Be sure to use a clean, well rinsed tub. Fill with enough lukewarm water to immerse your trumpet.
While the tub is filling, take the valves and slides out of your trumpet. Be very careful with your valves. They are made of soft metal that can be easily damaged. Also remove the covers from the bottom of the valve casings.
Soak your trumpet and all of the unassembled parts for about ten minutes. After soaking, run the snake brush through the long, slender tubes of your horn, and through the removed slides. Use the valve brush on the inside of the valve casings. Be careful not to let any metal parts of the brush scratch the casing.
Clean the valves themselves by rubbing them with your hands or a soft cloth. The holes in the valves can be a little tricky to clean, as are the bottom covers of the valve casings. A cotton swab works well in these places, but avoid getting lint in the valves.
Rinse all of the parts with clean water.
Oil the valves and slides as you reassemble your horn. Oiling your slides helps prevent corrosion, and keeps them moving easily. A very small amount of slide oil is all that is needed. It will usually last from one cleaning to the next.
Valve oil does need to be applied often between cleanings. A bottle should always be kept in your trumpet case. It should be applied as soon as the valves become sticky.
Valve oil should be applied by unscrewing and removing the valve. Oil is applied to the smooth, silver-colored section of the valve (outside of the holes - not in them), not to the upper spring section. Valve oil should not be applied through the valve cover at the bottom of the valve, or through removed slides.
Once your horn is clean and reassembled, polish it with a soft cloth. This is important, as perspiration from your hands and other dirt will eventually cause the lacquer or plating to corrode or tarnish.
The final step in cleaning your horn is to clean the mouthpiece. Run it under clean water to loosen any dirt, clean the inside with the brush, and rinse it with clean water. Wash the mouthpiece frequently.
One last thing –
Be sure to allow time to scrub the tub when you’re finished! It will need it.
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