Have always taken the bathtub cleaning route. Dawn dishwashing detergent, hot water (unless a lacquered horn), a snake, bristle brush for valves, and a long soak. Valves go in a cup so they remain upright with solution just below corks. This seems to have worked fine. The Olds Super, owned from the mid 60s and Strad from 70s perform fine and show no signs of red rot. Have never tried a chemical bath -not saying they are an issue- just never tried one. Two very large shops in the city -one does chem cleans regularly. The other (with a master repairman that draws folks from across the south) claims they are a waste. Guess if the horn has lasted 50 years with still good valve compression and clean insides, it will continue to get the bath treatment. Maybe in another 50 years I'll try a chem bath.
Olds Supers, LA (1953), Ful. (1962)
Olds Recording, LA (1952)
Olds Studio, LA (1953)
Olds Special, Ful. (1964)
Olds Ambassador, LA (1954)
Olds Ambassador, Ful. (1973)
Bach Strads 37-(1967, 1970, 1974, 1982)
Bach Strad 72 MLV (1973), 72* (1982)
Kanstul 1500 (2002), 1502 (2008), 1503 (2002)
Kanstul 1537 (2007)
Kanstul Chicago (2000)
Kanstul 1510 C
King Liberty (1929,1929)
King Liberty 2 (1938, 1944)
King Liberty 2b (1950)
J.H. Darby 45 USA
Holton (Revelation) 1924
Kanstul 1525 Flugelhorn
About every two weeks I dis-assemble everything on the horn, go over the valves with a toothbrush and hot soapy water, use a snake inside the valve holes. I have cleaning brushes that can get all the I.D. parts of the horn, then use compressed air to dry it afterward. Every year it gets an ultrasonic cleaning, and the valves get polished. I replace my corks about 4 times a year also. I’m still on the same synthetic felts used when Mr. Bob Reeves aligned the valves a few years ago, no worries there.
...Dreaming of when I can have delusions of adequacy...
Olds Recording '73, Studio '48, Super '47, French Model 38/39, Ambassador '76, Ambassador Cornet '64
Reynolds Contempora LB '49-ish
Conn 22B '37, Frank Holton (early - '23?) "Patent Applied For"
Carol Brass Legend Heavyweight
plus various projects, whims and follies
Other than the above posts... I really have not much of an opinion as to cleaning the horn.
Anyone that tells you NOT to clean is a moron. My bandmate cleans his every 3 years or so! He was genuinely shocked at how dirty it was! Yeah, he has red rot too! Wonder how that happened?
Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis
The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8
Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson
Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.
By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!
In addition to periodic soaking as described above, I run a swab through my leadpipe after every playing session. It is amazing how much difference a clean leadpipe makes in the responsiveness of a horn and how short a time of playing causes stuff to accumulate there. It is not food - i brush my teeth religiously before I play - but cells from your tongue and mouth do combine with your saliva and the normal condensation of water from your breath to make a layer which impedes the standing wave.
I have several horns (well, an understatement) and keep a swab in the cases of the ones I play most often. The swabs themselves need a periodic washing and I hang them up to dry.
Tim Wendt makes a great swab: The Best Damn Trumpet Lead Pipe Swab Period!: Trumpet Herald - placed Oct. 6, 2013 by 'trpthrld' in Accessories
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