This time of year, we gets lots of parents asking us about the best way to clean their child's instrument. Did you know that trumpets and french horns can actually be soaked in your bathtub? For a easy clean, here's how you do it!
1. Put a towel on the bottom of the tub, this prevents the instrument from being scratched.
2. Fill the tub with a lukewarm water and a small amount of a mild dishsoap.
3. Take out all of the tuning slides and valves (for french horns, remove the valve caps). The tuning slides should be soaked with the instrument. Do not soak the trumpet valves.
4. Gently place the instrument in the tub, and let it soak for about 10-15 minutes. To aid the process, you can use a vinyl bore brush (aka a "snake") to clean the lead pipes, and a valve casing brush in the trumpet valve casings.
5. Remove the instrument and let it air dry for at least an hour. If you own a stand for your instrument, leave it on the stand.
6. The tuning slides and valves will need lots of grease and oil when putting them back in. You can be liberal with the amount you use, it won't hurt the instrument. If you are cleaning a trumpet, make sure to put the valves back correctly. Each valve should have a number etched on the side that tells you if it's 1, 2, or 3, and the number should be facing towards the mouthpiece area.
7. If you would like to clean the mouthpiece, you can put it in a pot of boiling hot water on your stove for a few minutes. Be careful not to drop it and dent it.
That's it! Be prepared to watch all the gunk and grime come out of the instrument and start fresh!
If you have questions or need any of the cleaning materials mentioned above, stop by our store or call us at 860-442-8884.