CLEANING CYMBALS

agehrt

Junior Member
My dad was sponsored by Sabian, Ludwig, Remo and Pro-Mark back in the day. His name is Tim Gehrt if you want to look him up, he did a lot of session stuff for example Glen Hughes and Steve Walsh's solo records. His big band he played in was called "Streets" and it was the band Steve Walsh created when he left Kansas. All that being said is that I really trust his opinion on gear and anything with drums. He told me a long time ago that the only thing he would ever use on his cymbals was a can of metal polish called "Never-Dull" made by a company called Eagle One I think? Anyways I use that stuff and it is truly incredible, you can put some elbow grease in and get some serious oxidation or anything out. The only thing to be careful is that when you are going over the print on the cymbals you can wipe off the print. Other than that they are awesome and I always recommend it. Also its super cheap you can get it at wal-mart.
 

Pyromaniac777

Silver Member
I just cleaned my ride cymbal with Lysol toilet bowl cleaner. It had super thick green oxidation on the whole thing. The cleaner took it all off after sitting for 10 seconds. It was crazy! My ride looks like new!!!

This is where I put the first drop of cleaner. I didn't even leave it there for 5 seconds!
 

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JLoveDrums94

Senior Member
I noticed that a fat majority of you guys are “pro-abrasive” when it comes to cleaning your cymbals. It’s hard to believe that this page was where I learned of the protective coating on cymbals, because every person that brought it up, was incredibly ignored. Probably as ignored as this post will be for even mentioning it. I understand that cymbals come with a protective coat that, if destroyed, it will cause the cymbal to tarnish and rust much faster. What destroys it? Anything abrasive! So, you guys use your BKF and makes it look nice at first, but within 48 hours… BOOM, YOU END UP WITH A CYMBAL THAT LOOKS LIKE MY SABIAN B8 RIDE POSTED BELOW!

That’s right! I tried BKF on it! I was impressed by how fast it worked, but I was then upset by the color changing after cleaning. I didn’t even play it. I washed it, dried it, and then left it on the stand.

The question remaining: Is there a non-abrasive way to thoroughly clean cymbals that won’t destroy that protective coat? I honestly doubt that such a solution even exists.
One of you mentioned Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, another one of you said that there was an “acid warning” to that method. One of you said to use Pledge Multi-Purpose Spray… that one I tried, and it didn’t do anything at all.
Now, I got some Zildjian A Mastersounds that I bought used. They got quite the patina build up on them, and I have no clue how to clean them without practically destroying them.
 

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D

drumming sort of person

Guest
You can't use the same cleaner on different types of cymbals. The Sabian B8 line is completely different from a typical Zildjian, or regular AA or HH Sabian.

Regular Zildjian or Sabian (AA & HH) do not have protective coatings. Zildjian and Sabian cymbal cleaner work just fine on those, and that cleaner IS abrasive (a bit anyway).

The Sabian B8 is probably similar to a Paiste 2002 or Giant Beat, which DO have a protective coating. Paiste's cymbal cleaner is probably best for those, which you would follow up with the Paiste Protective Coating.

Pledge Multi Surface cleaner is great for cymbals that aren't very tarnished, just to remove fingerprints and some stick marks, that's all.
 

Pyromaniac777

Silver Member
I noticed that a fat majority of you guys are “pro-abrasive” when it comes to cleaning your cymbals. It’s hard to believe that this page was where I learned of the protective coating on cymbals, because every person that brought it up, was incredibly ignored. Probably as ignored as this post will be for even mentioning it. I understand that cymbals come with a protective coat that, if destroyed, it will cause the cymbal to tarnish and rust much faster. What destroys it? Anything abrasive! So, you guys use your BKF and makes it look nice at first, but within 48 hours… BOOM, YOU END UP WITH A CYMBAL THAT LOOKS LIKE MY SABIAN B8 RIDE POSTED BELOW!

That’s right! I tried BKF on it! I was impressed by how fast it worked, but I was then upset by the color changing after cleaning. I didn’t even play it. I washed it, dried it, and then left it on the stand.

The question remaining: Is there a non-abrasive way to thoroughly clean cymbals that won’t destroy that protective coat? I honestly doubt that such a solution even exists.
One of you mentioned Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, another one of you said that there was an “acid warning” to that method. One of you said to use Pledge Multi-Purpose Spray… that one I tried, and it didn’t do anything at all.
Now, I got some Zildjian A Mastersounds that I bought used. They got quite the patina build up on them, and I have no clue how to clean them without practically destroying them.
The lysol toilet bowl cleaner works fantastically. The only way it would ruin your cymbal is if you left it on there for a couple hours. I kept it on for about 10 seconds and then wiped it off. It took all of the thick, green oxidation right off. It looks great now. :)
 

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JLoveDrums94

Senior Member
The lysol toilet bowl cleaner works fantastically. The only way it would ruin your cymbal is if you left it on there for a couple hours. I kept it on for about 10 seconds and then wiped it off. It took all of the thick, green oxidation right off. It looks great now. :)
I’m actually a little curious about which Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner that you guys are using. I bought one a few days ago to use and it didn’t work at all. I don’t think I bought the right one.
 

