For lacquer finish, use Conn Lacquer-Life or similar lacquer cleaner and preservative. Liquid wax is also used as a preservative but be sure to rub with a soft cloth until all sticky feeling is removed. Mild soap and lukewarm water or simply a damp chamois can also be used. Avoid using hot water or special cleaners with alcohol in them, for they are liable to take the lacquer off. Avoid use of abrasives.
For plain polished brass (not lacquered), chromium, nickel silver, or nickel plated finish, a simple but satisfactory cleaner can be made by mixing a tablespoonful of fine grade whiting in a half glass of denatured alcohol. Stir the whiting well, apply lightly, and rub off carefully when dry. Be sure to use a soft piece of flannel for this purpose, as other cloth is liable to scratch.
For silver, use a high grade silver polish, in paste or liquid form, or the whiting mixture described above.
For gold, use rouge and a piece of so/t flannel. Gold is easily scratched, so be especially careful in cleaning an instrument in gold finish. Any polish used on gold finishes should be used sparingly.
Be careful to keep all cleaning materials off the pads, as they are liable to make the pads hard. Keep cleaning materials off critical working mechanism, as they are liable to clog these moving parts. Also see that no cleaning materials are allowed to stop up the small octave holes.
Lacquer is a good preservative for all metal finishes. Clear lacquer applied over silver, gold, nickel, nickel silver, or chromium protects the plating or metal from the attacks of acids in perspiration without changing the color or appearance of the finish. "Gold" lacquer is usually applied over brass so it looks like gold. Lacquer has been improved until it ordinarily has quite a long life. This does not apply to certain individuals who "go through" lacquer in a few days. There is so much acid in their system that it eats the lacquer away quickly and even eats into the metal.