How to clean a drum set


How to clean a drum setProperly maintaining your drum kit isn’t just about keeping in in tune and changing skins when needed, it’s about properly cleaning them as well. A typical drum set consists of a vast array of different materials, and if you don’t treat every aspect the right way, they’ll decay.

As a matter of fact, the lack of cleaning can lead to some parts of the kit deteriorating so much that they re rendered useless. So unless you want to throw your investment away, and everyone knows that drums are the most expensive instrument (in a rock band at least), here are a few tips and guidelines to stick to in our guide on how to clean a drum set.

We’ve rounded up a brief seven-step guide on how to get the job done, proceed further and then get to cleaning!


Step 1 – Prepare the tools

You will need a set of standard cleaning products of your choice, an electric cordless drill, a soft cloth, a wire wool, a drum key, a toothbrush-like item, some brass polish, standard wood polish (furniture polish can be applied), and something along the lines of a sharp blade.

Step 2 – Disassemble the kit

Do this very carefully, much like the rest of the process – remove the heads from your toms with a drum key, use the cordless drill to take off the lugs (or do it manually), remove the fixing bolts and keep them ALL in a same pot.

Step 3 – Clean the lugs

Once you’ve removed the lugs, you might as well clean them as they tend to pick up the dirt fairly fast. Use a toothbrush or a similar small brush and be careful not to lose the spring within the lug. Once the lugs are clean, polish them with a wire wool for some good looks.

Step 4 – Clean the tension rods

Tension rods need to be clean in order to function properly, so take extra care here. It is best to use the wire wool to get any rust spots cleaned off, and then rub off any remaining dirt with a toothbrush.

Step 5- Clean the tom shells

Once you took care of the small, yet crucial parts, it’s time to clean the big thing – the tom shells. Take a piece of cloth and soak some T-Cut or any other soft cleaning product on it. Just gently rub the cloth across the shells and you’re good to go. DO NOT use strong chemicals, they will ruin the finish.

Additionally, proceed to the interior of the shell and keep rubbing the dirt out. Finally, you can use a polishing product of your choice, for example any furniture polish you might have around the house, and give the shells some extra shine.

Step 6 – Clean the hoops

It’s always a good choice to rub any metal parts of the drums with a wire wool to get the rust off. Then, you can use a standard chrome cleaner and finish the job. Make sure that you go deep, as dirt and rust tends to get stuck inside.

Step 7 – Clean the cymbals

Finally, you need to keep your cymbals clan as well. For the small parts, implement the similar procedure to lugs and tension rod cleaning, but for the big thing, or the cymbal itself, it is best to use brass polish. It will keep the cymbals not only shiny, but make them more durable and less likely to corrode and ultimately break.


Well that about wraps it up. If you were wondering how to clean a drum set, you can see that the answer is simple, yet somewhat intricate. You will need a few tools of the trade, but nothing too fancy. We highly recommend using the wire wool on any metal parts to prevent extra corrosion, and we insist that you are organized.

There are plenty of small parts to be lost, so take a few cups and gather various bits of tiny hardware parts into them. With that being said, you’re good to go, now get some cleaning done, Mr. Drummer!