Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk
Forum rules
Reminder: "Go fund me" requests are not allowed and should be reported. All requests will be deleted.

Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby ren » Thu May 17, 2018 12:06 pm

Is there an easy way to clean up a silver plated tuba without using silver polish. (Just for a quick clean up).
ren
 

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bort » Thu May 17, 2018 12:16 pm

I haven't done it myself, but I always figured one of those polish rags (the kind that trumpet players seem to always have) would do a good enough job to remove smudges and fingerprints from day-to-day use.

I keep meaning to buy one, but then I realize that I can't even do this much effort for the opportunity to do a halfass job. Beyond low priority. :)
B&S 4198 (PT-7P)
User avatar
bort
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 9376
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bloke » Thu May 17, 2018 12:57 pm

Be aware that some instruments sport far thicker silver coatings than do others.
Rubbing (whether with an abrasive-loaded cloth, or with an abrasive-loaded polish...or even with a silver-oxide dissolving chemical) thins a silver coating and shortens the life of the coating.
Soap-and-water (forgoing a mirror finish), clean hands, and very soft contain-no-embedded-abrasives rags are good strategies, with actual polishing (regardless of type) limited to annual/semi-annual.

Do some reading about types of objects, liquids, gases, and heating systems that contain sulfur and emit sulfur fumes.
Sulfur tarnishes silver quickly.

Were it that I owned a tuba that is similar to much more expensive tubas - yet much lower cost, I would assume (until I found out for certain) that the silver coating is not the thickest.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41004
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bisontuba » Thu May 17, 2018 2:15 pm

Hagerty Silversmiths Polish Spray, 8 Oz....spray it on, let it sit, rub away the tarnish, use a garden hose to clean off, and dry...
User avatar
bisontuba
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3776
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:55 am
Location: Bottom of Lake Erie

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby smitwill1 » Thu May 17, 2018 2:21 pm

If required by your employer, band director, or commanding officer, then by any means necessary including the polishing cloths mentioned by bort—this includes “NeverDull” (which is very aggressive and in my experience results in silver you need to polish constantly in order to maintain the finish).

Presumably, the requester has the means to purchase a new horn for you when you’ve removed the silver plate? If it’s your own horn—embrace the “lived in” or “played hard” look of the patina and, as bloke says stick with soap and water; you’ll retain the finish longer that way. If you feel that you must have a shiny silver horn, there’s really no substitute for a decent polish with tarnish inhibiting compounds (I’ve used Wright’s brand in the past). It still requires periodic (quarterly or so) polishing, but less so than “NeverDull” and it’s not as abrasive as other metal polishes that I’ve used. Just remember that he silver plate is probably only a few atoms (well, maybe a few hundred...but not a lot) thick and that silver sulfide (the likely cause of the patina) is a “passivating layer” that will inhibit further oxidation. If you insist on stripping it off periodically, your silver plate will be a temporary finish.
B&S PT-4P
Yamaha YFB-822
Yamaha YEP-321
User avatar
smitwill1
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:54 pm
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby Matt Walters » Thu May 17, 2018 3:32 pm

WINDEX. If you want to wipe down the silver plated horn between polishing, Windex with decent paper towel or micro fiber cloth gets rid of finger prints and the very light brownish (earliest stage of tarnish) film on silver plated horns. This method also cuts down on the mess that what will rub off on your clothes.
Matt Walters
Last chair tubist
Who Cares What Ensemble
Owns old tubas that play better than what you have.
User avatar
Matt Walters
The Tuba Whisperer
The Tuba Whisperer
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:20 am
Location: Woodbridge, NJ

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bloke » Thu May 17, 2018 8:02 pm

Matt's pretty clever, isn't he?

Re: Matt's suggestion, this found in about a second with google.
Search Results wrote:Tarnish plagues sterling silver as well as silver plating, marring the surface of your favorite bracelet or vase and causing an unappetizing film on the silver item. Basic ammonia eliminates this discoloration and works beautifully as a silver dip or as the primary component in a homemade silver polishing paste.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41004
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby ren » Thu May 17, 2018 8:53 pm

Image

Thanks for the suggestions. The polish cloth works well on fingerprints but not on condensation drips on the bell.
Although it does have some polish in it, I ordered the Weimans silver wipes to give them a try and see if they can do quick wipe downs on the bell when needed. I use their stainless steel wipes for the fridge :D
ren
 

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby WC8KCY » Thu May 17, 2018 11:08 pm

I've had great success with 3M TarniShield silver polish, with rare touch-up cleanings using a Selmer Silver polishing cloth. My Holton tuba hasn't needed a full polish job in over 8 years.

