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 Posted on July 5, 2021 by brian

Whether you’re a rock musician or playing in an orchestra, playing for studio bands, playing on the street, or even simply playing in your spare time at home, cleaning your instrument is important.

Cleaning your instrument keeps your instrument sounding and looking good for far longer and increases the lifespan of the instrument. It helps you avoid repairs with just a little effort.


Tarnishing occurs when the metal parts of your instrument react with the air. This will eventually lead to a metal sulfide reaction that creates a darkening or sometimes even a green coloration on the outer surface of your instrument.

A good example of this can be found with the Statue of Liberty in New York. It’s made of copper, and when new, it shone beautifully in the sun. Over time copper reacts with the sulfur in the air and turns green. This was the intended result with the Statue of Liberty, but not your instrument.

Brass and silver instruments like trumpets and flutes are prone to discoloration without regular cleaning. Protecting your instrument from tarnish is as easy as a quick wipe all over with a specialized metal polishing cloth.

Don’t let your instrument get you sick

According to a study published by Delta Dental “54% of woodwind instruments tested had Bacillus bacteria.” In 1957, an article in the British Medical Journal reported the “rapid spread of tuberculosis within the ranks of a military band” was caused by the infected musicians blowing tuberculosis pathogens onto their bandmates. In 2001, a 15-year-old Norwegian baritone player struggled with recurrent pneumonia. When the musician traveled to the US and didn’t play her horn, her condition improved. Upon returning home and picking up her baritone again, the pneumonia returned. In 2015, The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps had to cancel their performance at a championship game due to a “rapidly progressing, self-limited viral illness amongst the membership.”

Disinfect your instruments regularly and only use our own instrument to avoid becoming sick. We carry a few disinfectants for instruments here at the music shop.


Neglect of an instrument is the major cause of wood warping, metal rusting, and dozens of other complications. You can help avoid this by cleaning regularly. If your instrument already has stuck keys, old parts, rust, erosion, or dust buildup, it’s time to visit us for a free examination. We’ll go over your instrument at no charge and give you ideas on what needs to be done, and what can wait.

How to Disinfect Your Instrument

When it comes to string instruments, percussion instruments, and pianos or keyboards, most of the bacterial risk can simply be avoided by cleaning your hands before and after use thoroughly. However, when it comes to brass and woodwind instruments, this risk becomes more difficult to avoid.

Disinfectant spray is available at our shop which is perfect for use on wooden reeds, and mouthpieces of all types.

Clean Your Case

Without a decent, sturdy case, your instrument is at risk. If there are stray parts, bottles of oil, loose picks, and other items floating around, they will get stuck in weird places and will eventually cause avoidable damage. We fix cases, and offer new ones of all kinds. If we don’t have it in stock, we can special order almost anything.

Count On Us

Eventually all instruments need some TLC. Count on us for all levels of instrument care and repair. We have three repair techs available for all sorts of repairs. If the repair is not something we do here in the shop, we can recommend you to a qualified service tech. Call (603) 356-9890 or email for more info.


Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Sunday, 11am to 5pm

(603) 356-3562