Remove fingerprints from cymbals

marc3k

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Hi all

I've read different threads about cleaning cymbals here on the forum, however, I still have one question:

If newer cymbals come with some kind of protective layer, why do fingerprints still end up on there?! Why would I have to be careful with cleaning because of that protective layer - if it does not even prevent fingerprints?

I'm asking because I would like to sell some of my cymbals, and two of them look especially nasty on the lower surface:

20" A custom sizzle (maybe 5 years old)
IMG_2918.JPG


20" A Avedis (maybe 1 year old)
IMG_2938.JPG


I tried to clean them with soap and water. I put some effort into it but I'm not happy. I wonder if I should use something stronger (groove juice?).

Anyone ever cleaned one of those A avedis with this artificial patina?
 

premierplayer

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Try Lemon Pledge, maybe more than one application needed.

Try WD40, then Lemon Pledge.

I don't think either will harm logos.

Automotive cleaner/wax is another option, like McGuires. Avoid the Logo area with this, I think there may be a very mild abrasive in the product that makes it a cleaner.
 

LRod1707

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Hi all

I've read different threads about cleaning cymbals here on the forum, however, I still have one question:

If newer cymbals come with some kind of protective layer, why do fingerprints still end up on there?! Why would I have to be careful with cleaning because of that protective layer - if it does not even prevent fingerprints?

I'm asking because I would like to sell some of my cymbals, and two of them look especially nasty on the lower surface:

20" A custom sizzle (maybe 5 years old)
View attachment 486552

20" A Avedis (maybe 1 year old)
View attachment 486553

I tried to clean them with soap and water. I put some effort into it but I'm not happy. I wonder if I should use something stronger (groove juice?).

Anyone ever cleaned one of those A avedis with this artificial patina?
I had a similar thread here a while back. Mine had the prints but they turned brown. They were much worse than your cymbals. Before you attempt any cleaner, first you need to find out whether those specific models have factory coating. Write Zildjian an email and ask. That makes a difference in what you can use or not. I have Sabian HHX's in brilliant finish. Sabian told me that they don't have the coating so apparently they can be polished over and over without anything bad happening to them. Recommended to me by a Sabian rep was Flitz metal polish. The stuff is amazing!
They look factory new when I do the polishing with Flitz. I carefully work around the logo's when I do the polishing just in case. Might work for you if you don't have coating!
Here is the link:

 

Squirrel Man

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I would be careful with WD-40, it's a metal corrosive. I'm not speaking from experience using it on cymbals - I never have and probably never will. I used it a few times on ATV's decades ago and they corroded the joints badly, squeaked and grinded, went with lithium grease after that (learning moment) After that I never used it for anything. I'm not saying it won't work, I don't know but I wouldn't use it on cymbals but that's just me.

I'm a big fan of mayonnaise. Stay with me, I pick pine nuts and get a lot of pine tar everywhere. Mayo destroys it on contact, it's amazing. It gets gummy stuff like sticker glue off in seconds. I recommended it to someone here re-wrapping their kit and they said it worked great. I've used it for getting tape glue off of clear heads I've taped, it works.

Might work on stubborn finger prints and I can't imagine it would damage the metal.

Like others have suggested I'd be careful with the logo's.
 

Sprice

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Just one person's opinion, but I pretty much only buy used cymbals online anymore and I've never been put off by fingerprints on a cymbal. And I've never cleaned one before selling it other than dusting. Some people never clean cymbals and for those that do like pristine looking ones they generally have their own cleaning methods. I'd rather get something with prints on it than have something that's been worked over so hard the logos are fading or the surface is affected. I'd be curious about other people's opinions here to know if I'm shooting myself in the foot, lol.
 

dcrigger

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Just one person's opinion, but I pretty much only buy used cymbals online anymore and I've never been put off by fingerprints on a cymbal. And I've never cleaned one before selling it other than dusting. Some people never clean cymbals and for those that do like pristine looking ones they generally have their own cleaning methods. I'd rather get something with prints on it than have something that's been worked over so hard the logos are fading or the surface is affected. I'd be curious about other people's opinions here to know if I'm shooting myself in the foot, lol.
In the same club.... don’t think I’ve done anymore than wipe the dust off a cymbal since way back - since like high school or something.
 

