How to Clean and Maintain a Tuba

Tuba, perky cupped mouth-piece, is one of the expensive music instruments in the world to purchase. Luckily, if you have taken up your tuba, then make sure not to let it fall out of good shape. Clean and maintain a tuba both inside and out to get the pleasing buzzing music performance from it for long.

Proper cleaning and maintain methods prevent the dust, germs, and detrimental mineral deposits from building up in the inner side of your tuba. Such situations can give birth to corrosion and stinking odour. You don’t have to take your tuba to any instrumentalist for cleaning; you can clean and maintain it yourself at home. It is simpler than you think! All you have to do is wash its parts with few solutions.

Things Required:

– Small hose
– Towels
– Mouthpiece brush
– Large bore plastic-coated snake brush
– Cotton swabs
– Soft cloth
– Micro fibre cloth
– Valve oil
– Petroleum jelly
– Mild liquid detergent


  • 1

    Line up a large plastic washing tub or a bathtub with some clean towels. It is a preventive measure to protect both the expensive tubs and the tub from scratches.

  • 2

    Carefully place the tuba in the centre of the tub with its bell’s main side down. Turn on the hose or tap with full pressure and run water into the tuba’s lead (front) pipe for few seconds until the water runs out clear.

  • 3

    Turn off the tap or hose and rinse the tuba by turning and spiralling it over few times or until dry and no more water flows out of it.

  • 4

    Use a clean soft piece of cloth or a medium towel to wipe the external side of the tuba.

  • 5

    Now carefully remove the tuba’s valve slides and place them aside. Hold the main body of the tuba firmly and shake it vigorously to shake out all the remaining water.

  • 6

    Set in a smooth surface, may be over the towel in your bathroom’s counter top.  Now dip the tip of the snake brush into some liquid detergent, drip off the excess liquid and use it to clean the inner portion of the tubs. Now rinse it in sink, holding under running lukewarm water for few seconds until no more soapy.

  • 7

    Now remove all the springs and valves of the tuba, remove their bottom caps and then arrange them in order.

  • 8

    Dip a large cotton swab into a mild detergent solution and use it the clean all the inner sides of the valve ports. Rinse the valve ports well and arrange them on a large clean towel. Use the same method to clean their bottom caps, rinse and place along the valve ports.

  • 9

    Before re-installing the removed slides and valve ports, turn the main body of the tuba and shake it well to do away with the possible remaining water.

  • 10

    In a large mixing bowl, stir some mild detergent and warm water until it forms a soapy rich solution. Now dip the tip of brush into the solution and use it to clean the mouthpiece of the tuba. Rinse off with some clean water at the end and then wipe dry with a clean towel.

  • 11

    Apply some petroleum jelly to various sections of the tuba and polish it well with a sponge or piece of cloth.

  • 12

    Add some valve oil on the bottom caps’ threads and re-set them properly on the ends of the valve ports.

  • 13

    Now re-install the springs into the valves’ casing and apply some valve oil to them.

  • 14

    Re-set the port valves to the tubs like the way they were installed previously. Now, stiffen the top valve cap of your tuba until fix well.

  • 15

    Use a micro fibre cloth to polish the external side of the tubs until it shines properly.

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