How To Clean A Trumpet With 3 Simple Methods

Here is a useful tutorial for people who don’t know how to clean a trumpet properly. The trumpet player, we wish to save you from loss of time or serious harm. To acquire the finest performance and outcomes while performing, every trumpet player should be ready to maintain their instrument.

Why Is Important To Clean A Trumpet?

Why it's Important To Clean A Trumpet

Image: iStock

Regular cleaning can help maintain your trumpet in excellent performing shape and stave against rust and dirt buildup, especially as it becomes the best trumpet!

The tubing may become misshapen or corroded when grime and debris accumulate within the trumpet, making it seem more difficult to play.

The protective covering of lacquer or silver plate may be removed by external corrosion, exposing the instrument’s bare brass to the atmosphere.

This is more likely to erode fast, which might result in the development of tiny holes in the tubing.

Moving the slides or valves fast when filth accumulates may become more challenging (or impossible).

This may be avoided by keeping your trumpet clean inside and out, which will also prolong the life of your instrument.

3 Methods To Clean A Trumpet

3 Methods To Clean A Trumpet

Image: iStock

Things to be aware of:

  • In a tub of soapy water, clean the trumpet’s body, slides, and mouthpiece. For cleaning, pass a snake brush through the tube.

  • Use soapy water and a soft cloth to scrub the valves’ bottom halves. Keep the felt or cork pieces attached to the valves’ tops dry.

  • Deep-clean your trumpet once a month to get rid of accumulation. Three times each week, clean your mouthpiece, and once per week, oil the slides. Always lubricate your valves.

Taking Apart Your Trumpet

1. Your trumpet slides should all be removed

You may remove the four slides from your trumpet by hand. Holding the slide end carefully, remove it from your trumpet immediately away. After removing the slides, place them on a cloth.

  • The biggest component that attaches directly to the lead pipe, where the mouthpiece is attached, is the tuning slide.

  • The first valve slide is on the right side of the trumpet’s back. The first cylindrical valve casing is connected by it.

  • The second valve slide is the little protrusion from the middle valve on the trumpet’s right side.

  • On the trumpet’s left side is the third valve slide. You may need to undo a set screw to remove the slide fully.

  • Before disassembling your trumpet, take a photo of it to easily recall where each component goes when you put it back together.

  • Avoid attempting to push the slides out if they are jammed because you risk damaging your trumpet. Bring your horn to a music store so that a trained expert may take them out for you.

2. The valves and valve caps must be unscrewed and removed

The valves are the three cylindrical parts in the center of your trumpet that have buttons. Remove the top caps from each valve one at a time, being sure to draw them straight out. On your towel, carefully place the valves. Then remove the covers from the valve casings’ bottoms as well.

  • For ease of recall, most valves have numbers like 1, 2, or 3. Lay your valves down in the same order you removed them from your trumpet if they don’t have numbers.

  • Due to their hollow nature and fragility, trumpet valves should be handled with extreme care.

3. Take the mouthpiece off your trumpet

Use your dominant hand to hold the mouthpiece while using your non-dominant hand to hold the trumpet. To remove the mouthpiece, turn it counterclockwise and pull it out completely.

Avoid attempting to push the mouthpiece out of your trumpet if it becomes stuck because you risk damaging the instrument. You can clean your trumpet while the mouthpiece is still connected, but bring it to a music store so a professional can take it off for you.

Cleaning Mouthpiece, Slides & Trumpet Body

1. Place a towel in the bathtub

Lay a cloth so your trumpet won’t damage the tub’s polish as you wash it. To stretch out your trumpet, the slides, and the mouthpiece, ensure you have adequate space.

Use a big plastic tote bin in place of a bathtub if you don’t have one.

2. Your tub should have four inches (10 cm) of warm, soapy water

To fully immerse your trumpet, turn on your faucet and pour around 4 inches (10 cm) of water into the tub. Squirt in some mild dish soap then stirs until the water is sudsy.

Avoid putting hot water on your trumpet because you risk damaging the finish.

3. For 15 to 30 minutes, soak your trumpet, mouthpiece, and slides

Place your mouthpiece, slides, and trumpet on the towel after lowering them into the water. Keep your trumpet submerged in the tub so the water may pass through the tubing and dislodge any debris lodged within.

4. Through the slides and trumpet tubing, run a snake brush

A snake brush can easily pass through your trumpet since it has hard bristles connected to a wire. Put the brush’s end into the trumpet’s tube and carefully push it to the other side so you can draw it out. Work the snake brush through all of your trumpet’s exposed tubing. After that, pass the brush through each slide.

