Cleaning Ludwig Vistalite drums


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With Ludwig Vistalite drum cleaner, of course ..... or:


Like a window, Ludwig’s Vistalite drum with its transparent acrylic shell gives high visibility to accumulated dirt and film not only on its exterior surface, but on its interior as well. In addition, unlike most vintage drums wrapped in pearl and sparkle patterns, the Vistalite with its non-patterned finish provides no camouflage for dirt. That’s why Vistalites require more frequent cleaning and polishing than most other drums. Using the right cleaning methods and products is essential, otherwise a gummy residue, streaky film or static charge could result – or even worse, scratches and hazing.

“Windex”, a well-known household glass cleaner is a popular item with some collectors. But because Windex does not lubricate as it cleans, dust and dirt trapped between the cloth and surface can leave super-fine scratches in the acrylic. Over time, this can develop into a light grade haze, diminishing the optic clarity of the acrylic.

The best products we have found for cleaning and polishing Vistalite drums and mylar wrapped drums are made by Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze. Their excellent line of products are even approved by the United States military for use in military applications.

“Meguiar’s Clear Plastic Detailer No. 18” is a quick spray-on and wipe-off cleaner/polisher recommended for regular maintenance. It leaves Vistalites sparkling clear and with an anti-static finish. The Detailer is also great for use on eyeglasses and all types of other clear plastics.

“Meguiar’s Clear Plastic Cleaner No. 17” removes not only dirt and film, but light hazing and light scratches as well. Here are some tips for using the cleaner: (1) work it into the finish with a terry cloth and wipe off the residue, (2) apply it by hand and not with a rotary buffer, (3) always use it when the acrylic is cool and in the shade, (4) follow with “Meguiar’s Clear Plastic Polish No. 10”.

“Meguiar’s Plastic Polish No. 10” refines the finish and restores optical clarity. It also leaves a static free coating that repels dust. When applying the polish, follow the same usage tips 1, 2 and 3 as the cleaner.

According to Meguiar’s, the selection of toweling is almost as important as the selection of cleaners and polishes. They explained, “It is impossible to achieve perfect clarity when using the wrong type of toweling. The best toweling is 100% cotton deep pile terry cloth. Synthetic fibers blended into cotton toweling create a slower wipe off because they will not absorb, scratch the surface because they will not soften, and are more prone to create static. Deep pile 100% cotton terry cloth reduces effort and labor time by wiping off excess product faster and protects the surface from being scratched when dust and particles are trapped between the cloth and the surface.”

To remove abrasions that won’t come out with the hand applied Meguiar’s 18, 17 and 10, the company offers an assortment of machine-applied products including more aggressive scratch-removal compounds and “Unigrit Finishing Papers” for sanding. I asked Mike Pennington, Meguiar’s product specialist, if any of the machine-applied products could be used by hand with some measure of success. He confirmed that “Meguiar’s Machine Glaze No. 3”, their light abrasion remover, could be used.

For information on a Meguiar’s dealer nearest to you and for technical assistance on using their products call Meguiar’s toll free at (800) 347-5700.


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Glad to be of help. Thanx guys!