How To Clean a Trumpet Mouthpiece – With AND Without A Brush

Washing a brass mouthpieceHow To Clean a Trumpet Mouthpiece

Wondering how to clean a trumpet mouthpiece?  Perhaps you don’t have the right tools for the job and now you are asking…

…”how to clean a trumpet mouthpiece without a brush?”

Well, you are on the right page because I will do my best to show you how to do this.

The article will be in two parts:

  1. How to do it without a brush.
  2. How todo it WITH a brush. 

Why Cleaning Your Trumpet Mouthpiece Is Extremely Important

First I have to let you know that skipping a few cleaning session, when it comes to your mouthpiece, is not only bad for your trumpet sound, it can actually be bad for your health as well…


I mean it, it can actually be dangerous. Now that I have your attention, let me tell you why.

Here’s the deal

If you have the bad habit of being lazy with cleaning, the inside of your mouthpiece will become a paradise for bacteria, germs end even mold. The buildup of gunk and debris is of course the reason for this…

…however, even if you take a look and don’t see much crap at all, inside your mouthpiece, there could still by a lot of germs having a party there.

 Failing To Clean Your Mouthpiece May Cause A Lung Disease

Now, most people know that inhaling mold is very unhealthy, but what most people do NOT know, is that if you inhale the mold in combination with the bacteria you might develop a lung condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a form of inflammation of the lung tissue…

…there are even studies on this, and I talk more about this in my article, how to clean your trumpet.

If you would like to know more about the study, here’s an article from “Abc-News”, you can take a look at.

Why You Really Need To Get A Cleaning Kit

“How can I clean my mouthpiece without a brush?” Ok, I have to be honest and say that I don’t like questions like this. As I already said, having a clean mouthpiece is very important, not just for your playing, but for your health as well and not only that, you can find high quality cleaning kits for just a few dollars…

…and if you play the trumpet then investing a couple of bucks in a cleaning kit is a must anyway. I mean, are you planning to continue playing for years to come, without cleaning the inside of your trumpet? Now, that is NOT recommended! …

…every single trumpet player on the planet needs to have a trumpet cleaning kit. No matter if he or she is a professional, amateur or beginner trumpeter…

…there is just no way around that, and you can click here to check out a few good ones on Amazon. There are several of them there, costing no more than it would, buying your friend a cup of coffee on the town.

But, Okay okay…

…I promised I would give a few tips on how to clean your mouthpiece without a brush, and I will do so, so you can get it cleaned TODAY, but do not forget to order the cleaning kit. It is a must have!

How To Clean Trumpet Mouthpiece Without a Brush

Step 1
  • cleaning a trumpet mouthpiecePut your mouthpiece in warm water.

Add some household dish soap, and let it sit there for a few hours.

If you haven’t cleaned your mouthpiece in a long time, and the inside is really dirty, you might want to let it sit in water over night.

Step 2
  • Take a toothpick and scrape the inside walls of the mouthpiece.

Hold the mouthpiece under running, warm water, while you press the toothpick steady, against the inside walls of the mouthpiece.  Hold the toothpick steady, while you rotate the mouthpiece…

…do the same on the on both ends. Repeat and do it several times. Make sure to have the water running and let it rinse for some time after you are done with the toothpick, in order to really rinse the dirth out.

Take a look at this video for a short demonstration

Ok, but what if I don’t have a toothpick, you say?

Hey, come on now! …

…first you wanted to know how to clean the mouthpiece without a brush, and no you want to know how to do it without a toothpick? Use your imagination and find some other object. A wooden pin, or something similar, but remember…

…you shouldn’t even be cleaning the mouthpiece like this, in the first place. You really need a real trumpet cleaning kit.

Even if you do the above steps, you will never get all the junk out of it, like you would with a cleaning brush. Sure, it will get much better, but still, not 100%

How To Do it WITH The Brush

Step 1
  • No need to put the mouthpiece in warm water first.

The mouthpiece brushes are so effective, that there is no need to let the mouthpiece soak in water before you clean it. Unless, it is an old mouthpiece that has years of dried dirt inside it, then you should really let it soak in water. Preferable overnight.

Step 2
  • Apply dish soap on the cleaning brush.
Step 3
  • Hold the mouthpiece under running water, and brush your heart out!

It’s not rocket science, but anyway;  here is a video of a YouTuber demonstrating how to clean your trumpet mouthpiece, using a mouthpiece brush. 

It’s not me in this clip, but he does a good job, so there’s no need for me to shoot a video on this.

How Often Should you Clean Your Trumpet Mouthpiece?

Make a habit out of always blowing the water out of the mouthpiece, after your practice session. That way the dirt does not build up so quickly, and you won’t have to clean it that often.

Even if you do that, you should still use the mouthpiece brush at least once every week, to make sure bacteria and mold doesn’t gain foothold inside it.

Cleaning Brass Mouthpiece
-Final Words

Ok, there you have it. Now, even though this article was written in a slightly humorous spirit, I’m really serious about the risks of not cleaning your mouthpiece…

…and your trumpet as well. I’m also serious about the trumpet cleaning kit. Every trumpet player need one of those as it’s the only way to get all of the bacteria and junk out of your mouthpiece. Not to mention your trumpet.

It is impossible to get the dirt out of all your slides without a “snake”, that is a brush on a long flexible wire, specifically made for cleaning the trumpet. A toothpick won’t do any good there.

For example this trumpet cleaning kit, that you can find on Amazon, is perfect, and will serve you well for many years.

For detailed instructions you can read the article, how to clean your trumpet.

Thanks for reading. Keep practicing, and have fun while doing it!

-Robert S-



Leave a Comment