Sticky and bad valves after vinegar bath

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetplayerdk, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Domino

    Domino Pianissimo User

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Norway, 69 deg N
    Well, the back label says (in red): Concentrated Acetic Acid (35 %) which is corrosive and damaging to surfaces. Then some more warnings about breathing fumes, keeping it away from eyes and skin and children. Rinsing with large amounts of water and contacting a physician. So I plan to treat it as if it is 35 % Acetic Acid.

    But what strength should I bathe my valves in?
     
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Rochester, MN
    Where did you get the idea that "bathing valves in acid" is a good idea?

    If normal (read soap and water) cleaning doesn't get them clean then take
    the horn to a professional.
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dayton, Ohio
    Chuck, this is very true, this is called "Glacial Acetic Acid" it is of chemistry grade and really should not be used by individuals without having experience with working with industrial strength agents.

    As a chemist, there is a VERY IMPORTANT saying that if using concentrated acids will save you skin (and more importantly your eyes) which is "Do as you otta, add acid to watta".

    Now again with this said, DON'T USE Glacial Acetic Acid PERIOD. I am afraid it will oxidize the metal alloy of the valve material.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dayton, Ohio
    Once again, coming from a chemist's perspective (me) I so agree with this. Acid is not a good thing to add to metal unless you have the intent to leach metal ions by redox reactions out of the alloy. As an inorganic chemist in my past life, I would use acids (no matter what strength) on a daily basis to achieve this task. None of my experiments with these agents were on a trumpet and now you know, for this very sound reasoning.

    So soap/water - that's fine. Alcohol rinse - That's fine. To Acid just say, there's absolutely, No way!
     
  5. Domino

    Domino Pianissimo User

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Norway, 69 deg N
    I got the idea from this thread and numerous others. The nearest professional seems to be about 500 miles away, so I'll try to clean my valves with alcohol or ski wax remover (citrus based). The horn was ultrasonically cleaned before I bought it, but the 3rd valve is a bit slow at times. I plan to switch to Hetman #3 valve oil, but I have to get it mail order so in the meantime I use Getzen valve oil. When I get hold of Hetman oil I'll clean off any residue from the old oil before switching.
     
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Jackson NC
    The use of apple vinegar is not as effective as white vinegar, even so usage should be minimized to less than an hour which when followed by lengthy water flush, preferably a bath with dish detergent should not require neutralizing with baking soda. My last usage of acetic acid was as a stop bath in black & white photography processing. Geez, that's an old memory.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I think it's clear by now that 35% Acetic Acid is not a good approach. I have tried citric acid (lemon juice) and uric acid (cow pee). The uric acid is best. It is available in 3 forms:

    (1) From a cow (not a pretty outcome);
    (2) In Tarn-X which is available at hardware stores. It is much better than #(1) but still smells like cow pee. It is also quite aggressive and must be thoroughly rinsed after just a couple of minutes (the label says not to use on brass - but if you are careful it is OK);
    (3) A product called Brassmate (I do not sell it or work for them). Here is a link:
    Silvermatecompany-best silver plate cleaner and sterling polish


    This stuff works VERY well, is safe, and best-of-all smells nice. It can be reused so be sure to save it after use. I pour it into a tub, soak the trumpet, and then pour it back into the container. One bottle is not enough to cover a complete trumpet so I bought 2. I have used it on over a dozen horns and 80% of the amount I bought is still in the container and works fine.

    It sure beats taking a bucket out to the barnyard...
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    My first exposure to uric aka ureac acid comes from paint companies as a product to use if you want to paint with water based acrylic copolymer latex paint over an oil based paint. Just wipe ahead with it as you paint and yes, it stinks about as bad as the source but such will become encapsulated by the acrylic copolymer latex. At least it is available in gallon quantity.

    Without the stink, graphic artists painting with oil paints needed a product to utilize water based inks for minute detail such as eye lashes in portraits (that's what I used it for) thus the Windsor & Newton company markets a product they call "Ox Gall" which is a purified uric acid. I don't know if it is available in larger quantity than 2 oz bottles, as I never needed more on hand. Never used it for cleaning or polishing any metal, but then never had a problem with the metal ferrels on my brushes from using it either, and some of their water color brushes may cost as much today as a Monette mpc.

    Windsor & Newton Company is British. Actually the source is any bovine animal via the slaughtering process for their meat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

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