Learning to play the flute is always exciting and having an instrument in good shape can make it work more sleekly. Owning a well-maintained instrument can make the learning and playing process easy and less-frustrating since you can focus on your lessons rather than looking out for errors and fixing them, such as sticky keys or damaged corks in case of a flute.
The way you handle your flute directly affects the quality of sound and longevity. Even if you purchase a brand new flute but assuming that it will remain in working order for a few weeks would be wrong. It needs proper cleaning and care if you want its smooth working.
If it is in bad shape, then it requires a professional service to maintain its playing condition. They can easily find the issues and disassemble the parts to give a proper cleaning which is impossible for a newcomer to do.
But I have mentioned down some cleaning and caring tips that you can try to keep your flute wee-maintained-
A Weekly Cleaning Routine-
Flutes are delicate and require thorough cleaning because some parts are quite acute and it is hard to clean the accumulated dust there. If you want to keep your flute shiny and new then carefully disassemble the instrument and use a soft dry cloth to clean the dirt, oil or any substance that can harm or dull the parts.
Accumulated dust under the key shaft can be hard to clean with a cloth; therefore, use a paintbrush to reach hidden areas. To sanitize the lip plate and embouchure hole, dip a cotton ball in alcohol and run it over the surface of the plate and embouchure hole.
Polishing and cleaning can be done daily while cleaning hard to reach out areas can be done less frequently.
Never Oil Your Keys-
Though many stores sell key oils for the smooth functioning of keys, yet you should avoid using oils for your flute. If you oil your keys frequently, then it can make your flute sticky that can easily store dust and grind over it. It is hard to clean sticky debris with a brush or cloth and you can end up damaging the sensitive parts of your flute.
Store the Instrument Properly-
Keep the flute in its case when you are not using it. It will protect it from moisture that can ruin the pads. Avoid keeping your flute anywhere since insects can take shelter in the keys and feed on the wood besides dust accumulations.
Therefore, keep your flute in a clear case that is swabbed with a cotton cloth. Make sure not to clean your flute with a fabric that has loose fibre as tiny little threads can get stuck in the keys and pads.
Don’t Forget the Professionals-
Even though you take care of your flute yet, it requires a check-up from a professional and flute repair technician. They know how to handle the instrument using the right equipment.