  • If the snake brush becomes trapped or breaks, be cautious not to push it around bends.

  • All the brushes and materials you’ll need to take care of your trumpet may be found in trumpet cleaning kits.

  • Avoid scratching the vertical valve casings with a snake brush since the trumpet’s tone may be impacted.

  • If you don’t have a snake brush, use a cotton swab or toothpick to remove any visible debris in the tubing.

5. Scrub the inside of the casings with a valve casing brush

Unlike a snake brush, a valve casing brush is cylindrical and has softer bristles. Gently swirl the brush within the three vertical valve casings to clear any debris or buildup.

A fresh cotton rag should be placed on top of the valve casing if you don’t have a valve casing brush. To clean the insides, insert a pencil and push the cloth through the shell.

6. Use a mouthpiece brush to clean the interior of the mouthpiece

A mouthpiece brush fits into either end of your mouthpiece because of its tapered cone design. To get rid of debris within, insert the brush into your mouthpiece and spin it around. To clean the mouthpiece more thoroughly, slide the brush back and forth.

If you don’t have a mouthpiece brush, use a toothpick to remove any leftover material.

7. Clean water should be used to rinse each item

To get rid of the soapy water, empty your tub. You may use a cup to pour new water over and into each trumpet piece or fill your tub with clean water and submerge each trumpet piece. Up until there are no longer any suds visible, keep washing your trumpet.

Be cautious not to get wet if you pour water through your trumpet since it might leak out of any of the sliding ports.

8. Your trumpet parts should be dried by air after being wiped out of water

Your trumpet’s mouthpiece, slides, and surplus water should all be dried using a soft cotton towel. The trumpet should air-dry entirely in approximately an hour if you place it and all the parts on a towel in a well-ventilated location.

To remove extra water from within, shake your trumpet and the slides.

Keeping Trumpet Valves Clean

1. The valve and cap bottom halves should be soaked with soapy water for ten minutes

Dish soap should be squirted into a cup that is half-filled with water. To remove any residue caught on them, submerge the pistons, the bottom portions of the valves with holes, in the water and let them rest there for at least 10 minutes.

As the water might harm the felt or cork components within, avoid getting the tops of the valves or the buttons wet.

2. Use a delicate cotton towel to wipe the valve pistons’ inside clean

Pull and remove each valve from the cup one at a time after 10 minutes. Use the cloth to carefully scrape any remaining muck from the valve pistons’ surfaces. Clean within the perforations by using the cloth’s corner as well.

Avoid cleaning your valves with a snake brush since you could create scratches that alter the trumpet’s tone.

3. Make use of a moist paper towel to clean the valve caps

Remove the valve caps from the cup, then use your paper towel to clean the inside. After seeing no more residue rise up, keep cleaning the valve caps.

4. Use clean water to rinse the valves and valve caps

Run warm running water over the valves’ bottoms and valve covers to remove any soapy water. Care to thoroughly rinse the valves and caps until no more suds are visible.

While you are washing the valves, keep the buttons and tops dry.

5. Allow the valves and caps to the air-dry outside

Leave the valves and caps to drip dry, which should take approximately an hour. Drying valves with a cloth might leave lint or residue that impairs the sound of your trumpet.


How often should I clean my trumpet?

A few times every week, you should use a cleaning cloth to remove water stains from the outside. It varies on how frequently you practice, but a good rule of thumb is to wash your trumpet at least once every six weeks to keep the interior clean.

Can you wash a trumpet?

Add some liquid dishwashing detergent with a lemon smell (about a tablespoon is enough). Gently submerge your mouthpiece, the bottom valve covers, the slides, and the trumpet. While keeping the felts dry, pour soapy water into a glass and submerge the valves. Allow everything to soak for at least ten minutes.

Can toothpaste be used to clean a trumpet?

You may be surprised to learn that toothpaste can effectively clean brass. You must dab a little toothpaste onto your brass using reusable paper towels or a clean cloth. After letting the toothpaste stay for a while, wash it off with cold water.


We hope this article has taught you how to clean a trumpet correctly. Even though it may seem like a lot of labor, after thoroughly cleaning your trumpet a few times, the process becomes much faster and simpler. Gratitude for reading!

Author: Rosario Beltran Jr

I am Rosario Beltran Jr. After more than five years of playing classical piano, I now aggregate musical instruments for Most people have dreams of owning a musical instrument, but it is not easy to achieve this dream. That is why I am here to help you, and I believe my reviews will be helpful for you.

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