Cleaning Tarnish off trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Druhue, May 15, 2009.

  1. Druhue

    Druhue New Friend

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    May 15, 2009
    Well sadly, I haven't been able to play on my trumpet for a good year now...and tarnish has built up like crazy. Its a bach strad 72..so its silver with a lacquer finish. The problem is..I've had it for so long that the lacquer has worn off and since I haven't played, tarnish has just grown like wild on my horn. I've tried looking for the best way to clean it but I figured this would be my best shot! I'm trying to find a cloth or cream or both that will take the tarnish off, yet at the same time, not wear away any more lacquer. Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If it is silver, it was never laquered.

    Take apart the horn, put all the silver pieces in a sink full of HOT salt water with a big piece of aluminum foil. The oxygen from the silver oxide tarnish goes to the aluminum, leaving you with a shiny horn and no wear. Make sure that you RINSE to get the salt out!
     
  3. brassplayer

    brassplayer Pianissimo User

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    May 6, 2009
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    How long should you leave the pieces in the hot water?
     
  4. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Oct 16, 2008

    Depends on how badly tarmished the horn is. I used baking soda instead of salt (1 cup per gallon of water) and it only took a couple of minutes on one horn, but on a badly tarnished one I had to do it twice. I think I have a picture somewhere...
     
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Not the best pictures, but my Bb was juat as tarnished as the flugel:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    Use baking soda AND salt - I've literally just finished doing it to my horn and the combination works better than baking soda on its own. I also wrapped strips of aluminum foil around the horn this time, rather than just laying it on a sheet. The difference is staggering.
     
  7. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    That's interesting. The second time I did this process (sans salt) I bunched up the foil so it contacted the horn in more places and like you I got a much better result...
     
  8. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    The previous times I'd done it, I'd always been able to smell the sulfur (so it was working) and seen a bit of a difference, but nothing major. This time the foil turned black in places! Only problem is, it now shows all the little scratches in the silver... Anyone got suggestions for polishing them out?!
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Tarnishield and a VERY soft rag.
     
  10. luckyhornman

    luckyhornman New Friend

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    Mar 22, 2009
    Where Grass Is Blue
    second with rowuk...tarnishield it ! GENTLY !!!
    Finally found it at ACE Hardware...turns out it IS the place.
     

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