Cleaning the Slide

The frequency at which the slide should be cleaned is dependent on how often you play the instrument and the conditions under which it is played. Dusty environments and frequent use will require more frequent cleaning. Generally, professionals will clean their trombone slides once a week.

Tools Required:

  • Cheese cloth: Buy this at the grocery store. It's a couple of bucks a package.
  • Flexible trombone brush: Buy this at the music store, another couple of dollars.
  • Cleaning rod: Usually comes with the trombone.

Step by Step

  1. Cleaning the Inner-Slide: Fill the assembled slide with warm water. Do not use hot water as this can damage the laquer finish. The slide must be assembled with the outer-slide for this step.
  2. using flexible brushWhile supporting one side of the tubing, insert the flexible brush into this same side. The slide can still be filled with the warm water, or you can dump it out first. Work the brush into the crook of the outer-slide. Work the brush a little in the tube. Flip the slide over and repeat on the other side.
  3. Flush the slide with water and empty it out.
  4. Place the inner-slide out of the way in a safe place. Remember, the inner-slides are delicate, keep them out of harm's way.

  5. wrapping cheese clothCleaning the Outer-Slide: First thread the cheese cloth into the eye of the cleaning rod. threading rodWrap the cheese cloth around the cleaning rod in a spiraling fashion until you can grip the end of the cheese cloth and the end of the rod with one hand.
  6. While supporting one side of the outer-slide (unassembled), use a twisting motion while moving the rod into the tube. Be careful to not push the rod into the crook of the slide. twisting rod in outer-slideRepeat several times. Ideally, you should change the cheese cloth and repeat this process until the cheese cloth comes out clean. But if you don't have lots of cheese cloth, try re-wrapping the rod with the same cloth to expose a clean side of the cloth. Repeat the process for the other side of the outer slide.
  7. Fill the outer-slide with warm water again and run the flexible brush through the crook again. The previous step may have pushed some grime back into the crook.
  8. flushing with waterFlush out the outer-slide and set aside.

  9. Finishing Up: Retrieve the inner-slide and wipe off the outside surfaces with cheese cloth. Apply what-ever lubrication treatment you like to use to the stockings and then reassemble the slide.