Citric Acid and Trumpet Cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LH123, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

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    I've heard that dilute citric acid can be used for chem cleaning trumpets. Is this true, and could it damage the horn? Is it fine for monel valves and nickel plating? If so, what is the concentration that should be used?
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    It is fine. I wouldn't leave the instrument soaking in it overnight. It is mild enough that even slow movers will see the shine before the hole.
     
  3. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

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    So... How long is ideal, and what concentration?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I put a similar question to my German brother-in-law, searching for something that wouldn't degrease the horn or produce verdigris. I secured my trumpet vertically, then poured lukewarm water into the trumpet with valves depressed, and when full, plugged the receiver. I then added ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) (about .3 ml or 1/16th of a teaspoon) and let it soak overnight. The next morning, after rinsing the horn I used baking soda to kill the acid, (again filling the horn with water) and rinsed afterwards. A cheap, safe chemical clean.
     
  5. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    Wow! Creepy stuff that vitamin C......
    (Was Jennifer involved?)
     
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Nordlandstrompet, if Jennifer Aniston was around, I wouldn't be cleaning my trumpets!
     
  7. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    OoooH!

    I guessed someone must had shaken the trumpet during the night,
    or else the creepy vitamin C just scared the sh*t out of it...ROFL
     
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    Citric Acid is commonly available at bulk food & health food stores in powder form. Seems like getting an effective, but not too strong concentration would be the key.
    the pH of the solution should be something that is measurable... anyone have a number in mind?
     
  9. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    My repairer uses a citric acid bath with other ingredients to clean instruments, I will see him later in the week and ask him the contents and strength.

    White vinegar (acetic acid) is also an alternative. I use a 5% CLR solution (1 in 20).

    Regards, Stuart.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Acetic acid plus brass equals verdigris, which is a carcinogen.
     

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