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What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Cthuba » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:49 am

Hello Tubenet,

I have just recently got my tuba, which is a Miraphone 188 (Love it!) and I was just wondering as I was getting my shinning cloth/rag at the ready, what is/not corrosive to Lacquer?

The product in question is sprayway's glass cleaner:

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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby PFunkNespy » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:51 am

I've always used Pledge, so if you've got that, I suggest using that!
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Dan Schultz » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:05 am

PFunkNespy wrote:I've always used Pledge, so if you've got that, I suggest using that!


Yup. There is always a can of Pledge (or the Dollar Store brand) in my shop. ALL lacquered repairs get a quick wipe-down with it just before going back into the case.

I can't site a specific research but I've read where ammonia can/will degrade and possibly produce stress cracks in brass. Dunno. I think Windex and other window cleaners contain a bit of ammonia.
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby bbocaner » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:16 pm

You don't need to spray any products on it. Just use a damp microfiber towel. It does a great job.
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Uncle Buck » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:49 pm

bbocaner wrote:You don't need to spray any products on it. Just use a damp microfiber towel. It does a great job.


I'll second that.
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby BRSousa » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:50 pm

Pledge and a cloth diaper work great.
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Slamson » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:02 pm

It was my understanding that Mirafone (and other companies) don't use lacquer any more for their "lacquered" instruments, and that they use a polyurethane instead. I don't know if it makes any difference in what to use on them, but I would assume that the finish is a lot more durable these days.

Of course, if you have an older Mirafone, its probably lost most of its lacquer anyway - that's why I had mine silver plated...
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Roger Lewis » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:59 pm

I use pledge for lacquer horns and glass cleaner for silver horns. I you use the pledge, be careful picking it up afterward as it will be slippery. They stopped using tolulene base lacquer in the 80's. You would play the first note and all the lacquer would wind up on your shoes.

Just an observation.

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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Musica » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:32 pm

Seems reasonable to me that one might ask their horn manufacturer for a reccomendation, that way if there is any warrantee, you'll be safe.
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Tubaryan12 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:34 pm

What not to use? Sandpaper. :lol:

The "not" list is so much longer. :twisted:
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Rick Denney » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:56 am

A "lacquer" finish is just like the clear finish on furniture. In the old days, it was nitro-cellulose lacquer; now, it's polyurethane. With some manufacturers (Yamaha, for example), it's an epoxy. Clean it the same way you clean furniture. That's why Pledge is so popular. It will help keep dirt from sticking to it, too.

Old lacquer finishes, if they are still intact, are a bit fragile and also brittle. Don't even use hot water on them. Newer finishes are much tougher, though any repairs even on newer instruments will be touched up with regular spray lacquer.

Some of the old finishes are much tougher, and I don't know how they did it. The orange King finish, for example, seems immune to all attempts at removing it, and the parts of my Holton with the original lacquer is still covered, though scratched and now sort of a greenish shade. The German instruments, however, had lacquer that could be removed by the think method. Those are the ones that created those flakes covering Roger's shoes.

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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby tclements » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:01 am

Assuming it is not RAW brass, I have found the best thing is just to wash the tuba with soap & water, and dry it with either a chamois, or a sham-wow. Lacquer in and of itself is already shiny, so if it is clean, it should shine.

If you really want to polish it, I think Pledge is the answer. I'd stay away from the lemon stuff as I THINK there are chemicals in the scent that may react adversly with some lacquers.
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby djwesp » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:13 am

tclements wrote:sham-wow


Great stuff from Tony until that part right there...
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby tclements » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:20 am

YIKES! Vince is haunting me!!!!!
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Uncle Markie » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:35 pm

The final assembly guys in the King factory (back in the 1970s) used an old product called "Glass Wax" - it's non abrasive and removes all fingerprints, oils, etc. from a lacquered horn. They produced a can of the stuff when I aksed why a new horn never looks better than when you first open the case!

This went for everything - trumpets, saxophones, trombones and tubas alike.

I think it's still made out in North Dakota somewhere.

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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby djwesp » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:52 pm

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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Three Valves » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:02 pm

I have Pledge for every day but now I have some real buildup where I didn't wipe up after my sweaty mitts got all over.

What can I use to repair the schmutz??

I'm afraid Brasso will take off everything....
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby swillafew » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:20 pm

I'm afraid Brasso will take off everything...


+1
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby bloke » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:52 pm

spit + a 40 grit disc on an orbital sander :|
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Re: What To/Not to use to clean lacquered brass instruments

Postby Three Valves » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:54 am

bloke wrote:spit + a 40 grit disc on an orbital sander :|


How schutzy do you thing I am?? :shock:
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