Care and Maintenance of your Slide and Rotary Valve Instruments
A Guide to Keeping your Slide and Rotary Valve Instruments Looking and Feeling Brand New
courtesy of: www.unitedmusical.com
Make it part of your regular routine
Because your horn is a precision instrument, proper care and maintenance should become a regular routine before and after playing.
Flush the Entire Instrument
Once a month, flush the entire instrument. Remove the mouthpiece and tuning slides. Flush interior of instrument with lukewarm water - never hot. Scrub the bore and tubing with the bore brush, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. (Care should be taken in the use of soap - never use detergents on lacquered finishes.) Dry with a cotton flannel cleaning cloth. Also, use your bore brush to periodically remove particles of dirt in slides or tubing.
Valve Oil Prevents Sticking
Use specially refined rotary valve oil to lubricate the rotary valves often to prevent sticking. Oil the rotor stem at the junction of the drum and the lower bearing. Remove the cap on the top side of the valve and oil the exposed movable parts. Another method is to remove the valve slides while the horn is in upright position, place three or four drops into each slide and reinsert each slide into the horn. Tip the horn so that oil runs directly into valve casing. (Oiling directly down the slide tube will wash heavier slide grease into the valve, causing slow valve action.)
For maximum slide performance, there are many slide creams which are recommended. Before playing, be sure your slide is very clean and apply a small amount according to the lubricant instructions. Recommended slide creams include Conn Formula 3 Slide Cream (UMI #318A); King Slide Cream (#329); Slide-O-Mix (#337); Slide-O-Mix Light (#337L) and Trombotine (#338).
Apply tuning slide grease to tuning slides before reassembling the instruments. Wipe off excess. UMI Slide Grease comes in a squeeze tube or a lip-stick type tube.
How to clean a trombone slide
To clean slide trombone slides, remove inner slides and pour a little lukewarm water into outer slides. Insert inner slides and "slush pump" in and out. Rinse well and drain. Use the bore brush to remove dirt particles. Rinse again and drain thoroughly. Dry with a cotton flannel cleaning cloth. Trombone slide oil provides the basic lubricated surface for slide performance. Apply Slide Oil to both sides of the inner slide and work outer slide evenly.
Instrument polishes are recommended to bring out the high luster your new instrument was born with. Some include a tarnish inhibitor to keep your instrument looking like new. Approved polishes include Lacquer Life for lacquered instruments; and Metal Polish for plated instruments.
Clean your mouthpiece
Clean your mouthpiece at least once a week, brushing out the inside with the mouthpiece brush and warm soapy water. Rinse with cold water and dry. After each use, you should rinse the brush thoroughly. Remove the mouthpiece and place it in a mouthpiece pouch when not in use.
Use a polishing cloth after each use
After playing, use a polishing cloth to wipe off perspiration and fingerprints. To return finish to its fine luster, rub briskly. DO NOT use a lacquer polish cloth on plated finishes.