Basic Care & Maintenance of your Brass Instrument

Once a week

One at a time, remove the valves and wipe clean with a lint free cloth. Apply a small amount of valve oil to the valve, insert back into the valve casing and rotate the valve a few times to spread the oil inside the casing. Locate the valve into the stop position and blow through the lead pipe to confirm the valve is the correct way round (with some models it is possible to locate the valve half a turn out which will result in the instrument not working).

Screw the cap into position and repeat the process for each valve in turn.

If you remove all of the valves at once make sure you note which one goes where,

as they are different and re-locating them in the wrong order will again result in

the instrument not blowing.                                                                                                  .


Remove the valves (taking note of the correct position), bottom caps and slides. Wipe the valves with a lint free cloth and put to one side. Flush the instrument with luke warm mildley soapy water. Use a flexible instrument cleaning brush to clean the slides and tubing. Use a valve cleaning brush to clean out the casings. Take care not to dislodge the water key corks.

Rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly.

Reassemble using a small amount of grease on the slides and a

small amount of oil on the valves. Again check the valve positions.

To polish, avoid abrasives and use a silver polishing cloth with plated

instruments or a soft cloth with lacquered instruments.


Flush the slide with lukewarm soapy water. Move the slide up and down several times then remove the inner slide and use a trombone flexible cleaning brush on both inner and outer slide. Rinse with cold water and leave to dry. On the bell section, remove the tuning slide and with a cloth remove any build up from the inner legs then use a small amount of slide grease and re-assemble. Re-assemble the slide lubricating with either a small amount of slide cream then sprayed with water or with a bespoke slide lubricant.