I cleaned my cymbals today for the first time in my life. I hated it!

David M Scott

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I know it seems strange but I have played drums for over 20 years and never in my life had I cleaned one of my cymbals ... today was the day ... arrrghhhh!

Long story short, I bought some dream bliss hi hats as a spare to my in house drum, and the seller "did me a favor" and cleaned the cymbals. I must admit they looked neat and he did a good job.

When I got home, I put the cymbals on the stand and immediately my wife says: wowww your other cymbals are really disgusting compared to these; what if you cleaned them hey?

Not wanting to upset my wife who is vert supportive, and lets me have a drum at home and make noise anytime I want, I went to the music store closest to home and bought some of those cleaning fluids.

They had Paiste and Zildjian; as i'm cheap, i went to Zildjian and thought: well this crap must be all the same! Cleaning was the most horrifying thing I did in my life: a complete mess, all dirty cloths flying in all directions, the bathtub ended with black residue from the oxidation patina of the cymbals ... a horror movie!

In the end my wife thought they looked beautiful all shiny and yellow; Personally my thoughts were: I lost 2 hours of my life and the cymbals now sound different and not sure if for the better! I don't think I'll ever do this again in my life.

Do any of you usually clean cymals? Are your experiences as terrifying as mine?
So here’s a trick I learned from a piano tuner who had to clean brass hinges etc. To clean Brass/Bronze use “Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner” be sure and get the one with the dark blue label with “Power” on it not the pale blue or green label types. This stuff is “instant” and With minimal scrubbing removes even discolouration/ stains In a hurry and returns even lacquered cymbal finish to bright. Be sure and wash cymbals well with clear water after cleaning to insure all of the Lysol is off. This product is manufactured by a British company and in Canada. Bet shows that the company has a distributor in New Jersey. Believe me, this takes all the sress and sweat out of cleaning.
 

cruddola

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Never did a deep clean like that, we get a lot of dust in the high desert so I use a dry dust cloth sometimes on the whole kit but no deep cleaning.

As a point of reference I've had my F250 for 10 years now, previously a Ram for 8 years. In the entire time I owned these two vehicles I've never cleaned them once. No car washes, no armor-all on the dash. Maybe wipe out some dog poo I got on the floor mat but that's about it.

What's the point?
Not to worry, I have a 96 f250 pick-up and a 96 f350 with a service truck body. Lucy and Martina roll about equipped with big calves and massive thighs, no stinking Kartrashian carrot legs and tire-tube boobs among them! Two-inch long and brutally ragged jean-skirts. Got them as virgins. Both are 4X4 and have never had a bath except for the little rain that the desert gifts us. They just love the mud. Nothing better than a pair of all-terrain girls, dude. Got a 2006 Crown Vic Interceptor back in 2007. Same thing with Vicky. She'd been around the block for a year before she gave herself to me. She always sports a pair of ugly, butt-less, stained and ragged jeans with the entire front fabric rotted off. 90% of her fabric is missing. Like Lucy and Marty with any body position her vertical eye always watching. Nothing left but a waistband, a useless front pocket and tattered cuffs at the ankles. She refuses to cut off the remaining 10 square inches of fabric still rooted by frail strands on the legs. She'd be naked were they to fall off. She calls them her air-conditioners. All have permanently asphalt-blackened boobs, knuckles, elbows, knees and thighs. All three topped with 3-inch long sweat-rotted, golf-ball sized hole-pocked t-shirts. Nothing more than a well sweat-yellowed collar with sleeves barely attached. No stinking tatts either. Yikes!! I like my girls in greasy rags and dirty! Same with my friggin cymbals!
 

MaskingApathy

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I use Music Nomad cymbal cleaner, and imo that's the only one worth using. Doesn't take too long to clean and if you're careful the logos will still be there. I've never messed around with BKF or ketchup or anything like that. It only works on brilliant finish cymbals though; for natural/traditional finish I think it's better to avoid using any cleaner on it. Just wipe them down regularly.
 

langmick

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I picked up a cheap orbital polisher/sander and a big towel. I put some of that buckaroo polish all over the cymbal, place it on the towel, wrap the towel around, then hit it with the orbital polisher. The polisher does't directly contact it, just through the towel. After that, clean up and give it a wipe, and that's it. I don't spend too much time with it on the cymbal, it never really builds up any appreciable heat. Really saved a lot of time, and wear and tear on my hands.
 