Pyromaniac777

Silver Member
I’m actually a little curious about which Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner that you guys are using. I bought one a few days ago to use and it didn’t work at all. I don’t think I bought the right one.
There are different types of lysol, I'll check and see what type I used.
 
I noticed that a fat majority of you guys are “pro-abrasive” when it comes to cleaning your cymbals. It’s hard to believe that this page was where I learned of the protective coating on cymbals, because every person that brought it up, was incredibly ignored. Probably as ignored as this post will be for even mentioning it. I understand that cymbals come with a protective coat that, if destroyed, it will cause the cymbal to tarnish and rust much faster. What destroys it? Anything abrasive! So, you guys use your BKF and makes it look nice at first, but within 48 hours… BOOM, YOU END UP WITH A CYMBAL THAT LOOKS LIKE MY SABIAN B8 RIDE POSTED BELOW!

That’s right! I tried BKF on it! I was impressed by how fast it worked, but I was then upset by the color changing after cleaning. I didn’t even play it. I washed it, dried it, and then left it on the stand.
The question remaining: Is there a non-abrasive way to thoroughly clean cymbals that won’t destroy that protective coat? I honestly doubt that such a solution even exists.
One of you mentioned Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, another one of you said that there was an “acid warning” to that method. One of you said to use Pledge Multi-Purpose Spray… that one I tried, and it didn’t do anything at all.
Now, I got some Zildjian A Mastersounds that I bought used. They got quite the patina build up on them, and I have no clue how to clean them without practically destroying them.
Maybe true with B8's but they are B8's (no offense). But I can assure you from years and years of playing and cleaning that abrasives "in moderation" are not a sound killer.

Talk about abrasives, I use abrasives in the form of metal polishing sticks and a buffer like this>>

And they come out looking like this>>>>



Every one of these cymbals were "initially" cleaned with a buffer like this. BUT I go around the logos and use a mild cleaner on them. Did it take off some magic protective coating? Probably,,,,, "IF" there was one. Do I clean them all the time with a buffer? NO!!! But once you get them looking this good, all it takes is a mild cymbal cleaner and a dedicated regimen of staying on top of your cleaning game.

I'm here to tell you from experience that removing this coating you speak of is not applicable to all cymbals. You know how ugly Wuhans look when new? That is a Wuhan in the last pic in the middle. It's always looked and sounded freaking awesome ever since the buff job. To maintain this cleanliness takes work.

There are lots of players who like dirty cymbals and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that either.
In my opinion the only way to destroy a cymbal is to crack it.

Sooooooooo since this is a cymbal cleaning thread I'm not saying this technique is gospel, it's just what works for me.
 

superstar1984

Junior Member
i just finished cleaning 3 zildjian A's, traditional finish (not brilliant) and they look and still sound great. i put cymbal in a stainless steel sink, rubbed brasso into both sides of the cymbal with my hands going easy over the logo's and harder on the dirtiest areas, let sit for a minute then rinsed off with cool water, dried it off with a towel, then i sprayed and polished with pledge extra moisturizing. i think this might be the best way for traditional finish, not sure about brilliant as i don't have any. i just threw them on the kit and i didn't hear much difference in the sound before and after cleaning, if anything a little crisper/brighter which to me is an improvement.
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
i just finished cleaning 3 zildjian A's, traditional finish (not brilliant) and they look and still sound great. i put cymbal in a stainless steel sink, rubbed brasso into both sides of the cymbal with my hands going easy over the logo's and harder on the dirtiest areas, let sit for a minute then rinsed off with cool water, dried it off with a towel, then i sprayed and polished with pledge extra moisturizing. i think this might be the best way for traditional finish, not sure about brilliant as i don't have any. i just threw them on the kit and i didn't hear much difference in the sound before and after cleaning, if anything a little crisper/brighter which to me is an improvement.
I've been using Brasso for the past few months, but I never heard about following up with the Pledge stuff. I'll be sure to get some later today and try it out, since all but one of my cymbals are Zildjian A's and K's in traditional finish.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I just read through this entire thread and am missing something....

