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How to Care for Silver and Brass Musical Instruments

Silver musical instruments can be particularly vulnerable to tarnish through their exposure to the air and moisture.

Silver & Silver Plated Instruments

Clean and shining flute

Solid silver and silver-plated musical instruments, such as flutes, trumpets and cornets, can be particularly vulnerable to tarnish through their exposure to the air and moisture. Here is a list of things you can do at home to keep your instruments looking as good as they sound.

Remember, musical instruments are highly technical and finely tuned in order to produce the best sound. Clean and handle your instruments gently and if in doubt, ask a professional.

  1. You can clean away fingerprints and slow down the development of tarnish on your silver musical instruments with Town Talk Anti-Tarnish Silver Polishing Cloths. Our unique formula is impregnated into the cloth and will coat silver or silver-plated instruments in a fine, protective layer. Don’t wash the cloth, or it’ll lose its unique powers!
  2. Further protect your fine silver instruments from tarnish and keep them shining bright by stowing them with Town Talk’s Silver Storage Strips. These strips absorb atmospheric pollutants. For the best results, pop a few storage strips in your instrument’s closed case when you’re not using it. Replace the strips monthly to keep tarnish at bay.
  3. It’s a good idea to remove fingerprints and moisture after playing silver or brass instruments. Try the Town Talk Microfibre Cloth - it’s also ideal on keyboards, woodwind instruments, guitars and string instruments.
  4. Where possible, store instruments in their case to avoid accidental knocks and scratches. Also, regularly check the catches to ensure that they close securely, and do not unexpectedly spring open whilst you are transporting your instrument.
  5. For a deeper clean, always consult with a professional. However following the steps above will ensure that your instrument is kept in the best condition in between servicing.

Brass Instruments

Brass musical instrument and sheet music

For brass instruments a more specialised approach is needed. This is because there are both lacquered and unlacquered finishes used. Within the category of lacquered instruments, newer instruments use more modern methods and so the care needed can also vary due to the age of your instrument.

Therefore we recommend regular maintenance by polishing your instrument with a regular Town Talk Microfibre or Town Talk Diamond Polishing Cloth. These are both chemical free and will polish surface dust, grime, fingerprints and smears away.

For a deeper clean, consult with the manufacturer of your instrument as to what is safe to use on your particular brass instrument.

We do recommend consulting with a professional to deep clean both silver and brass instruments.