How do I clean a cymbal

harrismikol

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my rides looken a little old and i just want to know how
to get them marks out and get the shine back into it.
 

JDA

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how do you clean a cymbal?
Don't get it dirty in the first place.

seriously "it's aging"
leave nature take it's course
unless they are Brilliants to start with
in that case I've no answer)
 

Steech

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I used to try cleaning my cymbals.
That is all I have to say on that subject.
 

1988fxlr

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Depends if you want to keep the ink markings. If you dont care barkeepers friend cleaning powder, hot water, and an old t-shirt are fast and easy. If you care about the ink you need something more gentle
 

type85

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If it's relatively new, soap (dish detergent), water and a VERY soft scrubbing pad made from plastic, NOT copper or metal! You need to get the salt, oil and dirt from your fingers off of the cymbal so it doesn't start to corrode the bronze.

I've cleaned a lot of cymbals recently, here's my experience with different cleaners with different levels of abrasiveness, you don't want to wear off the clear coating and labels if you can:

"Blue magic": is the mildest, smelly from the ammonia but is the most gentle on labels and clear coating.

"Flitz": mildly abrasive but will preserve labels if you're careful!

Paiste cymbal cleaner: good at cleaning but will remove clear coating and labels after a few cleanings!

Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser: by far the most abrasive, it has oxalic acid which is great at removing tarnish and green corrosion from salty finger prints (see below), I only use it for the dirtiest cymbals that don't have a clear coat or label!

I also wash with soap (dish detergent), water and a paper towel after each cleaning to get the residue off.

Before and after pics using barkeepers friend:

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I coat the cymbal afterwards with either lemon pledge or Brazilian carnauba wax with no "cleaner" in it!
 

CSR

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Stand back and enjoy the mojo that it has earned. If you can’t do that, use liquid Barkeeper’s Friend and a terry cloth. Rise in water. Magic Sponge also works gently.

If all else fails, an orbital sander with 60 grip paper and lots of pressure will remove most marks.
 

varatrodder

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For simple cleaning - just to get some surface stuff off and maybe a bit of tarnish - I like to use lemon juice with some baking soda mixed in. The lemon juice will remove a lot of tarnish, and the baking soda acts as a mild abrasive if you need to scrub. You want to get the lemon juice to just sit on the surface of the cymbal for about 15-30 minutes, and it will naturally do it's thing. Sprinkle on some baking soda as needed for scrubbing.

For a heavier cleaning, I like Bar Keepers Friend. I use the liquid version for most cleaning, and the powder for when I need to get some serious grime off.
 

type85

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I've used Pledge in the past to get smudges and fingerprints off. Seems to work well.
For cymbals w/o a clear coat: Pledge works great at "sealing" the surface from the atmosphere and oxidising, a more substantial sealer the Carnauba wax......

Flitz then Barkeepers for the dirty spots then Carnauba wax:

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D. B. Cooper

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Bar Keepers Friend is good stuff and works very well BUT, The oxalic acid will change the color of the metal.

Kind of hard to describe the color, maybe more yellow or red than a new cymbal would be.
I think I can recognize a cymbal that's been cleaned with oxalic acid right away now.
Not sure if it affects the chemistry of the metal or something, but I've decided not to clean them that way anymore.
Doesn't give them a "new" look to my eyes anymore, just different!
 

type85

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Bar Keepers Friend is good stuff and works very well BUT, The oxalic acid will change the color of the metal.

Kind of hard to describe the color, maybe more yellow or red than a new cymbal would be.
I think I can recognize a cymbal that's been cleaned with oxalic acid right away now.
Not sure if it affects the chemistry of the metal or something, but I've decided not to clean them that way anymore.
Doesn't give them a "new" look to my eyes anymore, just different!
I noticed that too!
It works great on really dirty cymbals but there seems to be a subtle change in color.....
 


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