Here are some tips to maintain your lovely flute:
PUT IT TOGETHER without touching the keys. Gently ease the pieces together, and keep the joints wiped clean.
HOLD IT in your lap or in playing position, or set it on a table (never a chair — someone might sit on it!), otherwise put it in its case. Keys should be facing up so the pads stay dry.
CLEAN YOUR MOUTH before playing by rinsing with water or brushing your teeth, so nothing sticky gets on the pads.
CLEAN THE INSIDE of your flute immediately after playing, so moisture doesn’t make the pads swell. Many cleaning cloths are available; my preference is to buy a yard of white flannel at the fabric store, cut it into 12″ by 8″ sections, use fray-guard on the edges, then wash before using. Cover the cleaning rod with the cloth to avoid scratching the flute.
CLEAN THE OUTSIDE only with rubbing alcohol, never silver polish, which can damage the pads and clog the rods.
Enjoy your flute!