Trombone Slide Sprayed with Water

How to Apply Superslick to Your Trombone Slide

At this point, I figured we could complete the trifecta of slide lubricant articles with a bit of a piece on how to apply Superslick to your trombone slide. If you’re not familiar with Superslick, it’s a three-part formula which is sort of a mix between Trombotine and Slide-O-Mix. As a result, it’s probably the most complicated slide lubrication to use, but some folks swear by it. Luckily, I’ve got you covered.

In short, applying Superslick is a 4-step process. First, make sure your slide is clean. Then, apply the slide cream (small tub) to the stockings and spread using the outer slide. After that, apply the silicone solution (small bottle) in the same fashion as the slide cream. Finally, spray the slide with water and start playing!

For more details, feel free to leverage the guide below.

3 Steps to Apply Superslick

Superslick Slide Cream, Silicone, and Spray Bottle

In the following subsections, we’ll take a look at a list of steps you can use to apply Superslick to your trombone slide. If you’re still deciding on a lubricant, check out my guide to the best trombone slide lubricants. Otherwise, feel free to jump through the steps:

  1. Clean your slide
  2. Apply slide cream to stockings
  3. Apply silicone lubricant to stockings
  4. Spray slide with water

When you’re finished, you’ll be ready to play. However, if you still have any issues, I have plenty of maintenance related articles to help you out.

Step 1: Clean Your Slide

If you’ve been following along, you know the very first thing I always tell people to do before they perform any maintenance on their horn is to clean it. As a result, I won’t waste too much time here.

That said, cleaning your slide is important because it removes old lubricant and other debris. If you neglect this step, you risk limiting the potential of your lubricant which will cause you to apply it more often. Over time, you’ll waste a lot of lubricant which can be expensive.

In addition, letting debris accumulate on your slide can reduce the lifetime of your horn. If you’re hoping to keep your horn for a long time, it’s a good idea to clean it regularly.

To do that, I recommend cleaning both the inner slide and the outer slide. After all, cleaning one without cleaning the other is mostly a waste of time since they share the same space. Instead, you should wipe down the inner slide and scrub out the outer slide. For more information, check out my article on how to clean a trombone.

Step 2: Apply Slide Cream to Stockings

With the horn in good shape, now is the time to bust out the slide cream. If you’re not sure which of the three products is the slide cream, look for the jar-shaped container labeled “Trombone Cream.”

Due to the nature of slide cream, you don’t need very much to lubricate your slide. In general, I’ve seen descriptions that vary in size from a “pinky nail” to the “tip of a wooden match.” I think the key here is not to use too much. If you can still see white after spreading it out, there’s too much.

Once you’ve decided how much to apply, use that amount directly on the stockings—the fat ends of the inner slide. Before you put the slide on, it may be a good idea to rub the cream around the stockings first. Then, use one end of the outer slide at a time to spread the cream.

If done correctly, you shouldn’t see any cream on the slide. However, you should feel a bit of cushion between the slides. At the very least, the slide should sound a little different as you move it (i.e. less friction).

Step 3: Apply Silicone Lubricant to Stockings

With most slide lubricants, the cream is usually enough. Just spray a little water, and you’ll get a week or two of smooth slide action. However, Superslick has opted to include a silicone additive which has a few benefits.

For one, silicone is hydrophobic. As a result, when you add water, you’ll get the beading phenomenon that allows for smooth slide action.

In addition, silicone is synthetic, so it’s less likely to break down over time. In other words, it should last longer than typical slide oils. In fact, one of the other products I often recommend—Slide-O-Mix—includes a synthetic element in its mixture as well, and people swear by it.

At any rate, if you’re not sure which product is the silicone, it’s the small dropper bottle labeled “Professional Plus Slide Treatment.” To apply it, follow the same instructions as the slide cream:

  1. Apply to the stockings
  2. Spread using one end of the slide at a time

If done properly, you should feel like the slide is ready to go.

Step 4: Spray with Water

Now, all that’s left is to apply a little bit of water to the inner slide using a spray bottle. If you’ve cleaned your slide properly, water should be all you need to keep it in good condition for a couple weeks. If not, water may only buy you a couple days.

Regardless, applying water is really a slick trick that takes advantage of the hydrophobic properties of the lubricant. In other words, the water forms tiny ball bearings which cushion the slide and improve speed. If you’ve used other quality lubricants like Trombotine or Slide-O-Mix, you’ll find that water is an excellent addition to your slide care routine.

Of course, you’ll have to experiment with the right amount of water for you. If you use too much, you may find that you’re spending a lot of time emptying it out of your spit valve. In addition, you’ll probably just be flushing most of the lubricant out with it. Likewise, if you use too little, you may not notice the effects.

If you’re a little skeptical of spraying your slide with water, just know that a spray bottle is provided with the Superslick package. Likewise, I’ve written a bit about why I think water is an excellent choice if you’re interested.


And with that, you should have a properly lubricated slide. Feel free to take it for a test spin. If you don’t like how it feels, there are plenty of other products on the market. For instance, I put together a list of the top 3, but you’re welcome to use whatever the manufacturer of your horn recommends.

At any rate, here’s a recap of the steps:

  1. Clean your slide
  2. Apply slide cream to stockings
  3. Apply silicone lubricant to stockings
  4. Spray slide with water

While you’re doing some maintenance, maybe it’s a good time take a look at your tuning slide. If you haven’t touched it in awhile, I recommend greasing it, so it doesn’t get stuck.

Otherwise, thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to respect the brass!