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Ste69
31.03.2006, 20:54
Hi all - It's time for an instrument spring clean and I'm looking for some Kim & Aggie style hints for instrument care.

Does anyone out there have any special things that work a treat with regard to maintenance? For example: My bass has (not from me I might add but from previous owner) some rather unsightly and unshiftable gunk/spots on the lower half of the instrument under the valves (where the spit drops out) I've fitted a kind of nappy (bar towel) to stop any more but does anyone know how I can get rid of what is already there and restore some of the original shine? (without using anything that could damage the silver plating!!!

After that - lets just hear all your little tips for cleaning - especially the bigger instruments!

KMJ Recordings
31.03.2006, 22:12
Internal cleaning with bicarb solution - it can get rid of all sorts of acidic residues that you don't want to discuss in polite company.

Just make sure you rinse very thoroughly ;)

Oh, and don't do it just before a contest in case it wrecks your tuning :D

Rach_Horn
31.03.2006, 22:29
I am going to do this over easter. How much do i need to use ?

KMJ Recordings
31.03.2006, 22:51
I am going to do this over easter. How much do i need to use ?
Er, some ;)

The solubility of bicarb is between 70 and 90 grams/litre depending on it's source. I usually make up a saturated solution (so that much dissolved in a litre of water) and slosh it around for a while. Rinse it out thoroughly in lots of water - pay particular attention to rindsing your valves and valve cases, to make sure there's no particulate matter on / in them when it's dry.

KMJ Recordings
31.03.2006, 22:52
Here''s another one....

Get rid of scunge off valves with toothpaste and toothbrush - it works as a nicely flavoured grinding paste :D

bassinthebathroom
01.04.2006, 00:05
For example: My bass has (not from me I might add but from previous owner) some rather unsightly and unshiftable gunk/spots on the lower half of the instrument under the valves ...

I'd also like to add that it was like this when I had it, so I am not guilty before it may be mentioned! :D

Ste69
01.04.2006, 10:29
I'd also like to add that it was like this when I had it, so I am not guilty before it may be mentioned! :D

He he - I know it wasn't you - I think it's circa 1989 or thereabouts!!!!:)

brassneck
01.04.2006, 10:35
A mate of mine, a school teacher, swears by using Soda Crystals to gunge out brass instruments. Same rules apply ... make sure that the instrument is well rinsed after soaking the inside of the tubing with the solution.

http://www.dri-pak.co.uk/products/sodacrystals.html

bassinthebathroom
01.04.2006, 10:46
A mate of mine, a school teacher, swears by using Soda Crystals to gunge out brass instruments. Same rules apply ... make sure that the instrument is well rinsed after soaking the inside of the tubing with the solution.

http://www.dri-pak.co.uk/products/sodacrystals.html

Aye, and use gloves. Some of that Soda can burn a bit, as I discovered whilst doing some drain maintenance the other week! :p

brassneck
01.04.2006, 10:48
Aye, and use gloves. Some of that Soda can burn a bit, as I discovered whilst doing some drain maintenance the other week! :p

- must admit, I've never used them! They are cheap to buy in supermarkets though! My mate goes through a ritual cleaning old instruments that have been found lying discarded in schools which includes a good dowsing.

KMJ Recordings
01.04.2006, 10:54
Aye, and use gloves. Some of that Soda can burn a bit, as I discovered whilst doing some drain maintenance the other week! :p
Sodium carbonate (washing soda) is more basic (alkaline) in solution than bicarb (sodium hydrogen carbonate), which results in it being more irritating. If you go down that route, I'd probably put on your favourite colour of marigolds.

Bicarb, on the other hand, is used in baths and as a poultice when you suffer from things like, for example, chickenpox....

Liz Loftus
02.04.2006, 11:06
I soak my tenor horn in the bath with half a tube of sterident... its amazing what it shifts!?!? it also leaves the outside lovely and shiny. I've been doing this for over 30 years (same instrument) and the plating is still in excellent nick!

KMJ Recordings
02.04.2006, 13:03
I soak my tenor horn in the bath with half a tube of sterident... its amazing what it shifts!?!? it also leaves the outside lovely and shiny. I've been doing this for over 30 years (same instrument) and the plating is still in excellent nick!

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Caroate, Citric Acid, Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Carbonate Peroxide, PEG-150, Malic Acid, Aroma, PEG-75, TAED, Sulfamic Acid, PEG-350, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Ceteareth 80, CI 73015, CI 74260

(Source: Ocado.com)

Look familiar? ;)

Same sort of approach, but pH buffered.

Bugler Bill
02.04.2006, 13:56
I have a similar problem but my instrument has just been for an overhaul. Got it home and it looked great, as instructed I gave it a long soak in the bath and rinsed it well. When I next played it at rehearsal some water came out of the bell and when I tried to clean it a couple of days later it wouldn't come off!! :(

What has been used in my instrument that's stained the laquer so badly? And how can I get it off?!?! It looks awful!

Bungle
10.07.2006, 14:25
Finally got round to giving my Bass a clean out. I used Sharron McCallums' suggestion of washing machine powder (well I used liquid) in a bath of hot water and leaving to soak. It worked quite well and the instrument sounds and smells better :)

meandmycornet
10.07.2006, 14:38
Use steridents! (False teething cleaning thingy's!) I use about 5 for my cornet.... sooo you'd need lots and lots for a bass.... but they work reeeeallly well! Just don't forget to rinse the instrument out after.... steridents taste horrible!

