If you want your trumpet to sound at its very best, cleaning it should be part of your maintenance routine. Cleaning your instrument will help to ensure that your instrument lasts a long time and it is something that you should do every six to eight weeks. The first few times that you clean your trumpet, it should take you at least 30 minutes or more but over time, as you get used to it, you will be faster. Most experts can clean their trumpets within 15 minutes and this includes the set-up.
Preparing the workspace
The first thing you need to do before you begin is to prepare the workspace. This includes assembling the tools that are required for the cleaning. Apart from the mouthpiece brush, you will also need a snake for cleaning the slides and the tubing and a valve casing brush that is used for cleaning valve casings. You will also need lubricants like valve oil and slide grease.
Preparing the soap and water
Fill the sink or tub with warm water to give you enough space to ensure that the trumpet fits. The water should not be too hot to the touch or too cold for comfort. Add a little soap into the water- use mild hand dishwashing soap. Harsh detergents damage the plating. They should be avoided. This means that you should not use products that are not suitable for hand washing.
Disassembling the trumpet
When everything is ready, disassemble the trumpet to prepare it for cleaning. Begin by removing the valves. Set them aside and make sure that you choose a safe place where they will not fall over. Next, remove the slides and this includes the main tuning slides and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd valve slides. This will depend on the type of trumpet that you have because with some models, such as the Bach Stradivarius Bb, you can separate the third valve slide into two parts. Removing the slides does not require force.
Remove the slides with care
Remember to be very careful when you are removing the slides. Unless they are stuck, this should happen with minimum effort. If they are stuck, do not try to use pliers or other tools to force them apart as this could damage your instrument. You can end up pulling the tubing apart at the soldered joints. If the slide is stuck, you should take the trumpet to a professional for repair. Take care of the small parts.
Cleaning the trumpet parts
When your trumpet is disassembled, you can start the cleaning. It is a good idea to start by cleaning the slides. Soak them for about a minute and insert the brass saver brush or snake through the tubing before rinsing them carefully to remove all the soapy water. Next, clean the main body of the trumpet by immersing it into the water and leaving it to soak for a few minutes before cleaning the different tubes. Use a casing brush to clean the tubes and valve casings.
Make sure that you rinse and dry the trumpet and grease the slides before reinserting them. Clean the bottom part of the valves but do not dry them before oiling them. Use the mouthpiece brush to clean the mouthpiece once a week.