It’s simple – clean your flute regularly if you want it to sound good. Also, you will avoid all the issues related to dirty flutes.

Also, cleaning is required before you put a flute together. This way you will avoid any issues and your sound will be much better.

In this article, I will explain how to clean your flute. This article is divided into two parts – cleaning the exterior and also interior.

1. Clean Flute Exterior

When you notice small brown spots on the flute, it needs cleaning. But you should clean your flute regularly to avoid too much dirt.

If you don’t clean it frequently, the cleaning process will always be harder. So, make sure your favorite flute is always clean.

Cleaning Cloths

cleaning cloth

For a better result, you should have two types of clothes for cleaning. With tarnish cloth, you remove the dirt and a microfiber cloth is for polishing.

Of course, you can use only one but my recommendation is to use both of them. This will give you much better results.

First, you start with a tarnish cloth and then polish your flute with a microfiber cloth.

Clean with the tarnishing side of a tarnish cloth. To determine the tarnishing side, rub a small spot with gunk on it. If it rubs off, that’s the tarnishing side.

Clean Flute Head Joint

To clean your head joint, gently rotate it in a circular motion. Be careful not to touch the core or the crown. Use your finger to clean the inside and the mouth hole.

You don’t need to do it too much, a small amount here and there.

Clean The Keys

Dealing with keys can be a bit tricky. When handling keys, avoid rubbing them from side to side. Instead, if you need to rub them, do it by moving back and away.

You want to avoid the small mechanism scraping back and forth. Instead, you should move it back and forth repeatedly.

Be careful not to apply too much pressure on the keys. Gently touch them, as if you were playing a flute softly. Then, clean it in the same manner.

Clean the G and G# keys the same way and avoid cleaning too much over the ribs and piping. The same goes for other side keys and clean tubes as you did for the head joint.

Polish Flute With Microfiber

When you’re done with tarnished cloth it’s time to clean the flute with a microfiber cloth. Using a microfiber cloth is more daily routine.

It won’t get the dirt out but will polish the surface of the flute. That’s why you should use both clothes when cleaning your flute.

2. Clean Flute Interior

So, after you remove the dirt from your flute, it’s time to clean the flute tubes from the inside. In general, you should clean it after every play.

Use Cloth And Cleaning Pole

cleaning cloth and pole

I recommend using cotton cloth for flute interior cleaning. But you can use some kind of flute cleaning kit. Also, you need a cleaning pole, it comes with the flute.

After you have a cloth, get the cleaning pole that has a little hole at the top. You should sew the cloth inside that hole and wrap it around.

Make sure that you don’t wrap the cloth too tight.

Cleaning Process

Start with the head joint. Insert the pole with the cloth inside the head joint and start cleaning by rotating.

Rotate the head joint, not the pole, and be very gentle. Avoid using too much pressure because it might damage the flute part.

Give it a good cleaning and rotate while you pull it out from the head joint.

Make sure to repeat the process for the body by turning, pushing, and turning again before removing it. This ensures that you get all the spots.

You should clean it from the other side. This will remove all the moisture or dirt from the inside.

Finally, the same goes for the foot joint. You want to turn a little bit and then pull it out while turning.

And that’s it. Your flute is completely clean from the outside and inside.


It’s important to keep your flute clean to maintain sound quality and avoid dirt buildup. Always clean both the outside and inside of your flute. You should have a regular cleaning routine. A clean flute not only sounds better but also lasts longer.

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