How to Clean the Inside of Your Flute
Cleaning your flute is very important. Moisture from the condensation of your breath can make the pads in the key cups wear out faster. Conn-Selmer recommends using a lint free cloth like a linen or silk handkerchief to wipe out the moisture on the inside of the flute. Using the rod that came with your flute, thread a corner of the handkerchief through the eye-end with a tail of about three inches. Flip the larger end of the cloth over the end of the rod to cover the eye and you will be ready to swab your flute.
When swabbing, never pull the swab completely through the section. There is a danger that the cloth may get stuck inside of the flute. Instead, push the cloth through one end of the tube and then back it out. Do the same with the other end of the tube. Clean both the body and the footjoint in this manner. Check to make sure all moisture is wiped out by looking through the tube. If there are no moisture streaks, it is clean.
The headjoint is closed on one end, so to clean it, make sure that you hold the cloth while inserting the rod and gently twist the cloth and rod. Again, look in the tube to make sure that all moisture is removed.
How to Clean the Outside of Your Flute
Everyone likes to have a bright and shiny flute. Your flute is silver-plated. Silver plating will tarnish just like pure silver will. Some tarnish will always build up on the flute, especially in hard to reach places. However, you can keep most of the surface area of the keys and the tubing nice and shiny by removing your finger prints with a soft cloth such as one made of microfiber or one of the many brands of cloths that are sold for this purpose at music stores or jewelry stores. If you are purchasing a cloth, make sure that it does not have an overload of silver cleaning powder on the inside of it. The powder can get in the mechanism and cause problems.
When wiping the outside of the flute, make certain that you are NOT rubbing the edges of the key cups. The pads in these cups are very fragile and they can be ripped or torn through intensive rubbing with a cloth. If this happens, the flute will have air leaks and it will be difficult to play. Most likely, you will have to have it re-padded. This can be quite expensive.