOT OVERUSE OR FORCE THE COPPER BRUSH!
    The combined gun cleaning rod and brush were designed to rotate vis the rod has a grip that rotates and the twist of the copper brush effects such.
     
  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Wow. This is what I love about these forums. I never knew there were so many ways to do something that was so simple.

    I had an old-school (studied in NY with Ernest Williams) teacher who had me oil my valves by squirting some of it down my lead pipe regularly, with the intention of also protecting the inner piping. Never had a problem.

    (He also showed me how to make my own valve oil with kerosene and 3-In-One oil, LOL. Stuff worked, was cheap but stunk. But I never lit a match around my case, don'tcha know.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

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