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Care & Cleaning

Clarinets and oboes:
1.     Carefully remove the instrument from the case being care not to bend keys or rods
        especially while assembling.
2.     Remove the reed after playing, placing it in a reed case to dry.
3.     Always swab the bore of your instrument after playing to remove moisture.  A silk
        swab is best.  If playing for long periods of time, swab after 20 - 30 minutes of
        playing to keep moisture off of pads.
4.     Wipe the keys and exterior of your clarinet with a soft cloth to remove oils and
        perspiration from your hands.
5.     Never leave a wood instrument in a closed car especially on a warm day.
6.     Grease the corks regularly. Rub cork grease into them, but don't use too much or too
        often or the corks will rot.
7.     Place the cap over the mouthpiece before storing. Always store the clarinet in its
Flutes and Piccolo’s
1.     Remove flute carefully from the case, being care not to bend the keys or rods,
        preferably pick it up by the ends.
2.     Assemble the flute with a slow back-and-forth twisting motion, never push or pull
        the flute when assembling or disassembling this can cause the instrument to
        become bent at the joints.
3.     Carefully wipe the tenon’s with a soft cloth to remove built-up debris, never use
        lubricants on tenon’s.
4.     After you are finished playing, use a cleaning rod with an absorbent cloth to swab
        out the inside of all parts to remove moisture. Carefully wipe off the outside of the
        flute to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands.
5.     Always store your flute in its case when not in use, this helps prevent damage and
        aids in keeping the instrument from tarnishing. Do not place anything in the case
        that can press on the flute, this can bend keys.
1.     Remove the reed after playing placing it in a reed case to dry
2.     When finished playing swab the inside of the saxophone with a swab made for
        saxophones.  Be sure to remove the moisture that may have collected in the bow.
3.     Wipe the keys and exterior of your saxophone with a soft cloth to remove oils and
        perspirations from your hands.
4.     When removing the neck be care full to not bend the neck or damage the neck
        tenon. NEVER pick up the saxophone by the neck.
5.     Grease the mouthpiece cork, being careful not over grease the cork.
6.     Always replace the tenon end plug to protect the tenon.
7.     Place the cap over the mouthpiece before storing. Always store the saxophone in
        its case

If you want to use a “Pad Saver” for your woodwind instrument purchase the best available, inexpensive “Pad Savers” leave lint and residue inside the instrument.


Piston Valve Brass
1.     Oil valves daily.  Apply a few drops of premium valve oil to each valve.
2.     When finished playing be sure to remove excess moisture by opening each water
        key and blowing throw the instrument
3.     Wipe the exterior with a clean soft cloth to remove oils and perspiration caused by
        your hands.
4.     When replacing valve caps be careful not to cross thread them.  If any resistance is
        felt stop and start over.
5.     Never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece yourself.  Take it to someone that has a
        mouthpiece puller.  NEVER use pliers.
Monthly Brass Care
1.     Completely disassemble the instrument, including all valves and slides.  Remove
        felts from pistons as you do not want to get the felts wet.  Remember the order of
        the felts as this determines the valve alignment when reassembled.  Do not
        attempt to remove stuck valves or slides yourself, take it to a qualified repair
2.     Place all parts in a large sink or bathtub with warm water with a mild dishwashing
        soap.  Do Not use Hot Water.
3.     Brush the inside of all tubing with a tubing/bottle brush of the proper size.  Clean
        the outside of the instrument with a sponge or soft cloth.
4.     Thoroughly rinse with clear warm water and dry completely.
5.     Assemble tuning slides with slide grease, use thinner grease on 1st and 3rd trigger
        slides.  Otherwise use your regular tuning slide grease on all.
6.     Carefully reassemble the valves, corks, felts caps and finger buttons.  Oil valves
        using about 8 to 10 drops spaced all over the valve, spin the valve carefully as you
        insert it into the casing to distribute the oil.
7.     Insert the valve into the casing being care to properly align the valve.  Tighten the
        valve caps and replace the bottom caps.
1.     Follow steps 1 through 4 for piston valve brass.
2.     Assemble tuning slide with slide grease.
3.     Use slide cream and slide oil only for trombone slides.  Always be careful when
        the slide is disassembled as it will dent and bend easily.  These repairs are
4.     Assemble slide making sure the slide lock is in the correct position.
Rotor Valve Bras.
1.     These should be taken to a repair technician as these instruments have special
         requirements and are easily damaged at home.
Professional Band Instrument Repair Technician Resource Site