How to Clean a Drum Set The Right Way In 6 Easy Steps?

By JohnPascuzzi

The drum is one of the favorite musical instruments by many people, especially young people. It can be said that proper drum care is critical to help increase the life of the drum set. At the same time help, the drum avoids risks during use. But how should the drum be stored and cleaned? Today’s article will show you How to Clean a Drum Set.

What are drum sets made of?

What are drum sets made of
What are drum sets made of

In the past, drum heads were mainly made of animal skin, but today most are made from plastic such as polyester or Mylar. Due to its strong properties and resistance to moisture, heat, and sunlight.

The drum shell is mainly made from wood such as birch wood. The supporting or decorative bars are made from steel, aluminum, and brass.

The drum rims or rims are made from both metal and wood.

Cymbals are mostly made from tin, copper, and silver castings.

The importance of proper drum cleaning

When you clean your drums properly, it not only makes them look newer and brighter, but it also helps you spot problems with use. If you clean the drum well, it will look more durable. Besides, it will also save you a lot of money because you don’t have to buy a replacement drum set.

*** Read more: How To Read Drum Notation: Quick And Simple To Learn

How to properly clean an empty set

#1. Necessary tools

  • Terry or Microfiber cloth or clean microfiber towel
  • 1 inch and 0.5-inch brush
  • Polishing oil or any balm
  • Non-abrasive chrome polishing
  • Light lubricant for moving parts
  • Oil
  • Bandage

#2. Steps to take

Steps to take
Steps to take

Step 1: Disassemble all the parts in your drum set

The first step is to remove your empty set. Separate metal and wood parts. Note, do not lose any snails because you will have trouble with them. Find a space, a large floor to facilitate cleaning.

Step 2: Brush the rim

Use a 1-inch brush to remove chipped pieces of wood stuck around the rim of the drum kit. Use a 0.5-inch brush if there are pieces that won’t come off easily. The same goes for the other parts of the drum kit.

Step 3: Polish the rim, cymbals, and hardware

Line the wooden, and leather pants with tape and proceed with the cleaning. Cover all parts that should not be contaminated with detergent.

Apply a small amount of polish to a lint-free cloth and spread evenly over metal parts. It should be done gently and in a clockwise direction.

After polishing, use a clean cotton cloth to wipe the metal parts to make them shiny.

Polish the rim, cymbals, and hardware
Polish the rim, cymbals, and hardware

Step 4: Polish Toms, Snare, and Bass Drum

Use a different cloth on the wooden parts of your drum set.

You can remove the masking tape you put in place to protect it from the metallic polish in step 3. The oil will give more protection to the skin and it will have a very pleasant smell.

They are relatively safe to use on wood surfaces and will not leave uneven marks. You can use it on a wooden surface and spread it evenly with a cotton cloth. Next, use a clean cotton towel to wipe off the excess and wipe it again with a clean towel to make it shiny.

Step 5: Reassemble the Drum Unit

After cleaning everything, put everything back in place.

Carefully reassemble and make sure you’ve tightened everything to make sure it fits snugly. You can use a little kerosene on the lug screws to help prevent cross-threading.

Finally, use a clean cloth to wipe the entire surface again.

Step 6: Check the sound and adjust accordingly

While cleaning, you may accidentally damage toms and traps. Adjust the drums and check the sound one last time if you don’t want the sound to go wrong. Now enjoy the uplifting moments with the music from your clean drum set.

*** Read more: Learn How To Play Drums Without A Drum Set!

Note some problems in the process of cleaning and storing drums 

Note some problems in the process of cleaning and storing drums
Note some problems in the process of cleaning and storing drums

– Need to be empty in a cool, dry place, avoid humid places.

– Do not let water get on the drum surface, it will reduce the ability to reverberate when playing. If in the unfortunate event of getting wet, wipe away the water, dry, or maybe dry the drum surface. Make sure the distance from the drum surface to the heat source is reasonable to avoid overheating, especially for electronic drums.

– Avoid leaving the drum in places where the temperature is too high, such as the air conditioner or the fire, as it will cause the joints to crack quickly.

– Do not wear rings or bracelets while playing the drums. Because they will scratch the drum surface.

– Avoid hitting the drum surface hard because this will cause breakage, cracking, and chipping, making the sound of the drum not as great as it was originally.

– Do not use an awl to hit the drum surface or metal objects in contact with the drum surface because it will scratch and reduce the quality of the drum.

– Avoid letting the polishes stick to the strings, which will make slime and affect the quality of the string tension of the drum face.

– Do not use too much oil or lotion on your hands while playing as this will most likely make the drum face wet.

– Regularly clean and sanitize the drum parts. Wipe from the drum surface to the cylindrical parts of the drum to limit dust and dirt on the drum surface and affect the quality of the drum.

– Please use a soft dry cloth to clean the surface and every detail in the drum, do not use hard cloth or paper towels because they will cause scratches to the drum.

– Make sure that all screws holding the pedal components together are in place.

– Before you attach the pedal to the bass drum, take a moment to check it thoroughly. Check that the whisk shaft is firmly clamped. Make sure that the hammerhead is firmly attached to the shaft. If the head is held by a nut, tighten it. If it is fixed by a machine, make sure it does not come loose.

– If the spring of the pedal is open, check it. The weak point on the spring is at each end, where it connects to the shaft and the tension regulator.

– Hinges should be oiled regularly. As a result, the hinges – especially the hinge pins – receive a lateral torque that they are not designed to withstand. The latches can become weak and the hinge itself can become “stretched”, causing the connection between the heel plate and the foot to become loose and sloppy.

*** Read more: How Much Does A Drum Set Cost? – Hapitones

Frequently asked questions

#1. What should I clean the empty set with?

What should I clean the empty set with
What should I clean the empty set with

Many people think that detergent will cause the drum to be corroded. But that is wrong if you use a concentrated solution.

A simple, inexpensive, but equally effective homemade cleaner is a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water. It works well and won’t damage your drums in any way. You can use glass cleaner to clean stubborn stains, but don’t spray them directly on the drum surface.

#2. Can you clean an old drum set?

Old drum sets don’t mean they don’t need to be taken care of. You need to clean them more regularly and quickly. With the old drum set, the cleaning will need more care. You can’t do them quickly, you need to clean every little nook and cranny.

You should always wipe your kit when you’re done playing. Wipe your suit with a soft clean cloth and a bit of detergent. This will help remove grease or film that may have built up on your drum or hardware.

#3. How often do you clean your drums?

You should clean the drum unit once a month. Take a towel with 1 part soap plus 1 part water and wipe the entire set. Once a year, you should disassemble the whole thing and clean each part individually. This is a cleaning cycle recommended by experts who are knowledgeable about musical instruments.

Maybe too many people will say “Why do you need to clean so much?” Any object gets dusty over time, especially if you use it regularly. If you play drums often, then you may need to clean them more often.

#4. Can you wax drums?

Have you ever wondered: Why is the drum surface always shiny, bright, and new even after being used for a long time? The answer is that they are wiped with a paste of wax. The compound is used as a lotion to make the drum surface softer, and more glossy, and to prevent corrosion by air. Anyone who plays drums should know about this compound. All you need to do is take a clean cloth, wax it and wipe it in a circular motion. You won’t need to use harsh detergents.

*** Read more: How To Set Up A Drum Set? Step By Step Guide


A clean drum set shows the care and professionalism of their players. You don’t need to clean them too many times a year. You only need to do it at least once a year to keep your kit in good condition. Above is the article on “How to Clean a Drum Set“, hope to bring you a lot of interesting information!

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