French Horn Cleaning Instructions
DAILY / WEEKLY CARE
Remove the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rotor slides. Drop two drops of rotor oil through the valve casing into the rotors. Depress the rotor levers several times to spread the rotor oil evening. Add additional rotor oil every 3 days or as needed.
Wash the mouthpiece with liquid dish soap. Run the mouthpiece brush back and forth through both ends. Rinse with clean water.
Wipe the dirt and smudges off the instrument with the polishing cloth. Give extra attention to the area where your hands hold the instrument to remove perspiration and skin oils.
A complete cleaning job on a French horn is very technical and should be completed by an experienced repairman. We recommend a complete cleaning every year.
Do not remove the rotors. A partial cleaning may be completed by pouring a small container of liquid soap and warm water down the bell.
Swish the soap solution in a back and forth motion while turning the entire instrument in a circular motion. Do not work the rotor levers during this process. It takes approximately 4 complete revolutions to get the soap solution to run out of the mouthpiece receiver.
Remove all slides. Mix up a small container of liquid soap and water. Dip one snake brush end into the soap solution and run the brush through each slide, then rinse again with lukewarm water. Turn the slides in a circular motion and shake out the excess water.
Re-dip the snake brush end into the soap solution and work it back and forth on each slide tube casing. Be careful not to allow the brush end to enter the rotor casing.
Run lukewarm water through the bell, valve and slide casings to flush out the soap. Turn the instrument in a circular motion several times to allow all of the water to drain.
Drop two drops of rotor oil through the slide casings into the rotors. Depress the rotor levers several times to spread the oil evenly.
Apply a light film of tuning slide grease around each of the slide tubes. Wipe off any excess grease. Insert the tubes into the proper casing.
Clean the outside of the instrument with the polishing cloth.
Vacuum the inside of the case to remove dirt and lint.
Clean the outer case with a wet rag. Vinyl cleaning polishes work well to clean and shine the outer side of your case.
THINGS TO AVOID
If the rotors are stuck do not force rotor levers down. This will stretch or tear the strings. On the bottom side of each rotor there is a stop rod. With your fingers, twist the stop rod back and forth between the corks. Once the rotor is free, the levers and be used to move the rotor again and redistribute the rotor oil.
Do not use the instrument if the rotors are not oiled.
Do not chew gum, eat or drink soft drinks just before or while you play your instrument. Food particles and sugar are difficult to dislodge and eventually will affect the playing qualities. If possible, rinse your mouth with water before playing.
Do not hit your mouthpiece into the receiver with your hand. Gently twist the mouthpiece in and it will seal properly. If the mouthpiece becomes stuck, do not try to remove with pliers. Get assistance! Your director or a qualified repairman will have a mouthpiece puller. This will remove the mouthpiece without causing damage to the instrument or mouthpiece.
If you stop for a break or end your playing session; put your instrument back into the case. Avoid laying the instrument down unprotected.
Do not leave your instrument soaking in the bathtub. Prolonged soaking will damage the lacquer finish.
Unless your case has a proper compartment, it is not advisable to carry books, music, papers or other large objects in the case.