Make it part of your regular routine
Because your piston valve instrument is a precision piece of equipment, proper care and maintenance should become a regular routine before and after playing.
Flush the Entire Instrument
Once a month, flush out the entire instrument. Remove the mouthpiece and tuning slides. Unscrew top and bottom valve caps, and remove valves from casings. Flush interior of instruments with lukewarm water-never hot. Scrub the bore and tubing with a 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 valve casing with a cotton flannel cleaning cloth. Use your bore brush, as well, to periodically remove particles of dirt in slides or tubing.
Clean the Valves
Clean the valves and valve casings frequently when the instrument is new. Use a cleaning rod to guide the cloth through the valve casing, making sure the end of the rod is completely covered with the cloth. Then use a pumping action, or simply pull the cloth back and forth in the casing. Use the cloth only to clean the portholes on valves. Do not use your cleaning rod for cleaning portholes, as their corners are sharp and easily dented.
Apply valve oil freely (3 to 4 drops) to each valve piston and return to its casing. (Look for and match each valve number on each valve.) Wipe off excess oil. Approved valve oils include UMI Valve Oil #4101 and Conn Formula 3 for monel pistons (#314) or plated pistons (#315).
Apply tuning slide grease to tuning slides before reassembling the instruments. Wipe off excess. UMI Slide Grease comes in a squeeze tube (UMI #4106) or a lipstick style tube (UMI #4206).
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.
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.
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.