I always, always keep it in its bag, zipped up tight, when not in use.

My Yamaha euph is also silver plated, and has never needed a full polish in the 22 years I've owned it. The inside of the bell will discolour in the area that rests by the gap in the case where it opens up; the Selmer cloth takes care of that in a jiffy. Otherwise, as Matt suggested, a spritz of Windex or SprayWay glass cleaner takes care of routine smudges.
King 1165 "Artist" baritone - Yamaha YEP-321S euphonium
'29 Holton Monster E-flat tuba - '37 Martin Indiana E-flat sousaphone
WC8KCY
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:24 am
Location: Not too far from Interlochen

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby ronr » Thu May 17, 2018 11:47 pm

A friend of mine made a bag out of jeweler’s cloth that he’d store his horn in before putting in the gig bag.
Tuba, Gemeinhardt, 2012
String Bass, Eminence, 2002
Tuba, Mirafone, 1970
Sousaphone, Reynolds, 1962
User avatar
ronr
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:05 am
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby royjohn » Fri May 18, 2018 12:16 am

The last time this came up I posted results from the survey of polishes by Jeff Herman, America's premier silver restorer, but most people poo-poohed his findings and reported they used this or that polish that he said was rather abrasive, and it always worked great (so far, ha-ha) so I'm not going down that road again. Yes, soap and water and a rag with nothing on it is a good start, and you can use a polish if needed. Some polishes have a protective agent that coats the silver (a wax?) and retards future tarnish, so you might want to use one of those. If you Google Jeff Herman, you can get to his website and see his recommendations, and, yes, he does sell a polish, but it doesn't contain any protectants and he's very fair about recommending another polish which is also a very mild abrasive if you want an included protectant. Amount of tarnish depends on the atmosphere...I would be tempted to tolerate some in preference to polishing a lot. But a well polished silver horn does look great... :D :D :D
royjohn
royjohn
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby nworbekim » Fri May 18, 2018 4:34 am

bisontuba wrote:Hagerty Silversmiths Polish Spray, 8 Oz....spray it on, let it sit, rub away the tarnish, use a garden hose to clean off, and dry...


This...
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
User avatar
nworbekim
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:08 pm
Location: I bought a farm in southern Kentucky near Lake Cumberland

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bbocaner » Fri May 18, 2018 11:40 am

Windex is a great suggestion! I saw some the Baltimore Brass guys doing this on exhibit instruments a few years ago and it works amazing on fingerprints and water spots and that other sort of gunk. If the instrument has started to tarnish, then it's time for silver polish, but just to clean off the surface, windex or glass plus or similar works great. I use it with a microfiber towel, but be very careful with microfiber towels -- if they ever fall on the floor they will pick up all sorts of dirt and this dirt will scratch the instruments if you use them again. It's virtually impossible to get this dirt out of the towels once it's in there, so I pretty much treat them as disposable.
bbocaner
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:23 pm

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby MikeW » Sat May 19, 2018 5:08 pm

Matt Walters wrote:WINDEX. If you want to wipe down the silver plated horn between polishing, Windex with decent paper towel or micro fiber cloth gets rid of finger prints and the very light brownish (earliest stage of tarnish) film on silver plated horns. This method also cuts down on the mess that what will rub off on your clothes.


Which Windex? the ones without Ammonia may be safe, but won't the ones containing Ammonia cause red rot?
Unless the silver plate keeps the Ammonia away from the brass?

This from a discussion of cleaning boat windows--

What Windex® products are ammonia-free?
The following products do not contain ammonia. They can be used in cases where ammonia is not recommended for use on surface.

I also found a reminder on a Windex FAQ that Ammonia will etch natural stone, so keep it off Marble and Granite.