1: So I clean the cymbal with a cleanser (BKF, Brasso, whatever)
2: Then I polish the cymbal to a mirror finish with Mom's or some other buffing polish...
3: Now I need to coat the cymbal, so that the exposed metallic surface doesn't instantly begin to oxidize or stain from the beer-spray that makes it through the chicken-wire.

I'm not seeing any recommendations for this last step. My intuition tells me that I can use something like automotive wax or hydrophobic coating like RainX. Is this correct? Is there a coating that anyone recommends?
 

superstar1984

Junior Member
I just read through this entire thread and am missing something....

1: So I clean the cymbal with a cleanser (BKF, Brasso, whatever)
2: Then I polish the cymbal to a mirror finish with Mom's or some other buffing polish...
3: Now I need to coat the cymbal, so that the exposed metallic surface doesn't instantly begin to oxidize or stain from the beer-spray that makes it through the chicken-wire.

I'm not seeing any recommendations for this last step. My intuition tells me that I can use something like automotive wax or hydrophobic coating like RainX. Is this correct? Is there a coating that anyone recommends?
i don't think u need pledge or other wax on cymbals that were brilliant to begin with because they already have a protective coating on them, traditional finish has no coating so the pledge adds a light coating of wax to protect against dirt,dust,and beer.........lol. with pledge you won't have to clean them as often, and they smell good too........lol.
 

jspitza

Senior Member
Good morning Gentlemen (and I do use that term lightly) OH!

I just wanted to share that I've finally found my secret weapon:
This is not the powdered, can version. This is a liquid version that has a very mild abrasive in it and its a miracle product for me. Its really a copper cleaner-It just requires that the cymbal be wet with a wet or damp microfiber cloth be used.

I never apply pressure, simply fold a perfectly square shape and move the cloth around the circumference of the cymbal, then rinse. It will not affect logos if used gently. As soon as it is poured onto the surface, it will leave a trail of cleaned bronze. Works great on brilliants too.

Too restore the mirror finish completely use a metal (non abrasive) metal polish like "Mothers aluminum polish). It will freak you out.
Good luck and hope this helps, Jeff
 

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KamaK

Platinum Member
i don't think u need pledge or other wax on cymbals that were brilliant to begin with because they already have a protective coating on them, traditional finish has no coating so the pledge adds a light coating of wax to protect against dirt,dust,and beer.........lol. with pledge you won't have to clean them as often, and they smell good too........lol.
Thanx. I'll take a look at furniture wax. As long as it doesn't have something acidic (citrus oil) it should be fine.

I think that most of the misconceptions in this thread have to do with the protective coating. The branded cleaners for cymbals clean the coating, but do not remove it. Which is perfectly cool. A little spritz and a wipe and all is well.

When you clean/buff a cymbal with Brasso/Moms/BKF, you're removing the protective coating (and a small amount of metal), and need to add a new protective layer to prevent staining and oxidization. This type of cleaning is done once in a blue moon, and only when the protective coating has already failed.
 

jspitza

Senior Member
Thanx. I'll take a look at furniture wax. As long as it doesn't have something acidic (citrus oil) it should be fine.

I think that most of the misconceptions in this thread have to do with the protective coating. The branded cleaners for cymbals clean the coating, but do not remove it. Which is perfectly cool. A little spritz and a wipe and all is well.

When you clean/buff a cymbal with Brasso/Moms/BKF, you're removing the protective coating (and a small amount of metal), and need to add a new protective layer to prevent staining and oxidization. This type of cleaning is done once in a blue moon, and only when the protective coating has already failed.
Yes, this is correct-I've failed to mention that my method above is a once in a cymbal life time process. I have no fear in buying from pawn shops etc. because I can restore them to like new condition.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
I just wanted to share that I've finally found my secret weapon:
This is not the powdered, can version. This is a liquid version that has a very mild abrasive in it and its a miracle product for me. Its really a copper cleaner-It just requires that the cymbal be wet with a wet or damp microfiber cloth be used.
I used to use this on the all-too-rare occasions when I clean my kitchen sink, precisely because it is very effective but doesn't harm the surface. I can't always get hold of it, though, so one day I took a chance and used a product called Hob Brite on the sink, which is intended for ceramic hobs and seemed to have the consistency of Barkeeper's Friend. It worked a treat on the sink, so I tried it on the underside of a newly-acquired but distinctly grubby UFiP ride, and it worked so well that I risked cleaning the upper surface too, and I was pretty pleased with the result. I was cautious so it could probably do with another going-over, but the little bits of green have gone.

The last time I bought anything like Pledge, it was to use on the horse's tail as a detangler. If Mr Madge sees me bringing it home, he'll think I'm having yet another mid-life crisis.
 
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