Trumpet Maintenance: Keeping your Instrument in Top Shape

Cleaning routine isn’t something you can skip, because it’s important not only for visual attraction but also for keeping your trumpet in top playing condition, which results in getting more enjoyment during practices and receiving better feedbacks from listeners.

Accessories for trumpet by KGUmusic

Why Is It Important to Clean your Trumpet?

Proper trumpet care and maintenance help unlock the full potential of the instrument, because a dirty instrument really lessens your abilities as a musician and threatens your health.

  1. Accumulated dirt and moisture spoil the sound quality, interfering with airflow, causing diminished tones and even making it difficult to play certain notes.
  2. Unclean mouthpieces act as breeding grounds for bacteria that increase the risks of oral infections, sore throats, as well as respiratory infections and unpleasant odors. Bacteria and organic matter left on the mouthpiece lead to corrosion, discoloration, and degradation of the accessory.
  3. Dirty instruments have a comparatively short lifespan because they are exposed to corrosion, and damage to the mechanism, which results in expensive repairs.
  4. Musicians who neglect proper care of the instruments can’t be considered as professionals, who have respect for their craft. A clean and well-maintained instrument is important for your reputation.

Tips on Trumpet Care and Maintenance

First, let’s answer the question about how often you should clean your trumpet. The frequency of cleaning routine depends on the intensity of your playing and the conditions in which you store the instrument. In general, the care process can be divided into three stages: daily, weekly and monthly care.

What is the Daily Trumpet Care?

  • After each practice session, maintain the exterior of the trumpet by wiping the surface of the instrument with a soft, dry cloth to remove fingerprints, oils, and moisture. You can use our specially designed care towel, made from a soft material that acts delicately, maintains the glossy look and doesn’t leave scratches.

  • To prevent unpleasant odors and bacteria growth, after each performance or session, rinse the mouthpiece with warm water. To clean the interior from debris, use a mouthpiece brush.

  • Store your trumpet in a secure place where it’s protected from moisture, accidental damage, humidity and extreme temperatures, because all these factors can impact the metal and spoil the sound quality.

What is the Weekly Care for Trumpet?

  • Check whether the valves operate smoothly. If they feel sticky, lubricate each valve with a small amount of valve oil. Work them up and down to distribute the oil, however be careful with over-oiling.

  • Check the tuning slides movement. If they feel difficult to adjust, apply a small amount of tuning slide grease to the slides and work them back and forth to distribute it. Be careful not to apply too much grease.

  • Ensure your instrument doesn’t have any dents, scratches or loose parts. If you find any issues, contact the specialist to prevent further damage to the trumpet.

What is the Monthly Care for the Trumpet?

  • Once a month, you should perform a deep cleaning of the trumpet, actually giving your instrument a bath. Following the instruction from manufacturers, disassemble the instrument by removing the valves, slides, and any trim kit components. You can also take a picture of your instrument before disassembling to make it easier to fit pieces at the end of a cleaning routine.

  • Prepare warm water (30-40 0C) with mild soap in the glass or a cup. Insert the pistons of the valves that have holes into the water, and leave them soaking for 10 minutes. Be careful not to get the tops of the valves or the buttons wet, because water could damage them from the inside. When the time runs out, pull out the valves, carefully rub their pistons with the cloth. Clean inside the holes with the corner of the cloth. Rinse each part with clean water, keeping the buttons and tops of the valves dry. Leave them until they completely dry.

  • For cleaning the tube, prepare a basin, put a towel in it and fill a basin with warm water and small amount of mild dish soap or brass instrument cleaner. Put it in the water and let soak for 10–15 minutes to loosen dirt. To clean the interior, use a flexible snake brush. Move the brush back and forth through the tube, paying special attention to areas with bends and curves, where dirt accumulates.

  • When the previous step is done, rinse the tubing thoroughly with clean water. You can also try our cleaning accessory, Aqua Nozzle, to remove dirt and small particles from the inside of your trumpet with minimal effort. Just connect the Aqua Nozzle to a shower or garden hose, insert the nozzle into the lead pipe, and turn on the water.

  • Check whether the valves have any signs of wear or damage. Replace them with new ones. Use a valve brush to clean the valve casings. Dry the valves with a soft cloth and lubricate them with the valve oil before reassembling the trumpet.

  • Clean the tuning slides with warm, soapy water. To remove debris, use a tuning slide brush. Apply a small amount of tuning slide grease to the slides before installing them into the trumpet.

Final Word

Following these trumpet care tips will extend the life of your instrument and allow you to enjoy its playability. If you’re interested in improving the sound or visual attraction of the instrument, learn more about how you can enhance your trumpet performance with trim kits or benefits of using mouthpiece boosters. If you’re searching for legendary models of instruments, check out our collection of trumpets, including Bach Stradivarius and YAMAHA, customized with KGUmusic accessories.

 Stay tuned, we’re preparing more helpful guides and articles.

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