Problems with cleaning silver plated trumpets.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by FutureBC, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Aug 15, 2009
    Alabama
    A great deal of tarnish is sulfur dioxide, that, as several above have indicated, looks a little yellowish before becoming black. By any chance does the water in your area have a high sulfur content? If so, that is the problem. While most of us in the US wouldn't think about sulfur in the water, I remember staying at a state park in PA where you literally smelled like sulfur after taking a shower. Most homes in the area had a sulfur treatment removal hooked up to their water supply.
     
  2. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    That was my first thought. Similar to my horn here...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. trumpmac

    trumpmac Pianissimo User

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I'll second what Trumpet Dad said. Tanishield is great stuff. I was turned on to in college. I used to find it in most grocery stores but haven't seen it a while. Just discovered that it's available at Dillon's. :thumbsup:

    www.dillonmusic.com
     
  4. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

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    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Tarnish first shows as yellow then starts to turn black.....It's likely that a product like tarnishield would be just what the doctor ordered.

    If you're concerned about losing silver, a more cautious way would be to convert as much of the tarnish as you can back to silver before a light polish with tarnishield. Clean all oil and fingerprints with a mild dishwashing (soapy water) solution from your horn, then find a plastic bin that can hold the dissasembled trumpet and all parts you want to treat. Follow this....using warm water instead of steaming water.....Warm/hot to touch water will work....it just may take a longer time to process. This will leave a yellow sulfer residue on/near the aluminum foil.....this is essentially reversing the chemical process that oxodized the silver in the first place.

    I've used this with success on old cornets and their silver parts.
     
  5. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

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    Nov 23, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    Yes, I've used Tarni-Shield in the past (very distant past, like 25 years ago). Good stuff. I recall when I was at the Schilke plant in Chicago to buy my Schilke C1L in 1978, they sold me Rose's silver polish. Can't find a trace of that anywhere on these Internet tubes. Had to settle for Hagerty Silversmith Polish. Hagerty claims to do the same thing as Tarni-Shield.:dontknow:
     
  6. StoporIlltoot!

    StoporIlltoot! New Friend

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    Jan 7, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    I was waiting for someone to mention this - and water quality is worth consideration whether you choose to submerge your instrument in it or not.

    Several years ago I stayed at a place in New Paltz, NY which is essentially the Catskill Mountains. Wherever I went, the water was laden with a nauseatingly-high sulphur content. If you even turned on the sink and let it run down the drain for a moment, the smell filled the washcloset and worked its way into the hallways. I just couldn't bring myself to drink it, and I felt more unclean after showering than before. I mentioned this to the locals, who looked at me like I had three heads. They were so used to the water there they hadn't even noticed the odor.

    The place I was staying had different fittings on the sinks of every room - some were chromed steel, some were brass, some were antiqued decorative bronze. I noticed bubbling and flaking of the chromed steel, and discoloration of the bronze and brass. It worsened in the areas that came in contact with water the most.

    If I were you, I would find a water laboratory locally or on the internet, and send a sample to be analyzed. After you get the results back, you may not want to drink/cook with it, much less clean your trumpet in it.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Germany
    I let my horn soak for 30-60 minutes before snaking anything. If the crud is only moist, we are just moving mud around.

    I do not polish anymore. I use very hot salt water and a big piece of aluminum foil. The tarnish moves from the silver to the aluminum without removing any material.

    Polishes are abrasive - even if only mild. That removes silver unnecessarily!
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,616
    7,965
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    I let my horn soak for 30-60 minutes before snaking anything. If the crud is only moist, we are just moving mud around.

    I do not polish anymore. I use very hot salt water and a big piece of aluminum foil. The tarnish moves from the silver to the aluminum without removing any material.

    Polishes are abrasive - even if only mild. That removes silver unnecessarily!
     
  9. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    529
    1
    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Hey I have a 1976 Strad and I know what your talking about. It was a friday before our first contest and after our little run that night we were socializing with the other band and turned loose for the 3rd quarter. Would you guess that it just dropped right out of the sky on us. So the directors told us to go home and get our uniforms dry. Well while people were leaving the Section leaders (me being one) were told to stay and make sure that our section members were told to go home and reminded of the time to show back up the next day. Got home uniform is soaking wet, and a few areas had turned yellow on my horn fml right? Now my finish was 100% no silver loss or anything, it was prestine. So I got what I could off with a dry rag and let the rest of it dry. Then I took some Hagerty silver polish and sprayed a butt load on there. After waiting a minute to let it get really powdery I Buffed it off with my polishing cloth and cotton swabs. That got it off for me. I personally think that it may have been a bit of oil from my hand or valve oil of some sort I had not noticed on there because it was not a complete covering it was right where I usually held the trumpet or areas where the grease from slides oozed out. My trumpet is air tight, and I use alot of oil and grease on her soooo yeah It probably leaked out and thats how I got it when the rain water combined with it. Well theres my life story I typed up above, hope it was helpful.:play: Its all back to normal now haha and still really shiny :thumbsup:
     
  10. operagost

    operagost Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    I used Hagerty for years on my old horn and it only lost plating where I had the most contact with it (the valve buttons and under the leadpipe and bell; I used a valve protector). That being said, I now only use a polishing cloth on occasion and do the aluminum foil/baking soda bath because it is possible that abrasive polishing could eventually wear away the plating to bare metal. I also tend to leave yucky white polish powder in inaccessible places. :-P
     

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