Steam cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Blind Bruce, May 28, 2009.

  1. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

    Apr 17, 2009
    Winnipeg Canada
    My wife has a small low pressure steamer to sterilize countertops and bathroom fixtures. Could this be used to clean a trumpet?
    I have heard of this but I don't believe it would work on a laquered horn.
    It could also melt the solder.
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    I have used a Shark steam cleaner for cleaning trumpets for several years.
    It works great and does not damage the trumpet in any way.
    I would say it is second only to ultrasonic tanks for cleaning efficiency.

  3. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    Steam at atmospheric pressure will not melt solder.

    I wouldn't hesitate to steam clean a silver horn. But the question on lacquered horns is appropriate. Older horns with the original finish would have a nitrocellulose-base lacquer that steam cleaning could peel off. Newer horns would have polymer based lacquers (i.e. polyurethane) that should not be affected, but your best bet is to call and ask the manufacturer. Better safe than sorry.
  4. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I agree. As to the notrocellulose lacquer, I washed an LA Olds Ambassador cornet in lukewarm water, not even close to hot, and it took quite a bit of what was left of the lacquer off. It wasn't too disturbing to me because it already looked so ratty, but if it was a horn where it would matter I'd be concerned about using steam.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Just a follow up - unless the lacquer is really old and showing wear through to the raw brass I wouldn't worry about the steam taking it off.

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