Citric Acid and Trumpet Cleaning

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

  1. mellonhead

    mellonhead New Friend

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    Sep 12, 2011
    near Cleveland OH
    while we are talking about cleaning, i have read lots of stuff in here on chem clean, clr, blue juice and all... but just curious... has anyone used electronic contact cleaner?..... for lubrication.... how bout stuff like Break Free gun lube?.... just curious.....
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    111 Trichloroethane is a great degreaser, but the local landfill became an EPA Superfund site because a local electronics manufacturer and Air Force base dumped 100's of gallons of toxic materials (including 111 Trichloroethane) per month for about five years, and they leached into the aquifer. The springs on my parent's place still get tested on a regular basis. Citric acid works great on circuit boards, but I'll stick with Vitamin C for my trumpet. Don't want Bambi getting scurvy!
     
  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    IMO any Organic copper compound is harmful if ingested in sufficient quantities. While vinegar is not my first choice I have soaked slides in it for 24 hours with reasonable results at removing corrosion, as with any chemical bath washing after with lots of water is essential, my repairer does not use a neutralizer.

    Regards, Stuart.
     
  4. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    To answer this first, I have used Break Free as well as Rems Oil for lubricating sticky valves. Both work well. After thorough cleaning of both the piston and the casing, I spray the pistons, insert them, cycle them a few times and then let them sit for a day or so to let the Teflon take effect. Then I thoroughly clean them again and air out the whole thing well to remove residual fumes. I have had good success doing this.

    So, back to the original question: There are many acidic materials that make suitable cleaners. TarnX and Brassmate - both commercial products - are basically uric acid (cow pee). TarnX is much stronger and not recommended for soaking - just for rubbing on stubborn tarnish areas followed by thorough rinsing. Brassmate is weaker and is made for soaking - an hour or so is plenty of time and results in a very bright finish.

    I have used white vinegar (acetic acid) and lemon juice (citric acid) as well but both are very weak and I have soaked test (i.e., "junk") pieces for several days in both with no negative effects. The vinegar did create a bright finish but the lemon juice had only minimal effect on the finish. There are posts here about using swimming pool/concrete cleaner (muriatic acid) but I have not tried that. I expect that a few seconds of that would be more than enough.

    I was not testing to see about removal of interior mineral deposits but I suspect that the inside would have had a similar appearance to the outside unless the mineral deposits were really bad and I don't have any that are bad to test out.

    Again, after any application of an acidic substance, thorough rinsing is in order and maybe even by adding some baking soda to the rinse water to neutralize the acid. As far as any of these creating a carcinogen, this is the first time I have heard that concern. I will need to check further to see how that happens.
     
  5. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

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    Thanks, stumac!
     
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    She wouldn't be either :D
    The real question is who is she going to be around
    On a side note, if you manage to get her to clean your trumpet, that would mean something after all...
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  7. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    Trichloroethane 1,1,1 has been replaced with Trichloroethylene (TCE) due to it's carcinogen effects. TCE is sold in most stores that carry heavy duty cleaning equipment is safe for metals.
     
  8. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    (from above link)
    "Verdigris: a green or greenish-blue poisonous pigment resulting from the action of acetic acid on copper and consisting of one or more basic copper acetates"

    Yes, this does not look good. Does it form from short-term exposure? When I tried it, I did not notice the blue-green color either inside or outside so is the rinsing sufficient to stop the reaction?
     
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Back in the day, cyanide was used to kill the mercuric acid used in a chemical clean. I'm guessing that baking soda would kill citric or acetic acid, but I'm not a chemist.
     

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