In order to keep your Bach trumpet in good condition, it's necessary to deep clean it periodically. This prevents a build-up of grease and grime within the mechanics of the horn that can affect the tone and general ease of use of the instrument. If you don't keep your trumpet in good order, you risk shortening its lifespan considerably, so a little effort every month or so will pay dividends in the long run. However, having your horn dipped professionally at a music repair shop can be expensive. Luckily, you can save money by doing the job yourself at home. Read on to find out how.
What you'll need
- plastic bowl or pan large enough to completely submerge your trumpet
- slide snakes
- mouthpiece brush
- 1 litre white vinegar
- plastic jug
- hot water
- slide grease
- valve oil
- trumpet polishing cloth
You can buy white vinegar at any good hardware or DIY store, or in your local supermarket. The tools you need for cleaning your trumpet are available from good music stores or online.
How to do it
- Begin by taking all the slides out of your trumpet and placing them in the bowl, together with the mouthpieces and the bell part of your horn. Place the valves on one side.
- Make up a solution of the white vinegar and hot water in the plastic jug so that there's enough liquid to completely cover the trumpet.
- Immerse the trumpet parts in the solution and allow them to soak for a few hours.
- Leaving everything immersed in the solution, run your slide snakes through the slides and tubes.
- Clean all the ports in the valves using a mouthpiece brush. Place the metal part of the valve in the water but be very careful not to get the felt on the top part of the valves wet or you'll damage the valve alignment when you reassemble your horn.
- Empty the bowl and rinse all the trumpet parts under warm running water to get rid of any bits of debris.
- Allow everything to air dry on a lint-free cloth before greasing the slides, oiling the valves, and reassembling your trumpet.
- Polish up your trumpet using the polishing cloth that came with your instrument. (The vinegar gives the metal a fantastic shine without damaging the lacquered finish.)
You can save yourself money by deep-cleaning your Bach trumpet at home, following the simple guidelines given above.