Tried cleaning/polishing some cymbals: REALLY disappointing

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
In the 70's, the last time I tried cleaning cymbals, I used Wrights silver polish. It's a thick pink paste that needs a lot of elbow grease to work, but the results are spectacular. This black oxide rubs off on the cloth and I could clean it for a hundred years and the cloth would still get black. Silver needs a gentler cleaner than most metals, so it shouldn't harm brass. I remember my cymbals being as shiny as Buddy Rich's cymbals on the Tonight Show. He always had beautifully clean cymbals. I always lusted after that look.

Anyone ever use the silver paste polish on their brass?

I also used Tarn-X once. My cymbal looked like an old penny. Took the brass finish right off.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Has anyone ever tried toothpaste? I've never tried it on cymbals, but have had success using it on numerous other things.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Has anyone ever tried toothpaste? I've never tried it on cymbals, but have had success using it on numerous other things.
You would use a microabrasive in instances where a solvent doesn't "cut it".

Toothpaste should work as well as any microabrasive (baking soda).

Would recommend against ones containing peroxide... Using an oxidizer to remove an oxide layer makes no sense to me.... Like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, or cure a hangover with a shot of tequila.

I'd be more curious to see if an ultrasonic cleaner worked without somehow altering the cymbal. They make those big ones for engine blocks....
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You would use a microabrasive in instances where a solvent doesn't "cut it".

Toothpaste should work as well as any microabrasive (baking soda).

Would recommend against ones containing peroxide... Using an oxidizer to remove an oxide layer makes no sense to me.... Like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, or cure a hangover with a shot of tequila.

I'd be more curious to see if an ultrasonic cleaner worked without somehow altering the cymbal. They make those big ones for engine blocks....
That's good to know. I almost want to try it now. Have some minty fresh cymbals!

Ultrasonic cleaner might work. I have a small one for jewelry and tattoo gun parts. It works fantastic for that stuff. It does pretty good on gun bolt faces also.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
IF you look on the back of a bottle of Zildjian polish, the first word in the instructions--"CLEANS, polishes, etc."

Anything more to add?
It also says "brilliant finish" which a K most certainly is not.

"Cleans, polishes, and protects Zildjian brilliant finish cymbals in one easy application. *Not for use on traditional, patina, or natural finishes.* 8 fl. oz/250 ml."
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
It also says "brilliant finish" which a K most certainly is not.

"Cleans, polishes, and protects Zildjian brilliant finish cymbals in one easy application. *Not for use on traditional, patina, or natural finishes.* 8 fl. oz/250 ml."
Did you read the whole thread? Doesn't look like it. Because you would have seen where I've already confessed to totally missing that. But no, late to the game. . .just trolling are we?

You can keep posting your crap if you want. I'm blocking you now. Thanks, good day to ya.
 
Last edited:

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Eh, I like the patina, dirt, cigarette burns, bst, stick marks etc. on my 40 year old pies.
If I put them there, that's fine. If it's there because I have owned them for the last 40 years, fine. But I bought some used cymbals and don't what the leftover funk, dna, spit, sweat, WHATEVER on them. (y) 🙄 Useless
 

Sonorfan

Member
If I put them there, that's fine. If it's there because I have owned them for the last 40 years, fine. But I bought some used cymbals and don't what the leftover funk, dna, spit, sweat, WHATEVER on them. (y) 🙄 Useless
Hey I’m from Canada so I use Lysol brand toilet bowl cleaner. You have to get the original not the one with bleach.The original is a thick blue liquid. Just wipe that on and presto instant clean. Beats any Cymbal polish I’ve ever used.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Hey I’m from Canada so I use Lysol brand toilet bowl cleaner. You have to get the original not the one with bleach.The original is a thick blue liquid. Just wipe that on and presto instant clean. Beats any Cymbal polish I’ve ever used.
Original Lysol toilet cleaner is hydrochloric acid and tallow (to make it thick), correct?

Rubbing H2O:HCl and pig fat on a cymbal to clean it is possibly the most Canadian thing I've ever heard.
 

Sonorfan

Member
Original Lysol toilet cleaner is hydrochloric acid and tallow (to make it thick), correct?

Rubbing H2O:HCl and pig fat on a cymbal to clean it is possibly the most Canadian thing I've ever heard.
Oh yeah but it works. Idea came from a Piano re conditioner who was faced with heavily tarnished Brass.
 

Thunder 42

Silver Member
No no, I get that. But there is just a layer of filth and funk on these used cymbals. I mean, patina is one thing, but you don't really know what else is there. That's my main objective.

So basically, a safe and thorough cleaning PRIOR to any polishing, unless the darn thing is basically new. And I'll keep in mind your advice if I do go BKF.

Thanks man. :cool:(y)
Soak in ketchup for several hours. Removes filth and funk every time
 

kpphoto

Junior Member
It's interesting you mention this. I recently picked up a package of a generic version of these types of sponges. I was planning on giving them a try later. They are non-abrasive and relatively mild for sure.
Magic erasers ARE abrasive!!! They are made with microscopic melamine. That said...clean with the grooves...not across.
I just cleaned a vintage Paiste 602 that had a slightly discoloured patina. Using BKF and some water and an old toothbrush...the thing was looking insanely NEW after 20 mins of light brushing. A rinse with warm water ànd then a second rinse with water and a few generous spoonfuls of baking soda to neutralize the acid from the BKF.
I towel dried it then used a microfiber cloth with the Blue Paiste
Preserver.
I've never cleaned a cymbal so quickly and easily.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I have some polishing attachments for my drill, just not too sure about using them on some darn cymbals.
I confess that I’m certain I have a ton of issues in my childhood that impact my adult behavior so I’m trying not to throw stones in any glass houses here. But specifically, you need to ask yourself what pain wedged in your past is compelling your need to polish cymbals that are perfectly good just the way they are.

Oh, and remember not to use those @&$%#£ wire hangers, they’re the worst.
Pete
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
First off, kpphoto, I was deterred by someone on a different site, so the sponges never came into play. (y)

And Peedy, if you scroll up an entire 6 posts, I explained myself. Sure I'm OCD, that's obvious. 🤷‍♂️
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Wipe them down with a damp cloth and move on. Just get the dust of. Sandpaper on a drill press that looks older than the cymbal is not the was.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
And Peedy, if you scroll up an entire 6 posts, I explained myself. Sure I'm OCD, that's obvious. 🤷‍♂️
That’s certainly fair. But would it matter if I mentioned that polishing significantly diminishes a vintage cymbal’s value? The rarer it is, the greater the loss.

Pete
 
Top