Windex® Crystal Rain™,
Windex® Multi-Surface with Glade® Clear Springs™
Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial
Windex® Multi-Surface Vinegar
Windex® Outdoor Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner
Windex™ Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool
Imperial Eb Kellyberg
dilettante & gigless wannabe
User avatar
MikeW
3 valves
3 valves
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: North Vancouver, BC

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby MrBasseyPants » Sun May 20, 2018 10:40 pm

MikeW wrote:Which Windex? the ones without Ammonia may be safe, but won't the ones containing Ammonia cause red rot?
Unless the silver plate keeps the Ammonia away from the brass?

This from a discussion of cleaning boat windows--

What Windex® products are ammonia-free?
The following products do not contain ammonia. They can be used in cases where ammonia is not recommended for use on surface.

I also found a reminder on a Windex FAQ that Ammonia will etch natural stone, so keep it off Marble and Granite.

Windex® Crystal Rain™,
Windex® Multi-Surface with Glade® Clear Springs™
Windex® Multi-Surface Antibacterial
Windex® Multi-Surface Vinegar
Windex® Outdoor Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner
Windex™ Outdoor All-in-One Glass Cleaning Tool


Yeah that's what I have read around here too.... ....and then some people say to use lemon pledge.....would that work on bright silver finishes as well or just on satin / raw finishes?

jc
MrBasseyPants - jc
My three Kings: 2007 King 2341 | 1935 King Giant 1271 | 1925 King 1265 Jumbo (now with four valves)

WARNING: This tuba player has been known to get his groove on via bass guitar as well!
User avatar
MrBasseyPants
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 7:09 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bloke » Mon May 21, 2018 9:39 am

You're going to need a big vat (like the plastic horse trough that I use for chem-cleaning tubas) full of pure ammonia concentrate, and you're going to need to totally immerse your tuba (no air bubbles) in that vat of ammonia concentrate for a few months in order to observe this...

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010938X82900907

Get back with us on that, OK ?
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41004
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby ren » Mon May 21, 2018 10:03 am

So I got the weiman silver wipes and tried them out. 1 single sheet has more than enough polish in it to do a once over on the bell. Wipe it on let it sit for 5 mins and wipe it off.
I have used Windex on chrome plated horns, I wouldnt use it or straight ammonia on silver or a horn I cared about though. Just my preference.

Im sure the spray recommended would do fine as well but a wipe is a little more targeted than spray and only goes where I want it to.
The wipes have so much polish in them you could probably do an entire horn with 2 or 3 of them at the most.

I did get a silver polish cloth with the horn that I will use for fingerprint removal as it works well enough. :D

Although I initially wrote "without polish", I think what I really meant was, "in a real big hurry with no mess".
ren
 

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby bloke » Mon May 21, 2018 10:23 am

I close friend of mine (who is a very active reader here, posts seldom, is a full-time professional tuba player, and who keeps his instruments in immaculate condition - inside and out) keeps his silver-plated instruments very clean/shiny by avoiding touching them, carefully/religiously gently wiping them down, and using assembly gloves (which are kept clean and replaced often).
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 41004
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby MrBasseyPants » Fri May 25, 2018 7:16 pm

I went to Target to search for glass cleaner...and found Sprayway (which is ammonia free) .....I polished up the 93 year old Jumbo sousaphone and then did a final coat with the glass cleaner.....I have never seen it look this good! Usually a nice damp wipe down does pretty good after a polish ( I use Wright's)....but this looked even better.....now I need to get more gigs to play this monster......it looks so good!

Image
MrBasseyPants - jc
My three Kings: 2007 King 2341 | 1935 King Giant 1271 | 1925 King 1265 Jumbo (now with four valves)

WARNING: This tuba player has been known to get his groove on via bass guitar as well!
User avatar
MrBasseyPants
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 7:09 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Good way to clean a silver plated tuba without polish

Postby peterbas » Sat May 26, 2018 8:27 pm

Lamp oil I've found removes some silver oxidation when removing some spilling oiling the tuba Bloke's style ( alot of lamp oil)

A melamine sponge with a little water, or hagerty spray, makes tuba cleaning easy. The sponge is abrassive so there is a risk of scratching but my tuba seems fine till now.
Miraphone 91
blokepiece
wessex dr Young
St peterburg Bb
Conn 36K
peterbas
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:54 am
Location: Belgium

Next

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], hockeyched, phaymore, SC2Ba, tubaeric and 29 guests