Red Rot

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ccb_22, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. ccb_22

    ccb_22 Pianissimo User

    Jan 12, 2010
    So I tried cleaning out a few junker horns with a diluted mix of CLR because I read somewhere that would work. One of the horns is in raw brass, the other in very shoddy lacquer. I even cleaned a silverplate sousaphone neck just to see what would happen there. I was pretty pleased with the cleaning action, especially on the valves, but I got a reddish rose color in quite a few places, especially on the raw brass horn. I let it soak for about 20 minutes and then I rinsed it.

    On the semi-lacquered horn, the only place I got the red color was right on the mouthpiece receiver, but I only let it soak for about 10 minutes.

    On the sousaphone neck, I got a little on the raw part that would insert into the instrument, again soaking for about 10 minutes.

    So my questions are: Did I create a problem that wasn't already there? (All these instruments were at least 10 years old and were beginner student instruments - so never really taken care of).

    If I did create a problem, is there a way to fix it?

    If I didn't create it, and the problem was already there, is there a way to chem clean your instrument without exacerbating the problem?

    Did I get more red rot on the raw horn because I let it soak longer or because it is raw?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    red rot is not caused by cleaning or "raw brass". It is rotting from the inside which is raw on any horn.

    There are several schools of thought as to what is really at fault. Some think that it is actually a manufacturing defect as brass is normally pretty tough and the leaching of the zinc in brass should not happen so easily.

    Still cleanliness being next to godliness does seem to help the most. Once it starts to leach, I know of no way except replacement to stop the effect.

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