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Bad tarnish and its removal


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swingintrpt
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:05 pm    Post subject: Bad tarnish and its removal Reply with quote

So, I've got a silver played Kanstul piccolo with some fairly bad tarnish. I don't mean the standard clouding of the finish, or even the light gray that spreads across it. I'm talking some really distinct dark tarnish that is NOT coming off with the Blitz rag. I've got the same thing going on on the bell of my C trumpet (a sterling plus horn with no lacquer). Does anyone have a good cleaning method? I've been thinking about the various silver polishes, but I'm afraid it might wear off the plating. What are my options?
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aceswildtru
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Bad tarnish and its removal Reply with quote

swingintrpt wrote:
So, I've got a silver played Kanstul piccolo with some fairly bad tarnish. I don't mean the standard clouding of the finish, or even the light gray that spreads across it. I'm talking some really distinct dark tarnish that is NOT coming off with the Blitz rag. I've got the same thing going on on the bell of my C trumpet (a sterling plus horn with no lacquer). Does anyone have a good cleaning method? I've been thinking about the various silver polishes, but I'm afraid it might wear off the plating. What are my options?


My Strad has some pretty tough tarnish on it lately, and Twinkle polish took it right off. As far as wearing away the plating, I think using a polish rag is more harmful than using a polish, please correct me if I'm wrong!

-Travis
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Bean12
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok this is going to sound weird but try using car polish. Wizard works the best. As weird as it sounds it really works and it makes your horn feel really smooth.
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aremick
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put it in the kitchen sink on a piece of aluminum foil (it has to be in good electrical contact with the foil). Fill the sink with very warm water and a half cup to a cup of backing soda. Let it sit. Rinse well.

Make sure the gold wash in the bell is NOT lacquer. Ohterwise it may com off if the water is too hot. Don't ask how I know.
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ConnCoprion
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aremick wrote:
Put it in the kitchen sink on a piece of aluminum foil (it has to be in good electrical contact with the foil). Fill the sink with very warm water and a half cup to a cup of backing soda. Let it sit. Rinse well.

Make sure the gold wash in the bell is NOT lacquer. Ohterwise it may com off if the water is too hot. Don't ask how I know.


I agree 100% Some like myself use this to clean the tarnish off of silver coins...that way you don't have to scrub the surface down. Use really hot water, lots of baking soda and make sure the sink is foil lined.
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swingintrpt
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...I like that idea. What does it do to the silver finish?
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ConnCoprion
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swingintrpt wrote:
Hmm...I like that idea. What does it do to the silver finish?


Just cleans it without "scrubbing"

Course after you give it a 3-4 min soak in the solution just rinse it well with water.

That's it! It doesn't do anything to the silver. In fact I've used this process MANY times for my silver mouthpieces...it works wonders.
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swingintrpt
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I read up on the theory behind this...it should work great. Has anyone tried wrapping a horn or mouthpiece in the aluminum to increase the efficiency?
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aremick
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't need to worry about the efficiency. As long as the water is hot, there's enough baking soda, and the foil is in good electrical contact with the horn it will be sufficiently efficient...
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tpetplyr
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ConnCoprion wrote:
swingintrpt wrote:
Hmm...I like that idea. What does it do to the silver finish?


Just cleans it without "scrubbing"

Course after you give it a 3-4 min soak in the solution just rinse it well with water.

That's it! It doesn't do anything to the silver. In fact I've used this process MANY times for my silver mouthpieces...it works wonders.


It reduces the oxidized silver cations (usually silver sulfate) back to elemental silver metal. In turn the aluminum is oxidized.

Stuart
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BenH
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deleted.
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Last edited by BenH on Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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ConnCoprion
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenH wrote:
So this is just normal baking soda? Nothing else added? I've read a few pages online that suggest using salt as well...

How much baking soda should be used in what amount of water? How hot should the water be?

I'm really interested in this as I appear to be a tarnishing machine...


About 1 heaping tablespoon's worth per every 2 cups water. That's the recipe when I clean my silver mouthpieces.

As another poster put the water has to be quite warm....NOT BOILING....for 2 reason: #1 You would never be able to reach in and grab your horn #2 You wouldn't want to damage the soldering.

