mouthpiece & valve cleaning

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Farmer Giles, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    hi all

    just thought i'd ask how you all clean your valves and mouthpieces.

    i tend to stick them in a glass of cheapo cola (tesco's value) for a few mins, and it brings them up like new. a quick rinse and hey presto, new valves & mouthpiece !

    your thoughts please.

  2. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    is coke not full of sugar so is that not bad for them
  3. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    coke is slightly acidic (as all carbonated soft drinks are) which gets rid of the gunge.

    the only thing i would say is, don't do this to your valves if you are happy with them !

    i play a besson soverign cornet, and the valves are c**p, so i have to keep trying to "free" them up a bit. still not 100% happy with them.

  4. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    Oh rite so culd u do it with lemon juice i think thats acidic unless its alkali... :confused:
  5. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    lemon juice would work (i think its acidic), but tesco's value coke is cheaper (about 20p for 2 litres).

  6. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    See my reply to IAN HAYTONS(WOODEN FLUGEL-WIGSTON BAND) question regarding Cruddy Valves.

    It will tell you what i use:clap:
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member "N" Ian please.....:roll: ;)

    Coca-cola is an excellent chemical stripper. During my formative years at work rebuilding 50-year old shoe machinery, we used to use it as a way of getting parts covered in years of grime, leather dust, and shoe glue clean. Nothing else could touch it. But I'm not sure about the long-term effects of using it on valves. Especially modern valves coated with monel or somesuch. My experience of low friction coatings is that they're very fragile and prone to disappearing altogether if treated badly. Although I don't know what monel is specifically I would steer clear of using any form of cleaner (and that includes brasso :eek: ), other than warm water on them. It's OK for a one-off, but every time you wash out your
  8. Farmer Giles

    Farmer Giles Member

    i quite agree with taking care when using abrasive / acidic things on valves, but i have a slight problem.

    even after a good clean out (and i do mean good), all three of my valves will stick. it is as though there is part of the valve rubbing on the valve casing, so i am trying to find a way of getting rid of the rubbing.

    after every "cokeing" it seems to get better, just need to make sure i don't do it too often.

    darn besson valves !

  9. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah - exactly mate - I hear a lot of our cornet players saying the same thing - although I'm not totally sure that it's not just an excuse because they can't play their parts...:oops:

    I actually think that the problem with Besson Valves is too much clearance, causing them to "crab" if you don't press exactly straight down on them. When we got a lottery grant several years ago we had a tour around the Besson factory, and I remember asking one of their designers about the clearance in the valves (as a BOC engineer these things interest me :oops: ). I was really suprised out how loose the designed clearance is. I've no idea what other manufacturers use but if I were specifying that "fit" between valve and casing it would be alot tighter then they were using.
  10. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    I washed my cornet a couple of weeks ago so it would be good in time for the area in a fortnights time but it's not been right since, I have a naff sound and the triggers arent working too good and the resistance is stopping me from playing any note between bottom E and top E Grrrrrr I'll never wash mine ever again - anyone got suggestions?
  11. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    How old is your Besson. I had the same problem but band supplies sent it back to Besson who rebores the casings and the valves have been good since. Just an idea.
  12. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    How did you wash your cornet? what cleaning agent did you use? I clean my cornet by putting in the kitchen sink half filled with with warm (not boiling!) water and put about 4/5 sterident tablets (false teeth cleaning tablets) in it (I use the extra strength ones!) this is how my mum has always cleaned brass intstruments and it works really well!

    I clean my mouthpiece everytime i've used it, by simply running it under the hot tap and wiping the grimey bits off, then dry with a towel. This stops you get a big build up of grimey stuff in your mouthpiece and is also alot more hygienic!
  13. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    Monel is an alloy, mainly consisting of nickel & copper. It's also used in spectacle frames & that's why I'm looking like a geek
  14. for my mouthpiece i fill a jug with mouthwash and warm water and let it soak over night. then polish it up with a silver cloth. for my valves i clean them when i clean my instrument i use a brillo pad to get all the s**t off same for the slides and the polish up.
  15. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    I soaked my mouthpiece in lemon juice cos i culdnt find any coke an it worked but theres bits of red stuff on it
  16. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    :eek: This seems to be a really good way to have to get a new instrument. Even small scratches on the valve body can essentially destroy the valve. Even if it doesn't, using anything abrasive might increase the gap between the valve body and the valve casing. This gap has to be very small - so that the oil on the valve will fill it completely - or air will leak and you'll sound like you're playing with a water key open.

    Using a harsh abrasive like a brillo pad on any part of an instrument is a quick ticket to trouble.
  17. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    I should do that then!
  18. i use the sponge side!!
  19. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    OK, now it makes sense :)

    Might be an "across the pond" issue - over here, a "Brillo pad" is made of steel wool - not exactly what you'd want to use on your valves.

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