Regular cleaning will help to keep your instrument in good condition. The better the condition, the better it will sound. Simple and regular maintenance and cleaning procedures will be very beneficial. The maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, and it can help to keep the instrument out of the repair shop. Listed below are some reasons why you should take good care of your instrument.
1. Moisture causes corrosion and rust
Keeping your instrument dry is imperative. Moisture can cause corrosion on brass, nickel or rust on iron and steel, and can cause cracks in wood. The pads in woodwinds can become bloated if they soak up moisture, and then they will not cover the holes properly. Water left inside drums can cause damage, so they should be wiped down every time they are put away.
Swabbing your instrument out after playing it can prevent a lot of damage and will extend the life of the instrument. It will also help you to maintain airflow easier as well. Also, carrying a soft cloth with you in your case is a great idea so you can wipe it down each time you play it. Avoid using any kind of polish that is abrasive.
2. Body acids and oils attack metal
Sweat and oils from your hands contain acid that can eat through the metal of your instrument. Make sure you wash and dry your hands before touching your it. Saliva also contains acid that is not good for your instrument. Rinsing out your mouth and even cleaning your teeth before playing can be a good idea. Also, cleaning out the inside of your instrument often is a great idea. You can also use a leather valve protector or a cloth to keep sweat off of your instrument.
3. Food particles and dirt can do damage
Food and dirt can cause acoustic and mechanical problems in your instrument. As food particles accumulate, it can cause a wind instrument to sound out of tune. In brass instrument, salts and dirt can collect on the valves, valve slides, hinges, screws, and springs causing them to not work properly, wearing away the metal. Keeping it clean and properly lubricated will keep it in tip–top working condition. Take the valves out regularly and clean the casing with an old toothbrush. Try not to eat food right before you play as well. That will cut down on bacteria from the foods collecting in your instrument.
4. The elements can do damage
Keep your instrument in a case when you are not playing it to protect it from the elements. Do not expose it to a lot of humidity or sun. These can cause damage over time.
5. Germs left in an instrument can be harmful to your health
A dirty instrument can have germs that are harmful to your health, whether they are from food or germs from a sick instrumentalist. Be sure to clean out the mouthpiece of your instrument to keep yourself from getting the same illness over and over again.
If you would like to take instrumental lessons, check out our website at www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com! We have many great teachers that would love to help you out!