If you're still a little leary about trying this out....try it out on a tarnish silver mouthpiece first. (for a mouthpiece you can use boiling water...just use a pair of tongs to get it out )

Get a Pyrex glass measuring cup or deep bowl
Line the bottom of the glass cup or bowl with aluminum foil
Bring 2 Cups of water to a boil
Pour the boiling water into the container
Add one HEAPING tablespoon of baking soda to the water
Stir just for a second or two, and dump the silver mouthpiece in
Wait for about 1 or 2 minutes, and use the tongs to pull it out
Rinse the mouthpiece with water, and dry...and

*WA-Lah!* it's clean!!!!!!!!!!
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BenH
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything posted works well and is correct except the notion that one could damage the solder connections if the water is too hot. Anyone with water coming out of the faucet at such a temperature, or who heats water above the 400 F point, which still doesn't melt the solder I use would be more than a menace to their trumpet... Sounds like a future Darwin Awards recipient to me... Best wishes, everyone.
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trumpaholic
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For one thing, polishing cloths are the lazy way of cleaning a horn. Not only are they full of chemicals which is NOT good for your body, but they actually remove silver from the instrument.

3M tarni-shield is used by professionals like Dr. Valve and Anderson Plating as well as many other folks. It is the easiest to use silver polish and retains a shield on the horn to HELP prevent tarnish from building up. It provides a deep lustre that enhances the silver plating.

It scares me to read of folks putting a horn in very hot water for any reason, just does not make sense to me when there are other ways of cleaning tarnish. I used Haggerty's Silver Foam for many years, another excellent choice, but I prefer tarni-shield.
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Steve Wand
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAGERTY SILVERSMITH SPRAY POLISH

I have been using this for 20 years. Easy to use and works fantastic.


http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(x25woy552yoigpmuawdoyw2e)/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=1055797&Source=froogle
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig Swartz wrote:
Everything posted works well and is correct except the notion that one could damage the solder connections if the water is too hot. Anyone with water coming out of the faucet at such a temperature, or who heats water above the 400 F point, which still doesn't melt the solder I use would be more than a menace to their trumpet... Sounds like a future Darwin Awards recipient to me... Best wishes, everyone.


The damage comes from dropping a cold horn (or whatever) into hot water and have the thermal shock (sudden expanasion) "poop" joints etc. I have seen this happen with fine silverware put into boiling water. I don't do that to my horns! I usually take my horn apart and put only the silver parts (horn body, valve caps, mpcs, etc.) in the tub of hot water. I also tend to put in "warm" water halfway, the fill to the top with hot (not boiling) water after my horn is in the tub to reduce the thermal shock. Probably overkill, but better safe than sorry, and it doesn't add much to the overall time.

For the record, for most of us the hottest water coming out of the tap is ~140 degF (~60 degC), far below the temperature at which solder melts (around 350 degF, 160 degC). To get water to 400 degF without it all escaping as steam takes some pressure...

The chemical reaction restores the silver shine by reducing the oxidation without removing silver. Virtually any polish (cloth, liquid, or paste) works by removing silver. And, of course, the cloth used for polishing can load up with microparticles of dirt and such, scratching your finish as it removes it.

FWIWFM - Don
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Last edited by Don Herman rev2 on Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don-
Point being that hot tap water is hot enough for the cleaning purposes and will not damage solder joints(?!). I've cleaned about 6 SP trumpets and cornets for 40 years and have never had one come apart. I always put them in water as hot as will come from the tap. Mine is a bit over the 140 degree mark, I have it turned up all the way. I guess there are always those who think that if one dose of meds is good, a double will be twice as good. JEEZ! Maybe my horns were all put together better than some...
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not disagreeing, Craig! Just more cautious, I guess. I believe I was the first to post the chemical method here on TH, and including a warning to not drop your horn into boiling water. Just no real reason for it, imo. The reaction is not much slower if you use hot tap water instead of boiling water. I agree that there's no way to melt solder with water (ignoring those high-pressure industrial steam cleaners).

I had a bell brace pop on my old Bach Strad ('72 vintage) when I dropped it into water as hot as I could get it out of the tap (~147 degF -- I measured it) and have been cautious ever since. Chances are, that brace was just waiting for an excuse, but...

I thnk I may have to go double my aspirin dose... - Don
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swingintrpt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I tried this on some badly tarnished mouthpieces last night. The one with a moderate amount of tarnish (comparable to the average player not polishing a horn/mouthpiece for a year) cleaned up in about 3 minutes. AWESOME!

The other mouthpiece is BLACK (looks like black nickel plating) in some areas, and has 'regular' tarnish in others. The regular tarnish was gone in a few minutes, but the black stuff never left, even after keeping the mouthpiece in the the solution for 20 minutes (changing the solution to keep it hot), and then being wrapped in foil to increase the surface area for the reaction. Unfortunately, the black (sometimes purple) looking tarnish is what I'm trying to get off of my horns.

I'm gonna give it a try this weekend. I'll post back here with the results and, if I can figure out how to make it work, pictures.
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