How To Clean A Brass Instrument

How To Clean A Brass Instrument

How To Clean A Brass Instrument? That’s just the questing we will answer for you today!

How To Clean A Brass Instrument

For starters, it is important to remind yourself that your instrument was probably really expensive and no-doubt fragile so it is very important to handle it with care. That being said, we are going to give you everything you need in this article to not only keep your instrument looking brand new but sounding as fresh as it did when you first played it!

Not only are we going to give you a few short & sweet instructions to help you through the process, we are also going to recommend you some products to use in the future to take away much of the hassle.

What Tools Do You Use To Clean Brass Instruments?

Before we get into the steps, it is very vital to have the correct tools. You will need a proper cleaning cloth, valve oil or slide grease, a snake, and a mouthpiece brush. Below we have chosen the best option for each of these cleaning tools. If you don’t feel like going through each you can simply purchase the kit recommended by players everywhere on Amazon HERE.

Cleaning Cloth

First and foremost, you need a soft and resilient cloth to clean your instrument. There are many choices out there but luckily we have narrowed it down to only the best. We recommend the Moozikpro Polishing Cloth, which is said to be even better than microfiber.

Valve Oil Or Slide Grease

Next up is finding the correct valve oil or slide grease. The only difference between the two is that slide grease in synthetic as valve oil carries additional chemicals which are better for cleaning but can cause health problems if swallowed. We have not found a better choice than the #1 national best seller, Blue Juice Valve Oil. It is extremely fast acting and will last you quite a while.


For whatever reason choosing a cleaning snake is where most people go wrong. There are very few options our there that are actually durable and will get the job done without pre-maturely breaking or having other problems. The best tried & tested snake is easily the Herco HE76 Nylong Flex Brush. These typically sell out pretty quick on Amazon, you can use our link below to take a look.

Mouthpiece Brush

The final piece of your kit is a mouthpiece brush. No doubt, the Yamaha YAC 1084P is the best option. It is the most widely used among enthusiasts and for good reason.

How To Clean A Brass Instrument (Steps)

This is very simple, especially when you have the correct cleaning tools as listed above!

  • Step 1

Place your instrument in water and flush interior with water and soap.

  • Step 2

Use your snake brush to clean the tube and the bore of your instrument.

  • Step 3

Once all tubing is cleaned, dry your instrument with a soft cleaning cloth.

  • Additional Notes

You can use your valve oil or slide grease either lathed on your snake after the interior is washed or once the instrument is dry. Cleaning the mouthpiece is fairly simple, use your brush to clean the inside of the piece while is is wet with soap and water or with your disinfectant.

  • This article on how to clean a brass instrument is also helpful for the topics below

How to clean a trombone

How to clean a trumpet

How to clean a clarinet

How to clean a french horn

How to clean a tuba

How to clean a euphonium

How to clean a cornet

How to clean  fluegelhorn

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