hsosdrum

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I realize that I'll probably get run out of here as a heretic, but I've never liked the look of factory ink on cymbals (Zlidjian, since they're the only ones I've ever bought). When I was on the road with my band between '72 and '77 I couldn't be bothered with regularly cleaning cymbals (and they didn't have much factory ink on them). I may have cleaned them two or three times during that period (see below for method). Those cymbals were all sold in '82 along with my Vistalites, when I foolishly though that I was giving up drumming.

When I got back into playing drums in '84 – '85 my equipment started from scratch, and I wasn't pleased with how much factory ink Zildjians were sporting. So every couple of years I'd give them all a good "Old-School Style" cleaning: Get them wet, sprinkle them with powdered cleanser (Ajax or Comet), use a sponge or an old t-shirt to work the power & water into a paste and work the paste around the cymbal in a circular pattern (with the grooves), then rinse and dry. In addition to removing the factory ink this process also restored the cymbals to a near-new shine. (I only had As and Ks, no brilliants, nothing with a coating or other artificial finish). I did this enough times between '86 and '96 that not one of the cymbals that I purchased brand-new between 1984 and the mid-1990s has a drop of factory ink left on it.* I realize that this cleaning method will horrify the purists and cymbalholics among you, but I've never heard it change the sound of any of my cymbals one teensy-weensy bit. Of course I never let my cymbals get that tarnished to begin with, so there was never enough gunk on any of my cymbals to alter their sound.**

Lately I've gotten much lazier; I think the last time I cleaned my cymbals this way (or any way) was around 2014. Since then I've purchased seven brand-new As and Ks, plus a brand-new A Avedis. I haven't cleaned any of them and they all still look pretty new (except the A Avedis, which has a particularly dark artificial patina).

*I think Zildjian changed to a stronger ink some time during the late-'90s or early-2000s, because I have a K Medium-Thin Crash that has retained most of its factory ink in spite of my having cleaned it at least twice with this method.

**I have a 13" Zildjian that dates back to the '30s or '40s that I've never cleaned because, well — '30s – '40s.
 

rpludwig

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tried all the above (except mayonnaise!) over the years.....after I take the ink off, I leave 'em dirty & fingerprinted, dust off annually, they sound better that way! (as Eddie Standley said "leave them alone, leave them alone, it's in the book"...doubt ANYONE here remembers that one from 1952!)
 
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marc3k

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Just one person's opinion, but I pretty much only buy used cymbals online anymore and I've never been put off by fingerprints on a cymbal. And I've never cleaned one before selling it other than dusting. Some people never clean cymbals and for those that do like pristine looking ones they generally have their own cleaning methods. I'd rather get something with prints on it than have something that's been worked over so hard the logos are fading or the surface is affected. I'd be curious about other people's opinions here to know if I'm shooting myself in the foot, lol.
That's exactly what I wanted to hear! However, I'm not sure if every potential buyer agrees...

Thanks for all inputs! I will look into the different tipps. I have never cleaned any cymbal before so if I would keep them, I wouldn't bother at all! And I also don't feel like putting in much effort just to sell them.. :)
 

Matched Gripper

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I had a similar thread here a while back. Mine had the prints but they turned brown. They were much worse than your cymbals. Before you attempt any cleaner, first you need to find out whether those specific models have factory coating. Write Zildjian an email and ask. That makes a difference in what you can use or not. I have Sabian HHX's in brilliant finish. Sabian told me that they don't have the coating so apparently they can be polished over and over without anything bad happening to them. Recommended to me by a Sabian rep was Flitz metal polish. The stuff is amazing!
They look factory new when I do the polishing with Flitz. I carefully work around the logo's when I do the polishing just in case. Might work for you if you don't have coating!
Here is the link:

I’ve heard good things about Flitz. Never tried it. I imagine it’s widely available at most hardware stores.
 


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