Step 11: Cleaning and Replacing the Valves (Save This for Last!)

Select one of the valve pistons and run lukewarm water over and through it.  Apply several drops of soap to the piston.  Rub the soap around the exterior of the piston with your finger, attempting to work off any residue.  Do not attempt to scrub the piston with a brush.  A brush could scratch the piston and this could cause the piston to stick when in use.  Now, using your index finger, attempt to rub out any residue in the air channels of the piston.  Rinse the piston.  Quickly, before the piston has a chance to dry, apply a good amount of valve oil and replace the piston in the correct valve casing.  (The resistance between the water droplets from the rinse and the oil make the water-oil combination a super-slick lubricator, and this is why we cleaned the pistons last, so they could be quickly replaced in the valve casings without losing any of this water-oil combination). Repeat this step with the remaining two valve pistons.   
on my horn, the tuning slides are all dark with corrosion, just grimed up from years of smoky clubs, what is your best recommendation to get them back to clean brass? was thinking maybe wet sanding with fine grit sandpaper?
<p>The same thing happened to me. A bit of Brasso and some elbow grease makes the brass look brand new.</p>
You sound like more of an authority than me. (My subject is actually economics, and I made this instructable for a college English class.) I remember my slides becoming dark from residue (not corrosion?); particularly the third valve slide which I oiled instead of greased. I tried scrubbing with the brush, but that never worked. I never tried using sandpaper; but I'm not discounting it. I took my instrument to have a chemical clean once a year and that always got the residue off. Perhaps that's what you were hoping to avoid; I know chemical cleans are expensive. But yeah, I'm not really a trumpet authority or chemical engineer lol. Sorry I couldn't help.
<p>Can I use Windex to clean it?</p>
<p>If it's a brass instrument, go ahead. It will be really shiny and clean as well. However, silver instruments should be cleaned with silver polish or some variant of it to assure that tarnish does not build up.</p>
<p>Do you happen to know what to do when the tuning slides are stuck, so badly it is almost impossible to remove them? (I use a rental trumpet, which was badly maintained)</p>
<p>after a few days of trying to fix my stuck slides I just made it. What i did was put oil WD-40 in the slide from the outside, then this morning I boiled water and pour it through the mouth pipe and in the outside of the stucked slide, the using a rod I was able to pull the slide.</p>
<p>for the petroleum jelly can i use cork grease</p>
Cork grease is probably better than petroleum jelly. I grew up in a small town without a music supplier so petroleum jelly was easier to find. From what I understand both work well and are commonly used.
<p>or you can use cork and tuning slide grease</p>
<p>I never thought to use petroleum jelly on the slides, but from what other websites say, it sounds like a good idea. I'll try it after I clean my horn today.</p>

About This Instructable




More by prherr:How to Clean a Trumpet How to build a lego St. Anthony's Chapel 
Add instructable to: