A Great Way to Clean Out Your Horn
by, 03-21-2008 at 06:00 PM (290 Views)
I have finally found a really good cleaning swap for my compensating euphonium! Every brass player knows it can be hard to get the inside of the horn swabbed out. The traditional swap has a coiled metal "snake" with a pad or brush on each end. You need to run it through the tubes to clean them inside. However, the metal can scratch the horn if you are not careful and the pads or brushes don't do a very good job of cleaning. Worst of all, the thing gets caught in the horn sometimes and can actually break off (trust me - I know - many times over).
HW To The Rescue!
I just purchased a set of HW cleaning brushes. They are different from anything I have used before and do a great job. The design is different in some important ways. First, the "snake" is made of plastic with a special backing on one side to help it slide through more easily. The brush part is only on one end. The idea is to thread the plastic end through and then pull the brush end after it. The brush part itself is made of fibers of varying stiffness so you get a lot of gentle brushing plus a little more strength to help clean out tougher deposits. The fibers feel different from any I have had and do a very fine job with just one pass (although I usually do a few passes to make sure).
The "Baritone" version (really meant for a euphonium bore) comes with a second hard-handled brush to clean the straight tubes if you want. It has a slightly different brush on each end. I didn't find it necessary for the main tubing, but it is nice for the valve casings.
Because a compensating has so many small curved passages, I found it useful to get a small-trombone swab as well. It goes through much easier in those really tight corners and still does the job of cleaning. This one doesn't come with the stiff swab.
I think we all know that a horn that is clean inside will play better. But we may tend to put off cleaning it because it can be difficult. This invention makes the job much easier - maybe I'll even clean my horn as often as I should now!
All the brushes are available in the Instruments/Maintenance section of my aStore:
The photo below shows the trombone and euphonium cleaners, along with the 1st valve slide from my euphonium to give an idea of the size: