To keep your instrument in good condition, you need to take care of it correctly. We have put together this brief guide of hints and tips to help you.

You can download the PDF version of this guide here.


Every Usage

  • Ensure no food, sweets or sugary drinks are consumed just before or during play as this can clog up the instrument
  • Check that the valves still have a sufficient amount of oil on them
  • Wipe the instrument down after play with a lacquer cloth. Sweat can cause issues to lacquer if this is not cleaned sufficiently
  • Check the instrument over. If something looks out of place, ask the teacher to have a look at it or contact our Repairs Technician for advice


Every Two Weeks

  • Take the valve out of it’s casing
  • Wash this down with warm soapy water. Make sure any residue is removed
  • Give the internal casing a wipe down with a damp cloth and a cleaning brush
  • Make sure both the valve and the casing are dry
  • Put a few drops of valve oil on the bottom section of the valve, spinning this to make sure the whole surface has a thin layer of oil
  • Replace the valve and repeat with the other two (we suggest to do one valve at a time to avoid any confusion)
  • If, when you blow the instrument, there is no sound coming out, you may need to twist the valves into another position
  • Give the mouthpiece a wash with warm soapy water using a cleaning brush


Every Few Months

  • The instrument will need bathing to clean the inside. Fill your bath with warm water and washing liquid (not a great deal needed) so the instrument is partially submerged
  • Take the valves, mouthpiece, valve caps and tuning slides off the instrument and leave them to soak in the bath for about 20 minutes
  • Take a cleaning brush and clean the valve casing, valves and mouthpiece thoroughly.
  • Rinse the instrument thoroughly, making sure that there are no suds left
  • Dry as much as you can. Leave the inside to dry naturally
  • Once dry, oil up the valves (as above), grease the slides and put the instrument back together
  • Please note, some manufacturers engrave the valve number onto the valve. This corresponds with the diagram above


For optimum results, we recommend buying the below items for your instrument. This will help to keep the instrument in the best possible condition.


Lacquer Cloth
Lacquer Cloth
Contains cleaning agents to make your instrument look shiny and new each time you use it. Wipe your instrument down before and after you use it.


Cleaning Brush
Ideal for cleaning the inside of the valve casings. Use with soapy water for best results.



valve oil
Valve Oil 
This protects your instrument against wear, and will make your instrument feel like new on each use.



slide grease
Tuning Slide Grease
This will help to keep the tuning slides moving freely for longer. Handy to keep in your trumpet or cornet case at all times.



We offer a complete Trumpet / Cornet Care Kit  with everything you need to keep your instrument in the best possible condition.

About the author

Jeremy has been a part of Normans since July 2012, after completing his study at the Newark School. During his study he set himself the task of building a saxophone from scratch, a feat that no one in the courses history had attempted. Before instrument repair Jeremy had a successful career in the music industry; performing at international conferences, parliamentary jazz summits and a variety of prestigious venues resulting in gaining a place at Leeds College of Music.




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