I play Tuba in my schools marching band, and I have it at my house to clean it. I put all the slides and valves in the sink with plain water over night. They were still kinda dirty so the next night I put them in water with dish soap and scrubbed on them. After they dried, they're all sticky. How can I get the sticky stuff off? Is it since the soap broke down the oil or did it just leave a sticky film? Also, I need to clean the actual big part of the sousaphone too. Should I just put that in the bathtub? I cant do a chem clean since I dont have $100. What should I use to clean the sousaphone? I heard ivory soap works good, but is it? I am not going to do something stupid like use soft scrub. Thanks.
You need to be careful when cleaning laquered instruments not to use water that is too hot. I've found that soaking instruments can result in a scaly deposit being left and I'm convinced that in my case it was a layer of lacquer applied by an amateur that was mainly to blame.
The recommended approach is a monthly bath in luke warm water and a quick wipe down after every use. Avoid using brushes or anything that is likely to scratch the instrument. Leave any serious cleaning to an experienced technician - then (s)he is responsible for any damage!
baking soda works best! our tuba section has a cleaning party and its so much fun. just mix the baking soda in w/ the water and use a tooth brush on the valves and slides to really scrub. it's very meticulous work but is worth it in the long run =D