Cleaning your trumpet and taking good care of the musical instrument is a necessity for every artist. Popularly known as ‘horn’, the wind instrument is constantly subjected to air and debris from the mouth, which clogs its valves. Hence, regular cleaning, by the use of tap water or soap solution, becomes vital, especially if you want to increase the life of your horn. You should be very careful while dismantling and cleaning your trumpet. In the following lines, we have given complete guidance on how to clean trumpets.
How To Clean Trumpets
- Dismantle the trumpet, so that every part of the instrument can be cleaned. First, carefully remove the valves by sliding them out gently. Number the valves as 1, 2 and 3, so that each one can be placed back in the appropriate slot. Remove the tuning slides for the respective valves. Then, remove the mouthpiece gently, with a slight twisting motion.
- Piston is the most delicate part of a trumpet. Therefore, it should be removed with utmost care. Unscrew the hubs on the outer casing of the piston, carefully. Finger-pearls, at the top of the piston, should also be unscrewed with care.
- Make use of a paper towel to wipe off the lubricating oil sticking to the tuning slide and spit valves of the trumpet. Gently apply force to pull the paper towel along the slide. If the tuning slides are still jammed, apply few drops of penetrating oil and leave for half an hour.
- Run water through the body of the trumpet. If you clean your trumpet on a regular basis, tap water will be enough to clean the instrument. On the other hand, occasional cleaning of the horn requires the use of soap solution as well. In the second case, submerge the instrument in a solution of mild soap, well diluted in tap water.
- ‘Snake’, a, long springy wire with two bristled ends is the most preferred cleaner used for trumpets. Inner surfaces of the horn can be thoroughly cleaned with the help of a ‘snake’. It is flexible enough to reach inside all the curves of the instrument.
- Insert the ‘snake’ in the trumpet by pushing it gently from the mouthpiece, applying gentle force.
- Keep the ‘snake’ within the horn and run tap water through it so that the slides and valves are cleaned thoroughly.
- Clean the mouthpiece of the trumpet with a mouthpiece brush soaked in gentle soap solution. Apply gentle strokes of the mouthpiece brush, while placing the trumpet under the tap.
- After all the parts of the trumpet have been cleaned thoroughly, leave it to dry completely. This may take a couple of hours.
- Wipe the trumpet with a polishing cloth, before re-assembling it. To start with, apply few drops of valve oil in the valves and gently slide them back to their original position. Grease the slides with the same valve oil and insert them. Replace the piston and re-screw the hubs into place.