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Cleaning a Trombone


These beautiful brass instruments look and sound better when clean and shinny. This guide is about cleaning a trombone.



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Question: Cleaning a Trombone

Old trombone in case.I was given a horn (trombone) and it has set in an old vacant house in the south in its case for 8 years, with no care. How do I clean this safely?

By gbk from south GA

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Best Answer

By Paulette Gulakowski [7] 10/19/2011

I am a retired band director and have cleaned trombones and trumpets. Clean the trombone in the bathtub with warm soapy water, dish soap like Dawn is fine. Take it apart, being careful not to dent it or bend the slide. Wash outside with a soft cloth. Clean inside the slide tubes and the bell with a swab (brush on a long spring) that you can purchase in a music store. Rinse in running water and dry outside. Put slide oil on the slide tubes and barest hint of Vaseline on the connector joint. This process gets rid of the dirt and yucky green stuff you find in every horn that hasn't been cleaned in a while.

The case will need to be vacuumed thoroughly, surface cleaned (plain water is probably best) and set in hot sun for several days. Otherwise it will smell musty and may grow insect larva.
Your instrument looks like an Olds I have. It will not get shiny when clean.
Oh, and don't store the music book in the case. It may bend delicate parts!
Consider learning to play the instrument!

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