How to Clean Your Trombone
Cleaning your trombone regularly will keep it playing well and will be better for your health. Ideally this should be done every couple of months.
What equipment do I need?
The equipment we will need for cleaning your trombone is a flexible snake brush, a mouthpiece brush, and dish soap. You can get all of these brushes in a Reka cleaning kit.
1. Fill either a bath or large tub with warm water and a small amount of dish soap. It is important to not use hot water, as this can damage the lacquer.
2. Disassemble the trombone by removing the slide from the bell section.
3. Remove the inner slide from the outer slide and remove old slide grease from the inner slide. Place them both in the soapy water. Be very careful to not dent your slide or bend the tubes as you do this.
4. Remove the main tuning slide from the bell section, wipe the grease off the tuning slide, and place both of those parts in the water too.
5. Place your mouthpiece in there too.
6. Leave these parts to soak for about 10 minutes.
7. About halfway through, flip the bell over so that all of the tubes get to soak in the water.
8. When everything is done soaking, you can run your snake brush through everything except for the mouthpiece. When cleaning your outer slide, stop pushing the brush when you feel resistance at the bottom. Pull it out again and then do the other side. For the bell section, you only need to push the snake into the smaller tube. The brush can be pulled all the way through the main tuning slide.
9. Use a wet soft sponge or cloth to clean the outside. Make sure you wash the soapy water off all these parts.
10. Now scrub out the mouthpiece with a mouthpiece brush.
If you don’t have time for a full clean of your trombone, it is good to at least clean your mouthpiece regularly, as this is where you will have the most build up. Especially, if you eat between practice sessions.
11. Use a soft cloth to dry the parts of your trombone.
12. Use the long rod with cleaning gauze to wipe and dry the inside of the outer slide. To do this, insert the cleaning gauze into the eye of the cleaning rod and wrap the cloth around the length of the rod, twisting as you go.
13. Closely insert it into the outer slide until you reach the bend, and then you can pull it out. Make sure you are twisting the rod as you go in and out with the cloth.
14. When putting your trombone back together, follow our guide on how lubricate your trombone slide.
Enjoy your clean trombone and happy practising!