If you want to know how to clean a trumpet the right way, then this guide is for you. Cleaning your trumpet correctly will save you time and prevent you from potentially damaging the instrument.
It is important to maintain your trumpet properly to get the best performance results any time you are playing. To maintain your instrument, you have to oil and clean it regularly. There is no excuse for not knowing how to clean your instrument well.
Cleaning a trumpet is easy. However, it can take you a while to accomplish the process. In fact, you may have to do the process a couple of time if you do not know how to clean a silver trumpet. However, with time, the process will be much quicker. You can clean a trumpet in 15 to 20 minutes after you have gotten used to the process.
To clean a trumpet, you have to wash its components. Read on for a guide on how to clean your trumpet.
Cleaning Supplies Needed
There are a couple of cleaning supplies you will need to clean your instrument. You can substitute some of the cleaning supplies as needed.
- Small tub, sink, or another container
- Polishing cloth
- Slide grease
- Valve oil
- Dish soap
- Mouthpiece brush
- Valve casing brush
- Small cleaning snake/pipe cleaner
There are various trumpet cleaning kits that have all the supplies you need to clean your instrument. We recommend the Yamaha trumpet cleaning kit. The Monster trumpet cleaning kit is also highly rated by trumpeters.
Steps for Cleaning a Trumpet
Step 1: Disassemble the Trumpet
- Remove the valves and put them in a safe place where your kids, a pet such as a trained Border Collie or other pets. will knock them off. Move the valves carefully to avoid dropping them. Also, make sure you do not separate the valves.
- Remove the slides sequentially, starting from the first, the second, the third, and so on. Finally, remove the main tuning slide.
- Apply a small force to remove the slides and valves. If any of the valves seem stuck, do not force it out. If you cannot remove any part of the trumpet, ask for help from an experienced trumpet professional.
Step 2: Clean the Tubing and Slides
- Fill the tub, container or sink with warm water that is sufficient enough to fully immerse the trumpet. Squeeze a few drops of dish soap into the water and mix it.
- Immerse the slides of the trumpet into the soapy water and let them soak for 3 to 5 minutes. After this, clean the insides of the slides using the cleaning snake. Finally, rinse and dry the slides and place them on a clean thick towel.
- Next, immerse the whole trumpet into the water and let it soak for about 5 minutes. After this, gently run the snake through all the tubing. Make sure you don’t force the snake into tight areas of the instrument.
- Clean the valve casings a couple of times by running the valve casing brush through them.
- Rinse the trumpet and let it dry in the open
Step 3: Clean the Valves
- Make sure you do NOT immerse the valves completely into the water. If the valves are sunk into the water, their pads can get water and lose their shock-absorbing ability. When this happens, you will have to change them for your trumpet to continue producing great sounds.
- Clean the ports of the valves using the cleaning snake, and rinse them with soap and water.
- Be careful not to touch the valves with the metal point of the cleaning snake. This point can damage the inside of the valve ports.
Step 4: Reassemble the Trumpet
- Oil the first slide, third slides, and the valves before reassembling the trumpet.
- Grease the second valve slide and the main tuning slide. Make sure you do NOT great the third valve slide as it will become too slow
Expert Trumpet Cleaning Tips
- Use warm water for cleaning your trumpet. Do not use hot water as it can damage the instrument’s finish
- If you have a silver-plated instrument that has tarnish or grime, use a silver polish to remove these impurities.
- Do not use polish to remove impurities on a lacquer-, silver-, or brass-finished trumpet as the polish may remove the finishing.
- Do not remove the water keys or any triggers using a spring. These parts have to be put back together using a water key spring. Getting the water keys back into position without using the water key spring can be quite difficult.
Video How to Clean a Trumpet
Watch the video below on how to clean a trumpet