Routine Trumpet Cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rockwell, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. rockwell

    rockwell Pianissimo User

    Dec 6, 2011
    I am especially interested in hearing from pros about how, what parts, and how often they clean their trumpet(s). I am getting a new horn soon and want to keep it in tip-top condition. Thank you!
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    With a brillo pad I clean my underarms... and my trumpet I clean every 3 months.
  3. Recursion

    Recursion Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 22, 2012
    Cape Coral, FL
    Just like a doctor! :p
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    I take apart ALL pieces (on the Recording and Kanstul that includes unscrewing the triggers), than soak it all but the felt pads in slightly warm soapy water, gently with a rotary motion slide a snake through the slides and valve conduits, rinse with water, then do a final rinse with 91% Isopropyl alcohol. I put it back together with Ultrapure regular slide grease for the non-tuning slides, and the thin grease for the movable (trigger, tuning) slides, oil the valves, reassemble the pads, caps the use Ultrapure oil as I put them back into the casing.

    For the Martin Committee, after the alcohol wash, I will fill the horn back up with tap water all the way from the bell to the lead pipe with the mouthpiece attached, and blow like heck, the water through the valve system pumps, until no more water comes out of the horn. Ideally, you would love to have Kingtrumpet in front of the horn when doing this, but alas, that opportunity has never come up for me.
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Some horns are much more sensitive to dirt inside than others.
    I must swab the leadpipe in my Schilke every other day - even though nothing can be seen in it. If I don't, it just doesn't play right.
    It gets a bath in warm, but not HOT, water every two to three weeks or so. I disassemble it and let it soak in a plastic laundry utility tub and then put a snake trough it. A thorough rinse and dry and it gets put back together.
    Some Ultra-Pure slide grease and Ultra-Pure oil and it is ready to go.
    This ain't quantum physics, it is just keeping it clean so it doesn't need MAJOR work down the road. If you think it is dirty and it has been a couple of weeks or more since you cleaned it, clean it.
    Rich T.
  6. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    I clean all my horns every month, I have access to a supersonic cleaner, which I first use on most of my horns, and after that clean it thoroughly with soapy water of about 20 degrees celcius, and use brushes and a snake. After that I let them bone dry, and use the supersonic cleaner again, this time twice as long, and something warmer. It works for me. I have a horn, 7 years old and used intensively, which really looks still like new.

    Btw, always watch out with the combination of heat and horns, just water, or supersonic cleaner, it can mess up your horn, especially laquered ones, but a supersonic cleaner will clean it all out as much as it can be.

    Oh and oil and grease as much as you can.
  7. rockwell

    rockwell Pianissimo User

    Dec 6, 2011
    Ditto: Brillo pad out the armpits every three months.
  8. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    For no particular reason other than ease of remembering, all mine get a full bath at the daylight savings changes (along with smoke detector batteries getting tested). In between those times, I will run a snake and swab through the leadpipe and tuning slide every few times they are played.
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Anybody ever thought about using a power washer to clean a trumpet, I thought about it, but that's all I did. I DID NOT DO IT! Just wouldn't risk blowing it apart. I just don't think soldered joints are that secure. Too, I wouldn't want to chase after my slides and expect them to function properly if I did find them ... and then I wouldn't want to look at the dents in their crooks or in my bell. Thank you! Swabs and snakes, a soak in Dawn detergent followed by clear water flush will do for my own quite well. Those that I acquire pre-owned are ultrasonically cleaned and gone over by a tech. That's me ... it's your horn and you can do whatever.
  10. jazzmetalrocknroll

    jazzmetalrocknroll Pianissimo User

    Jan 24, 2012
    Rhode Island
    Every month or so, I take it apart, put the valves in a glass filled with water and a drop of dawn dish detergent. I snake out the slides, horn, valve casings, and run water through everything (I do not use soap inside the horn at this time, nor do I use a bathtub). I scrub the slides with the green side of a sponge, and clean them with dawn dish detergent, and then grease them with petroleum jelly and al cass valve oil. I scrub the valves gently, and then I clean the bottom caps. Then I re-assemble the horn, oil the valves, etc. Then I rub down the entire horn with a micro fiber cloth, shake out the valve guard to remove any loose dirt and dust, and then I clean my mouthpieces. One of my favorite chores.

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