Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cobragamer, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. cobragamer

    cobragamer Pianissimo User

    Jan 26, 2008
    How would you guys polish your horns. I have tried a polishing cloth but it does not seem to do much. I have a bach strad intermediate model with a silver laqer.
  2. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    I just cleaned my horn and removed the tarnish using the old aluminum foil and sodium carbonate method. In the process of cleaning it I found that rubbing it with the aluminum foil worked pretty well to remove tarnish at joints and braces. I would think the Bach cloth supplied with my horn would polish it pretty well now that it is dry.

    I'll post a thorough report as soon as the photographs are ready to post.
  3. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    On my silver Getzen, I've used regular silver polish (like for silverware) and it works very well. It can ge a little messy, though.

    You mention silver lacquer, but if your horn's silver, there shouldn't be any lacquer on it.

    If you try the silver polish, try it on a small, out-of-the-way spot first to be sure you'll get the results you want.
  4. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Silver polish will take off silver, just be careful.... That's why Mr. Wizard used aluminum foil and oven cleaner to clean silverware -- it would remove the oxide and re-plate the silver back onto the silverware. I'm not sure I'd recommend this for a trumpet though. :D
  5. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    Most of the time just use the cloth that comes with it for silver plate. Maybe once a year or so to get the silver polish out but not very often.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    boiling hot salt water with a big piece of aluminum foil. Disassemble, then lay the trumpet (without the valves) in for 30 minutes and shiny it is. Rinse the salt water out, let the horn get BONE DRY, reoil, grease and reassemble. Good to go, no polish on your hands, no removal of silverplate, no easier way to do it yourself!
  7. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Salt, sodium chloride, works in place of sodium carbonate. The advantage of sodium carbonate is that it is a detergent and it will degrease and loosen all the crud inside the horn. Snake the horn after removing from the aluminum foil and rinse thoroughly. You will get all sorts of crud out.

    I disassemble the horn and wrap each piece in aluminum foil and lots of it. You can't have too much aluminum foil. Let it soak submerged for three hours or as long as the water is warm.

    Polish with a silver polishing cloth from your local music store.

    I do not use tarnex or chemicals other than sodium carbonate.

    Mr. Wizard did not take the silver off and replate it chemically. Something was lost in translation. Any electrolite will work, some are better than others.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  8. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Okay...I know NOTHING about chemistry, and I've never heard of this aluminum foil method before, so I'm going to ask some remedial questions (I want to try this method).

    How much salt per amount of water?
    Regular table salt?
    And I wrap each piece of the horn tightly in aluminum foil, like baked potatos?
    This will clean and not damage a lacquered finish?

  9. Newguy

    Newguy Pianissimo User

    Mar 30, 2008
    Pittsburgh Area
    They are talking about a SILVER horn Big Tiny, NOT a Lacquered one. I would NOT do this with a lacquered horn as just the hot water alone may be enough to remove the lacquer. Silver plated horns are not lacquered, therefore, the procedure they are talking about with remove the tarnish from the silverplate without harming the silver, but would stand a very good chance of damaging the lacquer on a brass horn.

    Once again -- DO NOT use on a lacquered horn. Unless you think you will like the look of raw brass. :-o
  10. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Also I believe salt will harm raw brass too, right?

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