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How to Clean Your Trumpet

Trumpet main tuning slide is being rinsed under running water.

How often should you clean your trumpet?

Cleaning your trumpet 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 you will need for cleaning your trumpet is a flexible snake brush, a valve casing brush, a mouthpiece brush, and some dish soap. The brushes will last you for years to come and are a worthwhile investment for keeping your trumpet in good playing condition. You can get all of these brushes in a Reka cleaning kit.

The Process

Water is running from a tap into a large sink, which is about one third full.

1. Place a towel down in either a bath, large tub, or sink with warm water and a small amount of dish soap. It is important that you do not use hot water, as this can damage the lacquer.

Grease is being removed from the third valve slide with paper towel.

2. Remove the valve slides and main tuning slide and wipe off old slide lubricant. Place them in the soapy water.

The three trumpet valves have been removed and are sitting in a glass of soapy water.

3. It is important that you don’t submerge the whole valves in water, as the felt should not become wet. Instead, you can let them soak in a glass of soapy water, making sure that the water doesn’t come high enough to touch the felts.

Trumpet valve caps are being unscrewed.

4. The valve caps can be submerged in the soapy water with the slides and trumpet body.

5. Leave everything to soak for about 10 minutes.

Cleaning brush is being inserted through the trumpet main tuning slide.

6. Run a snake brush through the body of the trumpet and the slides.

A thick brush is being inserted into the trumpet valve casing, with the trumpet being held over the sink full of water.

7. Scrub the inside of the valve casings with a valve casing brush and wipe out any gunk from the valve caps with paper towel. Give them a rinse to wash off the soapy water.

On the right of the picture, the cleaning brush is being inserted the valve, with the glass with the other valves sitting on the left of the picture.

8. Use the snake brush to carefully clean the pistons. An old toothbrush works really well too. You may damage the pistons if you do this roughly.

A brush is being inserted into the trumpet mouthpiece, which is being held over the sink.

9. Scrub out the mouthpiece with a mouthpiece brush. If you don’t have time for a full trumpet clean, it is good to regularly clean your mouthpiece and lead pipe, as this is where you will have the most build up. Especially, if you eat between practice sessions.

The trumpet body, which has all of the slides and valves removed, is being rinsed under the tap.

10. Rinse all of the parts.

Trumpet slides are being wiped with a black cloth.

11. Give the outside a wipe with a soft cloth.

Valve oil is being applied to a valve. Trumpet and parts of the trumpet are sitting on a blue towel.

12. When putting your trumpet back together, follow our guides on how to oil your valves and lubricate your slides, which are linked in the description below.

Enjoy your clean trumpet and happy practising!

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