BrianT
11.07.2006, 12:34
I'm not sure about the towel - I think if you have a damp towel round the bottom of your valves then that will be a prime spot for corrosion. Before I had my trumpet overhauled I'd had a leather wrapper thingy round the valves. Of course, the only place the instrument got green spots was under the leather. Damp is death for brass instruments. I actually dismantle my D trumpet inbetween uses - and wrap all the bits up, so everything is stored dry. (I just bring it out for occasional "Trumpet Shall Sound" or Vivaldi spots.
BrianT

bassmittens
11.07.2006, 12:58
I'm not sure about the towel - I think if you have a damp towel round the bottom of your valves then that will be a prime spot for corrosion. Before I had my trumpet overhauled I'd had a leather wrapper thingy round the valves. Of course, the only place the instrument got green spots was under the leather. Damp is death for brass instruments. BrianT

Agreed, i used to have the Bar towel thing to stop the drips from the bottom of my bass valves. I have since managed to get hold of a 'spit catcher' that clips onto the bottom vavle caps - i'd seen Euph players with them in the past and wondered if they did them for bass. They do :clap:

All 4 of our basses now have them - i have to say - cleaning a bass is less of a marathon event now!

GET ONE THEY'RE (THEY@RE) GREAT!!:tup

Bungle
11.07.2006, 13:19
All 4 of our basses now have them - i have to say - cleaning a bass is less of a marathon event now!

GET ONE THEY'RE (THEY@RE) GREAT!!:tup

Care to tell us where you can get them from?

Ste69
11.07.2006, 14:03
Care to tell us where you can get them from?

Yes - Where!!!!:)

bassmittens
11.07.2006, 15:21
I can't do those funky link things, but we got ours from here:

http://www.pjsmusicservices.co.uk

They are not on his site, but we did get hold of them through PJS music. Phil Shaw should be more than happy to help you.

Give 'em a go!!

Ben Sostenuto
14.08.2006, 18:04
You can clean basses now .... ?

AEHOWGATE
15.08.2006, 15:44
Another good thread along similar lines could be "What's floated out of you instrument when you have given it a bath" I had a copy of 'Life Divine' come out of a Double B once!

BeatTheSheep
16.08.2006, 13:29
Had a pupil once struggling to blow this bass tromb, and then when he washed it properly a 50 piece came out. He was significantly louder after that.

BrianT
16.08.2006, 13:30
With all this talk of instrument spring cleaning I was just about to start the "You'll never guess what came out of my instrument when I washed it" thread. But you beat me to it.

Two stories - whilst attending Warwick University in the early 80's I borrowed the nice Selmer D trumpet from the Music Department there, and gave it a clean. Out came a dead daddy long legs encased in slime. Yuk. Obviously a music lover.

Second Story - a friend of mine in London got a wooden clothespeg stuck fast in the bell crook of his Strad trumpet. As I was working at the engineering site of Middlesex Poly in Bounds Green at the time, we had some reasonably industrial equipment to try to get the peg out. It was too far down to reach with pliers. We tried to dislodge it with compressed air and hot water but to no avail. In the end we got some long 1mm wire, cut the end off at an angle, and bent the tip round to form a sharp hook, then we fished the peg out. Yay.

BrianT

1st Position
16.08.2006, 22:35
"What's floated out of you instrument when you have given it a bath"

If you use the stirrup pump system in a bowl of water, for cleaning your trombone slide, what starts off as nice clean water, invariably turns into a bowl of minestrone soup. Perhaps I'm using the wrong slide cream?

Jay
17.08.2006, 14:41
Ooooh I clean my bass with this special magic orange cloth my mummy gave me!! It keeps it all clean and shiny and gets rid of dirt pretty easily. I don't actually know what it is or where she got it lol :P I'll hafta ask her.

Haha before I discovered that I read somewhere that a little bit of vinegar on a cloth works but it just made me bass smell of vinegar :(

Jay
17.08.2006, 14:43
Ooooh and this dude I met at a ship sailing I was playing for with Wiltshire Police Band plays tuba in the army, and he has like this leather thing that fits over the bottom part of his bass and it looks really cool AND means he doesnt hafta bother cleaning it :P

Drewdan
18.08.2006, 18:53
i was once told to use a hose pipe and flush as much water as i could through it to clean it out, and then just rub it with a laquer cloth, like Jay mentioned, that keeps it pretty clean, as for removing nasty gunk, you mite be lucky.


Ooooh I clean my bass with this special magic orange cloth my mummy gave me!! It keeps it all clean and shiny and gets rid of dirt pretty easily. I don't actually know what it is or where she got it lol :P I'll hafta ask her.


Get them from pretty much any brass tradestand at any brass competition or from any good music shop. :D hope this helps!

Lisa
22.04.2007, 18:22
I was practicing today and heard a sound in my instrument, which sounded like a bit of gunge dislodging itself...:shock: ...and then my instrument was harder to blow so I thought maybe I might clean it...

Some horrible black bits and yellow bits came out when I rinsed it so I thought I would soak it for a few hours.

I have put it in the bath with half a dishwashing tablet and some baking powder (because that had lots of sodium type ingredients in it).

Hopefully it will come out fine :-?

MHunt
22.04.2007, 18:33
A tip for cleaning the outside of a silver plated instrument, is good old silver jewellery cleaning polish. Apply with a cloth, or toothbrush, then rinse well. You may need to use a good duster to clean any water marks off afterwards, but a bit of elbow grease and they're gone.

I often wash the inside of my bass out in the bath. The power shower on hot is useful to rinse out the inside too!