Hints & tips for how to clean a tarnished brass (silver) trumpet
Silver tarnishes very easily and, particularly if you play and practice daily, it’s imperative that you keep your silver-plated trumpet clean and free from unwanted dirt, dust and any substance that could damage it. So, here, we’ve put together some useful and easy-to-follow hints & tips for how to clean a tarnished brass (silver) trumpet.
How to clean a tarnished brass (silver) trumpet
In general, we recommend you clean your trumpet regularly; emptying the water pipe after each and every time you play, cleaning the lead pipe and wiping down the outside of your trumpet once a week and cleaning it thoroughly - inside and out - about once a month.
Occasionally and dependent on your personal tastes, gently and carefully polishing your trumpet with silver polish and a soft cloth is also an action you can take to prevent tarnish and maintain shine.
However, it’s important to note that silver polish can cause wear and tear on silver-plated instruments.
Monthly cleaning is a relatively lengthy task - a task which will see you take your silver trumpet apart and bathe it carefully - but will ensure your instrument remains in good condition for years to come, helping to prevent damage and, most importantly, tarnish.
However, what do you do if your silver-plated trumpet is already tarnished?
Suitable alternatives to store-bought chemical tarnish cleaners can be found in your kitchen cupboards in the form of lemon juice or white vinegar and baking soda.
Simply mix the white vinegar/lemon juice with the baking soda to create a paste, apply the paste onto the tarnished area(s) with your fingers, a soft cloth or toothbrush and wait at least 30 minutes for the paste to work. After this time, the paste should be rinsed off and the instrument buffed with a dry cloth.
The acidity of the vinegar or lemon juice mixed with the baking soda should effectively counteract the chemical reaction that occurred between the brass and oxygen to create the tarnish.
With the right tools and ingredients, a tarnished trumpet can be saved.
Although care and maintenance of your trumpet - cleaning it appropriately and regularly - will help to prevent tarnish developing.