Caring for Brass Instruments



Every time you put your brass instrument away after practicing or a rehearsal, wipe down your instrument. The polishing cloth that comes in the care kit will work well for this as would any soft cloth. Be sure to wipe down the parts of the instrument that you touch while you hold the instrument. The oils/sweat from your skin can harm the finish coat of the instrument- you can preserve the look of your horn by just wiping it down!

Oil the instrument regularly. For trumpets, this means taking the piston out, putting a few drops of valve oil on the piston, and screw the piston back in. Do this daily. For trombones, use a slide lubricant such as Yamaha slide lubricant or Slide-O-Mix or Trombontine. Every few weeks we recommend taking the pistons or slide out of the trombone and wiping off the pistons or inner slide with a cloth or paper towel.


At least once every year, clean your instrument. You can do this at home or bring it to the experts at Sleister Music. In addition to cleaning your instrument, we can take care of any dents, mechanical problems, and other repairs that may be needed.

If you want to clean your own horn at home, first fill a bath or large sink tub up with warm water and household dish soap. Take the instrument apart and soak it in the water for a few minutes. The inside of all of the tubing can be brushed out with the long, snake brush. The instrument is then rinsed thoroughly, dried, and put back together.

If regular maintenance and cleaning is done by the player, brass instruments will last decades and will need minimal attention from the repair shop!

Mike Corrigan from BAC explains this in an entertaining way (see video)!