How To Clean Your Drum Kit & Cymbals

Let’s be real with each other, cleaning is boring. It’s just one of those annoying things you have to do if you want to have nice things. 

This includes that shiny drum kit that you probably spent a decent chunk of change on. If you want to keep playing and have a good clean sound, then you need to be taking care of your equipment. 

You gotta clean any of the gunk before you can start to feel the funk.

So without further ado, let’s go through how to keep your drums and cymbals squeaky clean. 

Another one bites the dust 

No matter how clean your house or studio is, dust always finds a way in. As a general part of your routine, you will want to clean your musical instruments to make sure the dust doesn’t build up too much. 

You can use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe over the surface of your instruments and be done within minutes. It’s something you can do very easily daily or every time you play. 

Alternatively, you can even cover your set with a clean sheet to protect it while you’re not playing. Unfortunately that would mean you couldn’t show off to guests or spend your days lovingly gazing at it… so we’ll leave that decision up to you.


Regular dusting is important, but you should also give your drum set a deeper clean once a month. This will make sure that it stays in top condition and lasts you for years to come. 

Disassemble & Clean Your Kit

To get into all the little nooks and crannies of your guitar set, you will need to disassemble it. 

It’s a good idea to separate the different parts of your kit into different types of materials such as wood and metal, as these different pieces will be cleaned differently. 

Bits of chipped wood, dirt and grime can make their home inside your rims, so it’s a good idea that you clean them out on a regular basis. You can use a drum brush to gently clean out your toms and snares. 

You can use some wood conditioner for your wooden pieces, and wipe them with a clean cloth once you’re done. 

You can use a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner to get rid of anything on your drum shells (windex can get the job done on your shells), and if you have any tougher residue, a goo remover can finish it off. 

Once you start to clean and polish your metal pieces, it’s a good idea to use masking tape to protect the other pieces of your drums from any potential damage or harm. Once that’s taken care of, choose a polish that is compatible with your drums material, and get to cleaning. 

A little goes a long way, so don’t go overboard. 

Cymbals - to clean or not to clean 

If your cymbals sound amazing and you love the sound, then don’t touch them! Let the grit, grot and grime give you that gorgeous clang.

Cleaning cymbals can be a bit of a controversial topic, with many drummers having differing opinions on the topic. At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what works best for you and your sound. 

Cleaning your cymbals can alter their sound, so don’t clean them if you like them as is. However if you want them to sound and shine like new, then by all means give them a gentle scrub with an appropriate cleaning agent. 

Use your chosen cymbal cleaner and give them a good wipe, making sure to get into the grooves of the cymbal and get rid of all of the built up dirt. You will be surprised how dirty they can get, and cleaning them can bring back the shine they once had. 

We have a few options for cymbal polish, but it’s important that you read up on whether it’s suitable for your cymbals. 

If you don’t want to clean off the logo or other marks, then you will need to be gentle when wiping over this as many cleaning chemicals can wipe the logo right off. 

Reassemble and Tune

Once you’ve finished giving everything a good clean, it’s time to reassemble your drum kit and tune it. 

You can give it one last wipe to make sure you didn’t leave any fingerprints, and then it should be as good as new. 

This is a great time to tune your drum and make sure that you didn’t knock anything out of order while cleaning it. Make sure everything is tightened correctly, and then you can admire the results of your hard work!

Any Questions? Visit Us In Store!

Learning how to clean your beloved instruments is just another part of being a musician. We know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s going to pay off when you have an instrument that still looks and plays as good as when you bought it. 

Make sure you do your research before using any cleaning products on your instrument. Certain cleaners only work for certain types of surfaces, so you don’t want to cause any damage. 

If you want more advice or help on any instrument maintenance, you can always contact us online or visit our team at our Nambour, Sunshine Coast store.