HOW TO CLEAN A BRASS INSTRUMENT
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Owning a brass instrument can be a labor of love, as keeping the instrument clean is important to maintaining the best possible sound quality, and avoiding expensive replacement of parts due to corrosion. This applies to all brass instruments including trumpets, trombones, saxophones, French horns and tubas.
Brass is made from a combination of copper and zinc, which can tarnish and corrode over time due to exposure to oxygen and moisture. Oil and dirt from your hands can also damage the instrument's finish, so you should always wash your hands before handling the instrument.
Brass instruments should be thoroughly cleaned once a month to prevent corrosion (if your leadpipe begins to smell, it's time for a cleaning). You should clean your mouthpiece with a mouthpiece brush at least once a week, and oil the leadpipe to avoid the mouthpiece getting stuck. Before cleaning, determine whether the item is solid brass or brass-plated by using a magnet, which will not stick to solid brass. Be careful not to rub or polish brass-plated instruments aggressively, to prevent diminishing the plating.
Your choice of cleaning products is important, as household cleaners may contain chemicals which can oxidize metals, including brass. Simple Green Pro HD Ready-To-Use Heavy-Duty Cleaner easily eliminates grime, stains and debris (like food particles) without corroding metal. The professional-grade, water-based, biodegradable* formula is clean-rinsing, so it won't leave behind any chemical residue as it deep cleans your lacquered brass instrument.
TIP: Do not soak brass items in Simple Green Pro HD. Long soak times in any alkaline, water-based cleaner can cause dingy, grey discoloration.
TIP: If using Simple Green Pro HD concentrate, dilute it with water from 1:3 to 1:10, depending on the severity of soil.
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