Best instrument cleaning agent?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bbg, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. bbg

    bbg Member

    May seem a daft question from someone who has been playing as long as I have, but have just brought home an EEb bass which has not been used regularly for a while and could do with a good clean, particularly around the 4th valve / tuning slides areas. Cleaned cornets and horns no bother but this is a rather larger project - any tips on what to use for best results?
  2. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Firstly - get a drip catcher to go under your 1st, 2nd and 3rd valves - it makes keeping it clean much easier.

    I actually use Mr Sheen metal polish for mine - seems to work quite well but never shifts that real black tarnish you get down the side of the bell. Not sure if you should use it or not but it has worked well on mine so far.

    Happy cleaning!
  3. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    a bath
  4. jenpd

    jenpd New Member

    How about Cilit Bang?
  5. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    With washing up-liquid plus/minus a drop of Dettol. I have to say, for an image of decadence there is very little to touch an Eb Bass reclining in a bath full of bubbles!!
  6. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    while in the bath...remove 1st valve and the valve bottom and using a flexi brush clean out the lead pipe


    I use a small steam cleaner called a penguin, allow to dry then use Brasso wadding on the stubborn stains and large areas (silver plate only)I wash it out with dettol diluted.
  8. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Bath in lukewarm water and about 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate per gallon.

    Shifts all the acidic deposits. If really bad leave overnight. Rinse with plenty clean water (brush through works best if done while water in instrument too, I find).
  9. derekdawson

    derekdawson Member

    The product now called Cif used to be called Jif I used it on the BBb when at Grimey, I wrote to 'em and asked if there was anything harmful to silver plate in the product, they said that lab tests showed there wasn't anything harmful and sent me a full box of the stuff as a thank you for finding a new use for their product
  10. bbg

    bbg Member

    Thanks for replies so far.......reckon that's next week's day off taken care of then! Actually tried a wee touch of Jif before I posted earlier, seemed to work not too badly but I was a bit concerned that it may not be the best product so thanks to Derek for his reassurance.
  11. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    the people who make brasso make Silvo as well, much less abrasive than Brasso and will get most black marks off and will leave a bright shine.
    My Tuba was recently proffesionaly serviced and cleaned and they had a very inovative way to hold the tuba while being cleaned.
    They had a smoothe wooden post held horizontaly and slipped the bell onto the post and then had a flat tie coming down from the ceiling which they tied to the opposite side to the bell and that held the tuba while they had access to the whole instrument.They coud just swivel the tuba on the post to get to the opposite side. Best cleaning method I've seen.
  12. derekdawson

    derekdawson Member

    Take my word for it, it works a treat even in the awkward parts.
  13. DocFox

    DocFox Supporting Member

    For big instruments that do not fit in tube well, a bath is tough. Find a second-hand kids swimming pool. Fill it with water and use dishsoap with Lemon or Orange. Remove all slides and the valves and let them soak.

    Silvo or Brasso is quite abrasive. They work, but go easy with it if you decide to try them.

    The best product I have EVER found is Metal Wax. It is a little pricey, but worth every penny.

    Then dry the instrument with a soft cloth. Reapply slide grease and valve oil after it is dry.

    I know a repeated a bit of the great advice given above -- except metal wax -- which is great stuff.

  14. Liamhorn

    Liamhorn Member

    Some good advice here, very good read. :D
  15. matt_BBb_bass

    matt_BBb_bass Member

    i play a BBb bass and i use a drip catcher under my 1st,2nd and 3rd valves and then put a cloth at the bottom so any water coming out of the sides doesn't drip down the sides either! Keep a bit of dirt off it! Then to polish it i use Godard's polish works really really well! gets anything off! See how shiny my bass looks in my pic! lol

  16. Al

    Al Member

    Whoaaa... I might be wrong, but isn't this stuff a bit tooooo abrasive??

    It may work a treat first few times, but when the silver plate starts disappearing then you have problems.

    Tell you what, to hell wi' it, why not use 1200 wet'n'dry carburundum paper?

    That'll get the black off alright......

    Cleaning your instrument properly should be more or less in in the same lesson as the "Little F and G March".
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  17. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I tend to agree about the jif being a bit to abrasive.
  18. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    I definitely agree - if not earlier!!

    When I started playing, I'd do 15-20 mins practice a day, and then maybe 2 hours overall on a Sunday. Come Monday morning, I was puking me guts up.

    My mother finally put 2 and 2 together, and queried my instructor (who lived 'round the corner)

    Result - bottle of Dettol down flugel (and a bath for the b*gger), shiny instrument, no more upset tums, no more missed Mondays at school...

    And my instructor laughed and said, "Didn't you know you should have cleaned it out?" Well no, 'cos nobody told me (or taught me how!)

    That was in 1971. Nowadays, we'd have sued his backside off....
  19. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    First thing i was taught was how to handle an instument and how to place it next to chair safley so it wouldn't fall. then came cleaning and finaly how to make a note. even today I cringe when I see how some instruments are treated
  20. Di

    Di Active Member

    Now there's an handy tip. We've always soaked instruments in the bath, but the basses were always difficult to do and left lots of stubborn black marks all over it. I've recently had a shiny new spa/whirlpool bath fitted and no way is any tuba going in that, hence the tuba is getting rather dirty. Perhaps I'll treat him to a paddling pool and give it a clean. ;)

Share This Page