proper CLR acid cleaning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by letmeplay7, May 18, 2012.

  1. letmeplay7

    letmeplay7 Pianissimo User

    Mar 1, 2012
    mid-continent, USA
    I need a refresher course on cleaning horns with CLR. I've got to clean my sons' slimy, puberty-laden horn soon. Last time I did it was several months ago and I used 1:50 ratio. Since then I have heard/read about some different concentrations. Can anybody shed some (non-binding) advice on this? My poor Meha will forever be in your debt!!:D
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I don't know what posts you will get here..but I would never use that on my horns!
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    This topic has come up before in a few threads. I tend to agree with Chuck.

    But there are worse things to use than CLR, which is a surfactant combined with some medium-strength acids. Not sure what advantage CLR has over dish soap plus white vinegar, which would be safer and (I think) function in a similar way. Maybe someone with a chemistry background can help.

  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I've always used dish soap in warm water --- let it soak an hour, then flush it gently
  5. letmeplay7

    letmeplay7 Pianissimo User

    Mar 1, 2012
    mid-continent, USA
    Is the soap going to get rid of buildup along with the "crud"? I only started this treatment after paying $80 for a "professional" acid bath, but I'm open to ideas!

    P.S. I've NEVER done this to my vintage stuff.
  6. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    A friend of mine told me Bob Reeves recommended a CLR bath - full strength. I tried it on some of my horns at a lesser strength, and had no problems with it. It didn't eat lacquer at all - I'm betting because the chem clean used in shops is so much stronger than this, it would be tough to do damage this way. The shop chemicals are stronger than what you use at home to clean your toilet!
  7. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    I use a 20:1 dilution CLR for all my horns, for Silver plated I only use a freshly mixed bath, if a well used mix some copper may be deposited on the silver out of solution. My repairer uses a mix of Citric and Phosphoric acids, I asked him what was the strength? He replied "I just fill the tub and put in a generous amount of each". I have accidently left slides in the mix overnight with no damage, mostly leave soak for 1/2 hour.
  8. trumpettrax

    trumpettrax Piano User

    Mar 18, 2006
    I' sorry can't remembert ration either, bu when I did use it on my horn, i was fantastic!!!! It came out squeeky clean. I used it on the silver, but wonder what it would do to the raw brass.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    If you read the instructions (at least on the bottle I bought 8 years ago, still unopened), it says not to use on brass. Soooo many other things you can use that are safer for the horn AND you!
  10. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I think the soap will get rid of the crud, and vinegar will work on the mineral buildup and the oxidation.


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