proper CLR acid cleaning

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

  1. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Letting it soak a while in dawn and water, then using a rubber coated snake will clean it good. I wouldn't use CLR. Neither would my tech. He says it eats away at the lacquer and brass.
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    if the crud is too bad -- I have a piece of weed-eater string that I tie a string to -- onto which I tie a piece of cotton cloth ---- then I fish the weed-eater string through the leadpipe, or valve assembly, or slides --- whatever seems to be "cruddy" and swipe out the crud with the attached cloth ---- changing the cloth as needed, especially when it get green and sloppy - YUK!!.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    After a mechanical cleaning with a snake (if needed) I'll soak the inside of the trumpet with lukewarm water and a knife-tip of vitamin C for 24 hours, then kill the acid with a knife-tip of baking soda in lukewarm water and rinse thoroughly. It doesn't eat the brass or destroy lubricants, but does take care of "crud."
  4. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I think vinegar, lemon juice, vitamin C, and maybe a few others substances are all in the same class, and should all safely remove the mineral deposits.

  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    We need o remember that music shops are likely to use chemicals that are far more potent than we are talking here. I guarantee you shops are using something far stronger than lemon juice when working on heavily deposited lime scale. That doesn't mean we don' need to be careful, but realize what goes on behind the doors of most shops is probably far more dramatic than some of our home remedies. Look at the previous poster who indicated when the shop mixes the solution, they aren't titrating it, 'just pouring in some."

    For instance, we read lots of threads about not using silver polish on horns, instead go with the aluminum foil ion replacement method. Excellent advice, but send a horn to a shop and they arelikely using MAAS or one other brand I can't remember. My favorite shop always says, let's take it in the back and buff it to make it look better. They are doing all of the things we are often posting against -but they are doing them because they do improve the horn. Their job is to get it clean and looking good, not worry that we removed a millimicron of silver or had a miniscule bit of dissolving of brass.

    Just thinking out loud here. No comment met negatively against shops. Most do a great job. Oh-and for the CLR or any other chemical -while tyring to neutralize an acide by rinsing with alkaline is good, 99.9 of clearing the substance should really be by extendd rinsing.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Let's examine why questions like this come up:

    1) concern about scale in the horn
    2) lower effort maintenance
    3) better maintenance

    Let's examine the inside of a horn:
    1) Scale occurs when there is time for the calcium in our breath aerosols to "attach" themselves to the bore - mechanically and chemically. This process is not overnight or even after a week. If we are regularly cleaning with simple dishwashing liquid, warm water and a snake, scale has no chance.
    2) if we clean our instruments regularly, we notice things like valve wear, where dirt accumulates and how easy it is to remove. This intimate relationship helps us play better through confidence that everything is clean AND that in an emergency, we have "trained" our cleaning skills to search and kill.
    3) if #2 is taken seriously, we also start practicing preventive maintenance - oiling better, lubricating the slides better, greasing threaded parts for easy removal

    So, stronger acids can be used to remove past sins (I have good luck with citric acid which is non toxic and doesn't taste or smell bad afterwards). Once the horn is up to snuff, it should never be necessary again.

    Love your horns and they will love you!

    I will NEVER use potent chemical cleaners that were not designed for use with musical instruments. Just think about careless rinsing missing this stuff and it getting on your lips............. The dedicated hobbyist will simply ignore this advice and take a chance, but perhaps the casual player will reconsider. I hope so!
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I swab my most used trumpet (at least the leadpipe) often -- like once every 2 weeks or so -- the most I ever get out of it is the green slime on the cotton cloth swab --- it is never much, but it is always green -- and the rest of the horn seems to stay "relatively clean" --- I also drop some valve oil in the leadpipe several times a week and blow it through the horn.

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