How To Clean Your Trumpet

10 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

In order to keep your new Bach trumpet sounding great and to ensure that it lasts you a lifetime, you need to clean it regularly.  Here's how.

Before you get started, assemble all the tools you'll need for the job.  You'll be able to get all these things from your local music shop.

What you'll need

  • washing-up liquid
  • snake (for cleaning inside the tubing and slides)
  • valve casing brush
  • slide grease
  • valve oil
  • a clean towel
  • soft cloth

How to clean your trumpet

  1. Begin by disassembling your trumpet.  Remove the valves and put them in a safe place where they won't get lost.  Remove the slides.  If your Bach trumpet is a Stradavarius Bb, your third valve slide will separate into two pieces. Be very careful not to misplace any very small parts; valve slide stopper nuts, screws, bottom valve caps and pencil holders are very easily lost.  A good tip is to have a small box to hand in which to place items like these for safe-keeping.  These parts do not need cleaning.  
  2. Fill a deep sink or bath with warm water and add some washing-up liquid.  Place the slides in the water and let them soak for a few minutes.  Pull the snake through the slides to clean them.  Carefully rinse the slides with clean water to get rid of any soap.  Dry them and place them on the towel.  
  3. Put the main body of the trumpet in the water, ensuring that the tubing is completely full, and then allow it to soak for a few minutes.  Using the snake on the larger lead-pipe, and the valve casing brush on the smaller tubes and valve casings, clean them thoroughly.  
  4. Drain the sink and rinse all the soap from the trumpet body.  Dry the trumpet and lay it on the towel with the slides.  
  5. Now grease the slides using an appropriate product applied with a soft cloth.  Reassemble your trumpet.  
  6. Finally, you must clean the valves.  This is a delicate task as you mustn't get the felt pads on top of the valves wet.  If you do, the pads will compress and the valves will become misaligned.  Just carefully clean the bottom part of each valve using warm water and washing-up liquid.  Rinse away soapy residue thoroughly.  
  7. Allow the valves to dry naturally.  If you use a cloth to dry them, you could leave bits of fluffy lint on the surface of the valve which could cause them to stick or slow down when you're playing.  
  8. Apply a few drops of valve oil to each valve and then replace them in the appropriate places.

Your Bach trumpet is now clean, serviced and ready to play!