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Thread: Really Cleaning Your Horn

  1. Really Cleaning Your Horn

    With a trombone, there's not a lot of difference between fully dried, then playtested or the amount of moisture in the instrument before. There is a very big difference between wet and moist.
    You have 2 tubes that drain by gravity to a waterkey and one tube that drains out the bell. You could just hang them on a hook for an hour in a dry area and it'll be dry. Water won't really sheet off very well as the metal surfaces (and the lacquer) are not perfectly flat. Especially if just blasting water through your horn, the surface tension of the water will have plenty to hold onto as corroded surfaces found on the exposed brass of the body and slides will hold moisture.
    Tubas, euphs, French Horns, cornets, etc... accumulate water elsewhere and drying is a more serious issue.

    Water displaces oil, that's a big one right there. Kids often get sticky valves just because they don't empty their spit and it flows back into the pistons.

    I'm not saying to blow dry an instrument every time you play, but given cleaning it, you need it clean, not just rinsed, and part of it being clean fully is that it should have all the water used in it out of it.

    So, in short, empty your waterkeys, bring your instrument to a tech for service, clean it occasionally on your own, but get it dry before you reassemble because it's not clean if there's stuff in there that shouldn't be.

  2. #52

    Really Cleaning Your Horn

    What's the word on using "No-Glare Lens Cleaner" (effectively cleans all lens types including anti-reflective, non-alcoholic formula) on a lacquer horn? Thumbs-up? Thumbs-down?

    I've just read this forum through, and I'm going to have to try the garden-hose flush on the old Conn I've been using for 50 years. That horn hasn't been cleaned out during the entire half-century. Lizards are probably the least of what's growing in there.

    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  3. Really Cleaning Your Horn


    You mention using an air compressor to dry out the inside of a horn after giving it a bath. Where would one of these be available for sale and also what would the average price of one be? Thank you for your time.

  4. #54

    Really Cleaning Your Horn

  5. Really Cleaning Your Horn

    Thank you.

  6. #56

    Really Cleaning Your Horn

    Originally posted by: RickF

    Don't know how many read Dave Werden's blog, but he recently reviewed a new product for cleaning out your horn. It's called the 'QHR' (Quick Horn Rinse with Sudser). It has a built-in dispenser where you can add detergent and and a valve to control how much detergent is added to the forced stream of water. I just ordered one today as this looks very useful. Thanks Dave for this review. AND... there was no shipping charge when I ordered mine (at least so far).

    Here's a link:

    Last week I had a sticky first valve on my BE2056 after performing what I thought was a complete tub cleaning. Evidently, some gunk had dislodged from the leadpipe but did not rinse out completely. No amount of valve swabbing and snaking could eliminate the sticking, and my repairman had just moved 250 miles away!

    Quick Horn Rinse worked as advertised for me. The package was received two days after ordering, with no shipping charges. I tested it without the soap dispenser since the horn was "fairly clean" except for first valve gunk. It took about 30 seconds of working the first valve under minimal water pressure to blow the gunk out. Total elapsed time was slightly under an hour, including an additional rinse of each tuning slide, rinsing and re-oiling the valves, and greasing the tuning slides. Several blobs of ugly gray gunk sat accusingly evident in the sink after rinsing the slides. Read the instructions completely, and remember to remove the main tuning slide before connecting the lead pipe to the system.

    Highly recommended.
    Last edited by RickF; 04-01-2014 at 04:49 PM.
    Bruce H Ward
    Houston TX

    Besson BE2056-2 4-Valve Compensating Baritone
    1946 Conn 30-I Wonderphone 5-Valve Double-bell

  7. Really Cleaning Your Horn

    Hello everyone,

    I am just wondering if my cleaning procedure is complete or if more needs to be done to completely clean my euphonium. What I do is compleley take the euphonium apart and then put in a tub filled with luke warm water and some non-abrasive soap. After that, I turn on the jets the tub has in it and let it sit in there with it on for a little bit. I will then put all of the slides and tubes up against a jet to directley push water through them while brushing them with snakes. After that, I will drain all of the water from the tub and then refill it with warm water to get all of the soap out. I will then repeat the same process to get the soap out of the instrument. If necessary, I may refill the tub to finish the rinsing job. After this, I will take the instrument out of the tub and then wipe down all of the slides and pistons and then reapply oil and grease. This is how I normally clean my instrument. Is this procedure good or is there any other techniques I should add? I have read on this site about using an air compressor, but I worry about whether this will expand the bore size if I use one too powerful. That is why I wonder what kind of air compressor should be used and how powerful of one. Also, should it be used through the leadpipe or through the bell? Also, if I do not use an air compressor, will this cause undue damage to the instrument? I am sorry for the long post and all of the questions, and I thank everyone for their time.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Really Cleaning Your Horn

    Your description of how you clean out your horn sounds very good to me. Sounds like you're careful to rinse it thoroughly to get out all of the soap too.

    As far as using a compressor to dry out the inside of your horn, I've never done that myself. If you have one and wanted to try it, i don' think the pressure would cause any problems (ie changing the bore size) because you'd be using the pressurized air on an 'open' horn.

    sent from iPad
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (recently sold)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandez, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
    Greensleeves (arr. Alfred Reed)

  9. Really Cleaning Your Horn

    Thank you for the response. I do not have an air compressor; I was just asking about them to see if I should buy one as they were reccomended previous in this forum. Since it seems that not many people use one though, it should be fine if I go without buying one.

  10. I thought this was an important thread. I just ordered the QHR. Have you guys found it a problem that if you use it with a hose, you can only use cold water? I also ordered that special horn soap they have on the site.

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