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Flute Accessories and Maintenance Supplies

Updated on January 31, 2015

Handling a flute properly and self-maintenance is important for a flute’s longevity, playability, and resale value. There are plenty of low-cost flute accessories and maintenance supplies available that, if used routinely, will prevent wear and tear and eliminate the need for service at a repair shop more than once a year, saving money in the long run.

Whether playing for a hobby or for school, a flute must always be handled with care whenever out of its case. This includes putting the flute together, during play, taking the flute apart, and cleaning it after play.

Assembly and Disassembly:

The way you handle your flute while putting it together and taking it apart is an extremely important part of a flute’s longevity and playability. It is important never to grab the flute by holding the keys when putting it together or taking it apart. If the keys are grasped when doing this, the key mechanisms will become loose, the springs will bend, and the flute will require repair.

It is also important not to put together and take apart the flute at an angle. A straight approach must be used in order to prevent the metal from becoming warped and/or bent. If the flute becomes bent it won’t fit together snugly, become loose and separate, and even vibrate during play.

Maintenance Supplies:

After just a few minutes of play, moisture will get inside of the flute. The moisture will get onto the pads of the keys and cause them to stick and wear down quickly.

The tuning rod can be used to clean the inside of a flute. Fold a flannel or cotton cloth in half lengthwise and slide the edge of the cloth into the hole, wrap the cloth snugly around the rod. Insert the rod into each part of the flute (don’t grasp the keys), sliding it back and forth. Sometimes it is a pretty snug fit depending on the size of the cloth, and there are swabs available at a low cost that will last for years.

While playing, there is bound to be interruptions. It’s not a good idea to just set the flute down, as it could harm the key mechanisms and also cause moisture to get onto the pads. A flute stand is cheap, doesn’t take up much space, and it is simple to slide the flute onto the stand during an interruption, preventing damage to the keys and pads.

No matter how much care you use to prevent moisture from getting onto the pads of the flute, it is going to happen. This causes the keys to stick and the pads to wear down. It also causes an extremely annoying click. Flute pad cleaning paper should be used to remove the moisture. Tear off a small piece of cleaning paper, place it under the pad, press down on the key and slide the paper out. It may need to be done several times, but this should remove the moisture and the annoying click.

To maintain a flute’s shine and prevent tarnish, a polishing cloth should be used to wipe it down after play. Never use any sort of polish, just the cloth. Also, despite several kits that contain oils and lubricants never use it. It causes a goopy mess that attracts dust and dirt.

On-Stage SM7211B Professional Grade Folding Orchestral Music Stand, Black
On-Stage SM7211B Professional Grade Folding Orchestral Music Stand, Black


I use this music stand. It is sturdy, durable, easy to assemble and disassemble.


Flute Accessories That Enhance Play:

Flute Stand:

It is important to have a flute stand. It helps with posture, alleviates stress on the neck, and even helps with proper finger placement.


Even when a flute is tuned properly, there are notes that will sound sharp or flat. By relaxing or tensing up the lips and/or rolling the flute slightly outward or inward, the flautist is able to self-tune a note. An easier and faster way to do this is by buying a tuner, and there are several models that contain a metronome and a tuner in one device.

Hopefully, I have given you some good tips and advice on maintaining your flute and caring for it properly. With a little bit of extra time and money, the flute will need less professional service, last longer, stay more valuable for resale, and be more enjoyable to play.


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    • Deni Edwards profile image

      Deni Edwards 7 years ago from california

      I decided to take it up again after nearly 15 years of not playing. I picked it up again pretty quickly and have been playing for several years now. I love it. It's very relaxing!

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      How interesting Deni. I played a flute in high school, and took up lessons again in graduate school. I have kinda neglected it since graduate school, but reading this caused me to think of it again. I was never that good, because I did not practice in high school as I should have, and have not practiced since. Perhaps in my retirement, I will again take lessons and adopt it as one of my daily hobbies. Thanks for the tips. (:v

    • Deni Edwards profile image

      Deni Edwards 7 years ago from california

      Martie, I always dry the inside of the flute after every practice. I only use the paper when I notice a stick. And I'm so glad that I got you in the mood to play!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Deni, do you dry the pads after every practise? Gosh, my flute must be rusted by now, and my emboushure too. Thanks for this hub, you got me in the mood to take up my flute again.