If you’ve ever inherited or bought a used trumpet that wasn’t properly cared for before it was stored and given up, you know how important it is to do it right. Maintenance and restoration after the fact is much harder than caring for it correctly before storage.
To get your instrument ready for storage, it is imperative that you clean it properly. If possible, have this done professionally. A professional has access to and the knowledge of how to use special cleaners, solvents, and protectants that will prevent buildup, rust, and other potential problems.
If you cannot take it to a professional, clean the instrument to the best of your ability and lubricate all of the valves properly according to manufacturer’s instructions. Use a cleaning snake to make sure that the instrument and every valve is perfectly clean. This will help avoid red rot, a type of corrosion that eats away at the instrument from the inside out.
Store the trumpet in its original case within a cloth bag or instrument bag for additional protection, but do not use any plastic covering as it could damage silver-plate finishes. By keeping your trumpet in its case you are protecting it from dents and impact damage which are hard and expensive to repair.
Do not store the trumpet in the garage, attic, or other environment that has high and low temperatures and humidity. The best place for long-term storage is a climate-controlled storage unit. However, if that is not an available option, store the trumpet (inside its case) somewhere in an inhabited house or building that has monitored temperature control and a low humidity level to avoid rust and corrosion.