As with any expensive possession, maintenance and care of your trumpet are key. Consistent trumpet maintenance is important for making sure that your instrument sounds its best at all times. Trumpet cleaning is also important so that your horn will last a long time and you won’t need to purchase a new one.
It is recommended that you give your instrument a trumpet bath at least once every 6 to 8 weeks, and this should take approximately 30 minutes the first few times that you do it because you’ll be getting used to going through the routine. As you get used to the steps, it will take you less time.
We’ll discuss the details of how to clean your horn and specifically how to clean a trumpet mouthpiece and valves below.
How to Clean a Trumpet Guide
Every trumpet player must clean their trumpet on a regular basis. The following is a guide for giving your trumpet a bath, which you should do every 6 to 8 weeks.
- Start by preparing everything that you’ll need to clean your trumpet. First, you’ll need a bathtub or a sink filled with water. The water should be warm but not too hot. You’ll also need a few old towels that are clean, a brush for valve casings, leadpipe tubing and a slide cleaning snake. Later, you’ll need slidegrease and oil for your valves. You can purchase these in a kit. An example of such a kit is outlined below.
- The next step is to take your trumpet apart. You should remove your valves first and put them aside in a safe place. Take all of the slides out of your trumpet next. It’s important not to force your slides if they are hard to pull out. Never use tools like pliers to try to force your slides out of place. For slides that consistently will not come out of place, a professional repair person will need to help you, and in that case, you should simply continue cleaning your trumpet as usual.
Don’t forget to keep track of every slide that you remove. They are small pieces that can be easily lost.
- You can begin cleaning each piece of your trumpet now. Start cleaning the slides by soaking them in the water for 1 to 2 minutes. Pull the snake through the slides tubing to clean each side. Once you do this, rinse each slide with fresh water. You’ll probably notice that some brown or green gunk comes out of the slides, and that’s good!
- Once you’re done cleaning each slide with a snake, you can use the snake on the leadpipe, the main pipe in your trumpet.
- Next, start cleaning the valve casings with the valve casing brush. Use the thin end of the snake first and finish with the bigger end.
- Your need to rinse your trumpet body next. Drain the water out of your bathtub or sink and rinse the inside of your trumpet with fresh water. A spray nozzle works great for this.
- Gently shake your trumpet body and slides to release any excess water. After that, put a towel down in a safe place, and set all of your trumpet parts on the towel. You can use another towel to gently dry the surface of your trumpet and the slides. Make sure that you have all of the pieces of your trumpet in one place.
- You can reassemble your trumpet when you are done, but remember that it’s important to use slide grease on each slide before inserting them. Your main tuning slide may require a different sort of slide grease than the rest of your slides.
How to Oil Trumpet Valves Guide
As stated above, your trumpet valves need to be cleaned separately from the rest of your trumpet. That is, they need to be oiled on a regular basis.
You can clean your trumpet valves with a small amount of dish soap and a little warm water, but you must be extremely careful when you do this. You cannot get the top section of your valves wet. Felt pads are on these areas, and getting the felt wet may ruin your trumpet valves. The bottom parts may be cleaned with warm water and a bit of dish soap, but make sure that you get rid of the excess soap when you’re done and also oil them. The following is a guide to oiling your trumpet valves.
- First, lay an old towel on the ground or on the table and put your trumpet on top of it. It’s best to put a towel down because if valve oil gets onto delicate surfaces, clothing or carpeting, it can cause stains.
- Second, start by unscrewing the first valve slide. Move the valve out a small amount, but there’s no reason to pull it out completely, and for children, pulling it out completely may cause it to be lost or damaged. Furthermore, you must make sure that you put it back in the correct way, so the best thing to do is just to pull it out slightly.
- Next, add a few drops of oil into the valve shaft. Do not put the oil in the holes in the valve.
- Finally, put the valve completely back into place and turn it until you hear a click and feel it go into place. Screw the valve completely back in.
- Continue with the other two valves.
Check out the following care kits and valve oils to help make keeping your trumpet clean easier and quicker.
The UltraPure UPO-TPT-KIT Ultra-Pure Deluxe Trumpet Care Kit is an all-encompassing kit designed to make cleaning your trumpet a breeze. With this kit, you’re getting professional cleaning materials.
In the package, you get a bottle of classic Ultra-Pure Valve Oil as well as tuning slide lube, a valve casing brush, a brush for mouthpieces, and a cleaning snake that is coated with vinyl. Finally, the kit comes with an extra large polishing cloth made of high-quality microfiber and a set of cleaning instructions.
The Ultra-Pure Oils UPO-VALVE Professional Valve Oil is the pro’s choice when it comes to valve oil. This is a synthetic, non-toxic formula that works great and lasts a long time. The formula is also odorless and non-flammable. It’s slightly more expensive than the Blue Juice Valve Oil below, but it’s a top quality product.
The Blue Juice Valve Oil is a great valve oil choice if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but want to make sure that your horn stays clean inside. This valve oil is super fast acting, and the lubing will last a long time so that you don’t have to keep adding it.
As you can see, taking care of your trumpet involves quite a number of steps. But these are important steps for making sure that sure instrument stays in good working order and plays the best for you. Purchasing the cleaning kit and valve oil suggested above will help make the process of cleaning your instrument much easier.
A good way to remember to clean your instrument on a regular basis is to set a reminder on your smartphone or computer. It can be annoying to take time out of your busy schedule to clean your instrument, if you find that this is a deterrence and doing this, a good API may be to put some music on or listen to a podcast while you work. When taken to hang of the process, it shouldn’t take you more than 15 or 20 min. to do.
Now that you know how to clean a trumpet, consider the last time that you took the time to clean your instrument. Has it been more than a few months? If so, why not get to work? And if you don’t have a trumpet yet but are hoping to buy one, just check out our trumpet buying guide. It has everything you need to know.