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Flutes :: Instruments :: Information
Care & Maintenance

Regular maintenance is important, a little time and effort will certainly pay off and should avoid problems which could result in a costly repair bill. However, beware of attempting any repair, however small, yourself. If in doubt, consult a qualified instrument repairer for advice.

♪ Ensure that the inside of the flute is dried every time the flute has been played using the cleaning rod supplied with a soft lint free cloth. Be sure to hold both the rod and cloth when withdrawing them to avoid jamming them in the flute!

♪ Wipe all fingerprints and lip marks etc. from the outside of the flute using a soft dry cloth or a silver cleaning cloth that is impregnated with both a silver polish and an anti-tarnish agent. Care should be taken to avoid damaging the mechanism and catching the springs.

♪ NEVER use any other kind of metal polish on your flute, as this could result in the silver plating being stripped, as well as attracting dirt and grit which will damage the mechanism. DO NOT use liquid silver polish as it is messy and can very easily lead to problems with your flute.

♪ NEVER put your flute in water! Doing so would result in costly repair.

♪ Do not be tempted to use any kind of lubricant on the head or foot fittings. This will attract dirt and grit which will ultimately worsen the problem. If the fitting of these joints becomes stiff use a white spirit to ease and clean the joints, wiping the joints clean inside and out afterwards. If this does not work after two or three attempts take your flute to a repairer they will re-fit it for you.

♪ Eating and drinking sweets and sugary drinks should be avoided immediately before playing as particles will be blown into the instrument and will make it smell after a time. Certain foodstuffs will also cause corrosion inside the instrument. Sweet and sugary items tend to make the pads sticky which will then require cleaning or even replacing.

♪ Never grasp the mechanism when assembling the instrument, always hold the joints where there are no keys, where possible. The most common faults we see are bent key-arms, bent trill rods and distorted joint tenons - almost invariably caused by rough handling.

♪ Remember that the adjustment of the key mechanism is a very skilled job and should only be taken on by a qualified repairer. Try to have your instrument looked at by a repairer at least once a year, to ensure that any little problems are sorted out before they get worse.

♪ Try to keep your flute in an atmosphere of even temperature and humidity and never in direct sunlight or near sources of heat, even when in its case.

♪ Make sure your case is sturdy and capable of withstanding a moderate blow without denting. If it is a French style case (with no handle) then it will require a case cover as well.

♪ If you play regularly you can leave your flute on a flute stand. This will not cause any damge to the instrument. However, make sure it is kept somewhere safe and on a solid surface

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© Windband 2012. Last revised 12 January 2013. Web site by TSP