Everybody likes a clean, shiny flute. With proper care, you can avoid tarnish and keep your flute looking and playing in top condition.
If your flute has lots of tarnish or hasn’t been in for a “clean, oil & adjust” in over a year, you probably need to get it in to a professional for thorough cleaning. Your flute will be taken apart, cleaned, oiled and put back together and, of course, adjusted to play perfectly. Your repair technician will look for leaks, damaged pads or corks, check your head cork and make sure your flute is returned to you playing its best. La Flûte Enchantée offers a clean, oil & adjust for $60 on most student flutes. We will call you with an estimate before we begin work. New pads, dent removal and other repairs may cost extra. If you ship us your flute, we will take care of the return shipping with a repair order. It’s probably wise to call us (480) 322-9703 to talk about your particular flute before you send it. Some flutes are beyond repair and we reserve the right to send back a flute that cannot be properly restored.
Once your flute is looking its best, be sure to clean it with a soft cotton rag after each practice session. Fingerprints may be removed with a microfiber or other absorbant cloth. Be careful not to displace springs and be careful around corks, felts and pads. If your pads become sticky or noisy you may gently clean them with a small piece of tissue paper, such as a cigarette paper or tissue that beauticians use to roll a permanent. Place the paper under the pad and blot it by gently pressing down the key. Never pull as this can cause a pad to tear. Remember your pads are fragile-no rubbing from the inside or outside.
It’s a good idea to brush your teeth and clean and rinse your mouth before you play. This will extend your pad’s life and keep your flute clean and playing well. Your hands should be clean as well.
Finally, a tarnish strip kept in your flute case will slow tarnish and keep your flute shiny. These are often called carbon paper strips or 3M strips and can be purchased at a local hardware store. Keep this strip in your case just under the headjoint or body of the flute.
So, to sum it up; Get your flute in top playing condition and keep it that way by playing with a clean mouth and hands, wiping away fingerprints and storing a carbon strip in your case. It goes without saying that you must be GENTLE with your instrument! Keep dents away and avoid repairs by moving slowly and carefully.