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Trumpet Discussion Discuss swab or soak? in the General forums; Trumpet cleaning time! I would love to hear your insights into cleaning technique. Do you swab out your lead pipe ...
  1. #1
    Piano User Pat S's Avatar
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    swab or soak?

    Trumpet cleaning time! I would love to hear your insights into cleaning technique. Do you swab out your lead pipe and valve casings with some manner of swab, or do you just soak the horn. What are you folks using for a cleaning solution? I'd heard that Simple Green is the best to use. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Re: swab or soak?

    I use a snake and some bottle brushes. Soaking may not be enough and if it is a lacquered horn and it soaks in hot water the lacquer will start to come off. Cleaning solution, dawn dish soap and warm water.

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    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Re: swab or soak?

    what Cody said. Dawn is great. Even used to clean oil soaked birds. Make it fairly strong. Soak, then swab.
    Steve
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    Re: swab or soak?

    Another note, dont use a snake that has a metal tube. I use a plastic coated one so it will not scratch the inside of the leadpipe and make caverns for red rot to grow.

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    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Re: swab or soak?

    Quote Originally Posted by codyb226 View Post
    Another note, dont use a snake that has a metal tube. I use a plastic coated one so it will not scratch the inside of the leadpipe and make caverns for red rot to grow.
    Yeah, back in the old days all they had was a coiled spring like metal wire with brushes on the end. I like he plastic now on some of them. Always wondered why they don't put more brush on them. Never feel like it is doing a good job scrubbing. If someone would double or triple the bristles, they ould be the top seller.
    Steve
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    Piano User Pat S's Avatar
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    Re: swab or soak?

    So do you snake the lead pipe, too?

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    Re: swab or soak?

    Soak in Dawn then brush for me too, including the mouthpipe.

    Tom


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    Re: swab or soak?

    I tear a little corner off a sponge then push that through the leadpipe with a snake brush. Works great. just something i discovered myself.
    Bay Area Brass likes this.

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    Re: swab or soak?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveRicks View Post
    Yeah, back in the old days all they had was a coiled spring like metal wire with brushes on the end. I like he plastic now on some of them. Always wondered why they don't put more brush on them. Never feel like it is doing a good job scrubbing. If someone would double or triple the bristles, they ould be the top seller.
    Try the HW Brass-Saver brushes. H.W. Products, Inc.

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    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Re: swab or soak?

    I start by polishing the trumpet - if needed - or the salt/carb soda bath solution if necessary - then I put the silver trumpets in hot soapy water (a good squirt of Dawn, or equivalent - my choice is Palmolive 'cause that's what the cook buys for me to wash up with) and then let it soak until the temp begins to come off the water. Then I snake the entire airway including the leadpipe with a plastic cored snake. The valves of course are lying on the bench and they get cleaned seperately. Drain all the waste water - examine all the bits of junk that come out of the trumpet, and vow to clean more often. Then finish this stage with a very thorough rinse in clean warm water. I wipe the trumpet down and place it in a warm place to air dry for a couple of hours - usually overnight. Then a quick hand polish, re-lube, and reassembly - then a few favourite tunes to prove how much better the instrument sounds when clean. (Like washing and polishing the car makes it go faster.)
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    Ted

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