Cleaning slides safely? 3M Tarni-Shield Brass/Copper polish

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by 65Strad, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. 65Strad

    65Strad Pianissimo User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Toms River, New Jersey
    Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:56 am Post subject: Cleaning slides safely? 3M Tarni-Shield Brass/Copper polish


    I'm sending out my early 70's SN# 70503 silver 43 bell 25 mouthpipe Strad to Bob Reeves today. I don't mind saying that I'm a little apprehensive. This subject of valve alignment is never devoid of illiciting many shades of opinions on both sides of the subject (pro/con).

    In preparing my horn last night, I decided to try cleaning my slides inside and out with 3M's Tarni-Shield Brass and Copper polish. The slides look practically brand new without taking any discerable metal off of them (just tell tale tarnish). I used an old tshirt to rub the polish on the slides with no real effort. I also put some of the polish on a mouthpiece brush and cleaned the inside of some slides and rinshed throughly with the same result. A little Hetman 3rd valve slide oil (works great) on 3rd valve slide and 1st valve slide.

    I never applied anything for cleaning on the slides previously, think it will do any harm?

  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Tarnishield isn't recommended for raw brass I don't believe. I try to keep it on silver-plated surfaces only.

    Speaking of which... I need to buy some more (my wife discovered it for her silver spoons and passed the word along to her mother!) and can't find it in any of the "usual places".... anybody know which chain retailers handle it these days? Canadian preferrably but the "big box guys" usually have the same products across the border.
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Don't give it a second thought, its not that abrasive.
    Just be sure to neutralize the cleaner with a thorough rinsing with a detergent or alcohol.

    If you're not sure ask Bob Reeves, he'd know.

  4. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    There is a formulation of Tarnishield specifically for brass (and apparently copper) -- it sounds like that's what 65Strad is using. I've never seen the brass stuff, but remember a depressing post by someone who'd used the brass formula on their silver-plated trumpet and scratched the heck out of the finish.

    65Strad, if your Tarnishield is indeed brass and copper polish I think you're fine. Many of us swear by Tarnishield silver polish, so presumably the brass and copper formula is good stuff too.
  5. 65Strad

    65Strad Pianissimo User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Toms River, New Jersey
    Tarni-Shield Copper & Brass Polish

    I have used Tarni-Shield silver polish for years on my old 43 Strad trumpet SN# 70503 and yes, it is the best for silver plated instruments a far as I'm concerned. The 3M product in question in this thread is called Tarn-Shield Copper & Brass Polish.
    I'm holding the black bottle, same size as the silver polish 10. OZ.

    It states: Not a lacquer. Contains no abrasives. Cannot scratch or harm copper or brass. I guess the question was rhertorical however we are talking about brass instrument slides so I thought I would ask in case someone experienced problems with the slides loosening. The slides were cleaned and essentially polished as a result of the product being a polish however these slides didn't seem to loosen at all.and this horn is 32/33 years old. I just wanated to get some of the deep rust colored oxidation patch's off the slides. The horn is well maintained and I didn't want any acid baths done or suggested so I figured I'd wipe the slides down.

    I have an early 70's raw brass Strad 37 bell cornet that I got on E-Bay, SN# 58831 and when I received it I thought that it has lacquer on it because it was gleaming. The guys used this stuff on the horn. I have since let this horn oxidize to a nice patina that I prefer. No green hands though, I have Larry Black from Leather Specialties make custom valve guards for my horns. They are protected from the ravages of normal hand wear and they are very well made.

    If this Tarni-Shield truly doesn't remove any metal it may be the ideal slide cleaner to use once every 10 years or so if needed.
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    That's all good. The best product (non-laquer) I found to really slow down the brass from tarnishing is Skin-So-Soft.

  7. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 24, 2004
    Greg -- (gzent):

    Which of the Avon "Skin-So-Soft" products are you referring to -- there are numerous, including a "sun-screen / insect repellant" ??

    Robert Rowe
  8. dameyn

    dameyn New Friend

    Jan 8, 2008
    Fredericksburg VA
    Re comments on composition of brass & copper polishes, here is a “typical” formulation (Goddard’s Brass & Copper Polish - UK product). There are many variations, but the basic features are similar for most of them:

    Quartz powder or diatomaceous earth - ultra fine abrasive
    Kaolin (purified white clay) - powdered thickener, tarnish remover
    C10-12 Solvent - naphtha/mineral spirit
    Oleic Acid - lubricant/protectant
    Stearic Acid - wax/protectant
    Triethanolamine - corrosion inhibitor, surfactant, emulsifier
    Dimethicone (viscoelastic silicone oil) - emulsifier, emollient, deflocculant
    Benzotriazole - Passive film former/tarnish preventer
    Ammonium Hydroxide - Copper complexer, chemical polish
    Dimethyl Oxazolidine - fungicide, preservative

    Olive oil (oleic acid based oil) is known from antiquity as a brass anti-tarnish coating. Stearic acid is a waxy compound. These “acids” are not corrosive, despite their names. Ammonium hydroxide (ammonia) helps speed up polishing by acting as a chemical polish, the ammonium/copper complex forms the blue coloration on the polishing cloth. Ammonia is known to cause stress corrosion of brass, but only with long term contact. It is very dilute in brass polishes, and during polishing is not in contact long enough to cause any damage. Dimethicone is a constituent of Silly Putty. It and triethanolamine are used in hand cremes and other beauty products. Benzotriazole reacts with copper to form a molecular passive layer on the metal surface which inhibits tarnishing. It remains in the oleic/stearic acid coating after buffing to maintain this layer against depletion.
    It isn’t a good idea to remove the oleic/stearic acid coating by cleaning with alcohol, that will hasten re-tarnishing. Just buff the polishing compounds off with a clean cloth as instructed, and clean with water and a soft cloth occasionally for maximum duration of the polished appearance. Auto wax is OK (plain wax, not a cleaner/polish wax), as is occasional wiping with olive oil.
    All polishes contain abrasives, but they are extremely fine, and don’t take measurable amounts of metal off unless one uses a power buffer with too much enthusiasm. If used by hand on brass, copper or nickel,, no harm will be done. However, make sure to clean out the inside of the horn, especially the valves, after polishing.
    Don’t use brass & copper polish on silver or gold plate, they’re too soft and thin (0.0005 inch) to stand up. Use only silver polishes. And don’t use any polish on the valve pistons or inside casing surfaces.

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