Routine Maintenance


Senior Member
Just curious as to what you guys do for routine maintenance of your drumkit. I have one studio kit that never leaves the building. I've had it three years now and except for wiping down the shells (Maple satin, walnut finish) with a damp cloth and then drying them I haven't really done anything to it. Rub the lugs and chrome with a cotton cloth once in a while. Bass drum pedal had a bit of sawdust that I cleaned out but so far that's it. How often do you guys go over your kit completely and what do you do? Mine plays perfectly BTW, no squeaking hardware or signs of wear even though I play it everyday. Thanks in advance.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Nada. Zip.

Really, nothing is done except when needed, but it's just natural to go over things when I move it. Wiping, blowing clean, check if cymbal sleeves need replacement.

Drums get a full cleaning, wiping, lug oiling whenever I change heads.

I do blow my pedals clean with compressed air and just check once in a while.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
My wife and I had a long running joke, that when it was time to wash the windows on our house we would just buy a new house.
(We have owned a bunch of houses in the last 45 years).

There are several forum members here who, when it's time to perform maintenance, simply buy a new set of drums.



Platinum Member
Removing dust with a dry towel is a good 90% of what I do. Dust + Humidity = Funk. Funk is like a sponge that adheres to a surface and holds moisture against anything underneath it.

Keep an instrument dust free and 90% of the other issues will never occur to begin with.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Removing dust with a dry towel is a good 90% of what I do. Dust + Humidity = Funk. Funk is like a sponge that adheres to a surface and holds moisture against anything underneath it.
Removing the funk from your drums?!?
(James Brown just rolled over in his grave)

No way I'm gonna' do that!


Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I'll check the timing now and then, but other than that? Just a twist of tuning here and there, and a little dusting off.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
My local drums get maintenance as needed, occasionally I'll run a microfiber cloth over the finish just to catch any dust. My touring kit gets a little more cosmetic attention due to the haze on stage. A few times during the tour I'll take a cloth and wipe everything down. With a new rack with chrome legs, I'll probably pay closer attention to them. I don't ask the person handling gear to do that stuff, he's got enough going on during his day. At the start of each tour, I change bottom heads, and wipe all the chrome and wrap.



Senior Member
Being ex rental from 1987 to 2001 it was used when I got it and it showed. Dirty and the end of wrap on a few of the toms needing glue as it had come loose.

Once it finally came to setup it was a start but the place got sold so I gave the kit a make over for the first time in its life. Every bit got cleaned as good as it could be and it took a while with 8 drums.

The hardware was still great for its age so not much do there.

Since then the drums was stored where I was living so kept the shine and years on later still do.

So I have little to do other than play/practice and with the Tama tension watch my Tama Granstar kit stays in tune very well that I rarely have to tune anything.


Gold Member
Living in Florida and being a sweaty fat guy,I need to clean, wax or oil my chrome a couple of times a year. My sweat is like alien blood. My first floor tom's batter hoop,along with the lug and leg that are nearest me,are severely pitted. It has been that way on every kit I have ever owned. I try to keep that from spreading around the kit.

I wipe the drums down when returning from gigs and lubricate during head changes,as needed.


Platinum Member
I do in the region of 40ish gigs a year between 3 kits and 4 snares so I buy a fresh set of heads for each kit and I get through the year that way. Snares always need a bit more TLC, but since I've had my steambent I've not used any of my others.

Each kit needs different maintenance, my Ludwig being the biggest pain in the arse but old played in heads sound great on it. I have to clean the bearing edges off (well what is supposed to be bearing edges!) the reapply a bit of sex wax on the bearing edges and that keeps em good for a year or so.

The other two kits are easier to look after and the bearing edges are really good on them so a quick wipe down and new heads do them the world of good.

I have this cymbal polish called Shine On from the states and I haven't seen it before or since I got it but it's great and I've had it years but it's starting to run out. It's like wadding soaked with cymbal polish so you just tear a bit off. It doesn't take your logos off like Crazy Johns and really brings the shine out.

Last bit maintenance and I have to do this in a couple of days is WD40 my old DW5000, it's one of the 80's strap drive and I've had to put a Yamaha foot plate on it as the old one broke (bloody singers) but it's fast and smooth.


Platinum Member
We just had a long weekend, so I spent the Monday maintaining my main performing kit. I removed and greased every tuning lug and every moving part of all my hardware, including removing and cleaning all the wing screws, some of which had been getting a little grungy. I wiped down all the shells and bearing edges, and gave the lugs a light wax and polish with a soft cloth. This time I also removed tbe snare strainer, cleaned it and lubricated the moving parts, then returned it. I reset the interior of the bass drum, and made sure the internal mic was still suspended in the correct place (had to replace one elastic).

I didn't replace the heads, because I did that a few weeks ago, but retuned everything to get the sound I'm after.

I'm confident now that nothing's going to break, everything moves smoothly, and it looks and sounds good. So I'm set for the rest of the year.