Davo

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I've never owned and never will own a so called brilliant cymbal or anything that relies on a sprayed on finish . I've got all Zildjian A in the traditional finish . (Real Cymbals)
So after almost a half century of playing and owning cymbals , I've run the gamut on what to do . Zildjian cymbal rouge was my first mistake . Thinking I was doing the right thing , it was way too expensive , labor intensive and the results sucked . Patches here and there that never blended in etc . Then it was "NeverDull" . That wadding in the can . Well , I used it exclusively for decades . It eliminated all the elbow grease that buffing with the "cymbal rouge" demanded , and at least the surface wasn't blotchy and tough to try and make look decent . No thanks Zildjian cymbal rouge . The only thing I didn't like about using Neverdull was the dark look it left behind . All the cymbals looked uniform and even in surface but not like new . In the interim , the Internet came about but I was late to the show on it and continued to use Neverdull . One night I was sitting around and decided to go through massive amounts of reviews and threads like this attempting to read between the lines of what others were doing , knowing I wasn't going to buff my arms off to get any results no matter how grand they might be . Abrasives are out as is any kind of power tools due to the fact that the tonal grooves lathed into the cymbal have everything to do with the sound it projects . If you polish those down , you basically ruin the cymbal for its intended sound . (Why I won't own brilliants) . So , the ketchup and the lemon juice and the salt and the vinegar and this and that all came up . Really ? Ketchup ? Yeah it'll work but what a stinking mess . Wanna draw flies ? Then okay . Then Groove Juice came up along with tons of praise but holy moly ! That stuff ain't cheap and I'm a starving musician . Then I started seeing a lot of posts about
Bar Keepers Friend . I dug a bit deeper and found that Groove Juice contained Oxalic acid and that was its active ingredient . And by crackey , Bar Keepers Freind also contained the exact same active ingredient at a tiny fraction of the price . So , I tried it . And lemme tell ya , I can't believe it took me 45 freaking years to find the magic bullet in cymbal cleaning . I was stoked . You don't need the liquid stuff . The powder works just as good . You take an old towel outside , set the cymbal on it , hose it down , sprinkle the powder on it , smear it around into a thin paste or a slurry like consistency , let it sit for a few minutes and hose it off . What could be easier ? And it looks like the day I bought it off the music shops showroom floor . Hey , flip the sucker over and do side two . Towel dry it and move on to the next cymbal . Now rinsing is important because you wanna make sure you get all the Oxalic acid out of the groves . A bit of dish soap on the final rinse works great and towel drying is important for esthetics . Now as any naked bronze will , with time , start to orange up again and fingerprints will follow , but , I found that after cleaning , a light mist of Pledge funiture polish sprayed on and wiped in on both sides with no more labor than polishing moms coffee table , will keep oxygen and finger oils at bay and then just wiping them down with a cotton cloth after the gig keeps them looking like new . Maybe monthly or so depending on how much you're playing , re apply the pledge and wipe down and you can pretty much forget about the cleaning process again as you'll see some green coming off every time you wipe them down .
I'm totally sold on this method and only wish I'd stumbled upon it 40 years ago .
Clean cymbals are happy cymbals and most of mine are true vintage cymbals . I'll try to post a pict .
P.S. If you are one of those guys that must retain the billboards , you won't follow this method . Most of my cymbals came about before they started making billboards out of them and I like them without logos so ...
Another thing to note is that lacquered finished cymbals will suffer from doing this as it will eat away at the sprayed on finish . Only use BKF on traditional finished cymbals !
image.jpeg
 
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EvEnStEvEn

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I've never owned and never will own a so called brilliant cymbal or anything that relies on a sprayed on finish . I've got all Zildjian A in the traditional finish . (Real Cymbals)
All modern Zildjians are treated with a clear coat protective finish before shipping to dealers.
 

Slingwig26

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I know it seems strange but I have played drums for over 20 years and never in my life had I cleaned one of my cymbals ... today was the day ... arrrghhhh!

Long story short, I bought some dream bliss hi hats as a spare to my in house drum, and the seller "did me a favor" and cleaned the cymbals. I must admit they looked neat and he did a good job.

When I got home, I put the cymbals on the stand and immediately my wife says: wowww your other cymbals are really disgusting compared to these; what if you cleaned them hey?

Not wanting to upset my wife who is vert supportive, and lets me have a drum at home and make noise anytime I want, I went to the music store closest to home and bought some of those cleaning fluids.

They had Paiste and Zildjian; as i'm cheap, i went to Zildjian and thought: well this crap must be all the same! Cleaning was the most horrifying thing I did in my life: a complete mess, all dirty cloths flying in all directions, the bathtub ended with black residue from the oxidation patina of the cymbals ... a horror movie!

In the end my wife thought they looked beautiful all shiny and yellow; Personally my thoughts were: I lost 2 hours of my life and the cymbals now sound different and not sure if for the better! I don't think I'll ever do this again in my life.

Do any of you usually clean cymals? Are your experiences as terrifying as mine?
I just wipe ‘em down with dry cotton rag.
 

ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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I like clean cymbals in a perfect world.

I had a Zildjian ride that I picked up with some other gear. It was dirty and didn't sound very good to my ears. I decided to sell it. Then, I thought I will clean it first to see if I like it better. I hit it with some groove juice. It sounded much better and stayed on the stand for quite a while.
 

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