Old horn odor problem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Can anyone suggest a method to rid an old trumpet of that mildewy / moldy odor? I have tried bathing the horn in non-scented dish soap, completely scrubbed the inside tubing, and still the old horn stink is noticeable.

    Any ideas?
  2. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Just an idea....What about the water key pads? Could they be the source? Would a little anti-bacterial solution through the tubes help, yet not damage any finish? Good luck and best wishes.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Had this problem with my oldest 80A. It took multiple washings :-(. It smelled so bad I couldn't play without feeling like I was sucking on a penny. One time I soaked it for 3 days!! Don't forget to clean the outside as well, especially the casing. I also advise an automobile air freshener for the case to try and chase away those nasty smells. Fabrezze or Lysol can work but you have to let your case dry out before you put the horn away.:thumbsup:
  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Change the top and bottom valve felts and valve springs and make certain that the whole valve (spring box, guides and hollow cavity of the valve is scrupulously clean. Often smells come from the case as well?????
  5. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    Hello, put some charcoal brickletts in the case for a few days to absorb the case scent. Spray with some Free Breeze after. If your horn still has it's old laquer,that will stink also. Both my 1938/1948 King Master Cornets have a smell up close to the nose.

    Is that old laquer that contributes. In a normal dilution ratio. Try soaking your horn in hot water with TKO Orange cleaner. Will help overtime. Very safe and excellent cleaning/scent/solution for your horn etc.
  6. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    That mold that grows in your horn is going to make you sick. Get it chem-cleaned as soon as possible. They usually change the felts and corks when they clean it. For the case I used Ozium, which you can buy at an auto parts store. I had the same problem with my peck horn. It was so dirty that multiple washings, even to the point where I was losing some lacquer, didn't help. I finally used a strong Lysol disinfectant mix- the old fashioned concentrated stuff that farmers use to sterilize the knife when castrating. Then I poured rubbing alcohol into every tube. But I'm still going to get a chem-clean the first chance I get.
  7. Sol

    Sol Pianissimo User

    Jan 25, 2004
    You could try soaking the horn in a vinegar and water solution.
  8. Brian H. Smout

    Brian H. Smout Piano User

    Mould or mold depending on your locale is caused by spores. In order to kill the odor you need to kill the spores not just deodorize the horn. Microban is a product that I know of that will do this. There are other sporicidals out there, I'm sure. If you are putting the horn back into a contaminated case you need to treat the case to prevent reintroduction of the spores back into the horn. A fire and smoke damage restoration company can ozonate your case and instrument to reduce odor after treatment of the spore problem. Helpful folks will trot out their favorite home nostrums and snake oil remedies, Febreze, sunlight, vinegar, Bounce sheets but the odor will alwayys remain as long as the root cause remains. Changing the soft parts like pads, washers and corks will certainly help. My $.02

  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Absolutely - thank you Brian:grouphug:
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Oh no, here we go again. Perhaps my advice is getting moldy after all my repeat posts on this issue, but this time, I'll keep it short and brief. If the smell is truly related to mold or opportunistic bacteria, then a 91% isopropyl alcohol rinse done in the final rinse of the horn after cleaning at least once a month will keep this in check. This result has been clinically proven to work.

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