Well, we’re just going to wash out a cornet – dead straightforward, how to wash it out, what’s the best way to go about it, or a way to go about it. And how to keep it safe, put it back together, and just make it play a little bit better.
So, first, we’re going to take everything apart.
You will need: Washing-up liquid, a toothbrush, a flexible ‘snake’ brush, a large paintbrush, kitchen roll/kitchen towel, tuning slide grease, hot water, somewhere safe to put the valves, slides etc and a cornet
Take all the slides out, usually on the third slide, there’s a lock, which on this one is the finger ring.
Lay all those down somewhere nice and clean, and then we’re going to take the valves out.
Obviously, we’ve unscrewed the tops to the valves, but also we’ve got three bottom caps as well. So we’re just going to take those three off – and then on the top of the valves, there, we should be able to see a little one, a two and a three. Wherever you stand to play it, the valve nearest you is usually number one.
The numbers are on this (front) side of the instrument, they’re not on that (back) side of the instrument.
Keep Your Valves and Slides Safe
So your valves are quite delicate, pop them somewhere safe. If you’re putting them on a countertop or anything like that, then just make sure they can’t roll off, and then go to wash the body out!
Wash Body of Cornet
So at the minute, what I’m just doing is I’m just giving the instrument a little bit of a wash out with some warm water, as long as the water isn’t too hot – a little bit cooler than 'washing up temperature'.
Put Washing Up Liquid on Toothbrush – Clean Valves
I’m going to use a good old trusty toothbrush, so we’re just going to pop a little bit of washing-up liquid on there and we’re going to clean the valves out. So we’re just going to go in the valves, we don’t want to go too far, we’ve probably gone about that far up the casing (indicates) so we’ll do it from both sides.
Keep a Firm Grip
If you’re careful with the brushing you can’t really damage the casing, so make sure you’ve got a firm grip of the instrument because what we don’t want to do is drop it. Because then you’ll have to go see an instrument repairer, (Amanda: Chris at Instrumental Fixations) and he’ll take all your money.
Flexible ‘Snake’ Brush
The only specific brush that’s for instruments I’ve brought is – we just call them Flexible Snake Brushes, as you can see it’s got a little brush on the end, and it’s got a flexible shaft on it. This is good for Cornet, so it’ll go around what we call the lead pipe – so this bit here. I wouldn’t go around there (the smaller lead pipe) with it, ‘cause it’d be a bit too tight. So we just feed it through, and usually, it gets to about there where it catches on your little water key (when feeding the snake brush in from the top). So we’re just going to come backwards now.
Amanda: Lots of gunk coming out of there then, Chris.
Chris: And then we’re going to go that way as well (feeding the snake brush in from the other way around). So that way, it goes all the way around so we’re going to wait ‘til it pops out, and then we’re just going to pull it back.
Now you can get these brushes that have got a plastic coating on, and stuff like that, ‘cause it does sound a bit noisy going through. But for the number of times you’d use it, it won’t do you any harm and look it’s already a bit dirty in there, so. This one’s pretty clean to be fair.
Use Your Thumb as a Measure
So, while we’ve got this I’m just going to go into the little tubes there, nice and delicately. Give them a little bit of a squish out. We don’t want to go too far around here (the inner lead pipes) ‘cause we’ll get our brush stuck, so we want to know we go about that far – so that’s to where my thumb’s holding it – so if we just push it, and we’ll know we got there because that’s where my thumb is, so we’re going into there.
And then, while we’ve got it wet and everything, I’m just going to give the outside a quick clean.
One of the easiest ways is I’ve found is just to take a dead cheap, disposable-ish paint brush.
Put Washing Up Liquid on Paint Brush – Brush Body
We’re just going to pop a little bit of washing-up liquid there, on the brush – only a little bit. Then we’re just going to give it a bit of a clean – again, make sure you keep a hold of it because we don’t want to chase it around the bath.