How to Clean Drum Lugs

Written by joshua kinser
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Drum lugs are the small screws that pull the drum rim down to tighten the drum head. They should be cleaned regularly to avoid rusting and to enable more accuracy in drum tuning. Dirt and debris that get into the lug threads can cause stripping of both the drum lug and casing. Special care should be taken when cleaning drum lugs to keep cleaning fluids off the drum shell to avoid damage to wood and other coverings on drums.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Drum tuner
  • Towel
  • Paper towels or disposable rags
  • Drum lug lubricant

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  1. 1

    Remove lugs from lug casings using drum tuner device. Drum tuners are specially fitted to turn drum lugs easily for tuning and removal. If no drum tuner is available, a wrench or vice grip can be used.

  2. 2

    Lay each lug on a towel or other covering to keep grease or other lubricant from staining or damaging your work surface. Be careful when disassembling drums, as grease may be present on the drum head, rims, shell and lugs.

  3. 3

    Clean the existing grease and grime from the lug using a paper towel or other disposable rag. Hold a lug by the end tuning knob in one hand and your cleaning towel in the other. Fold your cleaning towel around the threaded part of the tuning lug and apply force against the threads of the lug as you twist the lug back and forth. This helps work the grease and dirt out from within the threads of the drum lug. Inspect the lug after cleaning to ensure all debris and grease has been removed from the lug threads. Repeat this process for each drum lug.

  4. 4

    Apply two drops of drum lug lubricant to each drum lug and dab away excess lubricating liquid with a paper towel.

  5. 5

    Slide drum lugs through lug holes in drum rim and screw into lug casings to tighten the head on the drum. Make sure to carefully watch each drum casing as the drum lug is reinserted into casing and tightened. Excess lubricant may build up around the drum casing. Make sure to wipe this excess oil away from the casing and do not allow it to drip onto the drum shell or veneer covering.

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