CLEANING CYMBALS

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Deleted member 525878

Guest
Barkeepers Friend. Cleans AND polishes at the same time, saves time, and it took all the oxidation off of my very first Zildjian; Avedis 20" Rock Ride, purchased when I was 11. I'm 61 now, and it's still a wonderful cymbal!
 

Claymorexz

Junior Member
So, I got quite a question, I will follow up with images. I have "inherited" a old drum set which had an old 16" Zildjian Paper Thin Crash which I think is from the 90's. This cymbal is completely dirty, and the Sabian cymbal cleaner didnt do much to it, as you can see. I live in Spain, EU, so most of the products you guys recommend here to use (apart from the lemon and vinegar, of course) Don't seem to be available here. Do you think that lemon alone will make the cymbal have a good color again? Thank you.2.jpg
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
So, I got quite a question, I will follow up with images. I have "inherited" a old drum set which had an old 16" Zildjian Paper Thin Crash which I think is from the 90's. This cymbal is completely dirty, and the Sabian cymbal cleaner didnt do much to it, as you can see. I live in Spain, EU, so most of the products you guys recommend here to use (apart from the lemon and vinegar, of course) Don't seem to be available here. Do you think that lemon alone will make the cymbal have a good color again?
Start with dry towel, then warm damp towel, followed by dry towel. Then evaluate what remains.

If it's still nasty, I would look for the Spanish version of the "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser". It's a white melamine microabbrasive sponge sold here in the US. Do not get the "extra strength" or "antibacterial" variety that is impregnated with bleach or other chemicals.

Grab some warm water and try the underside of the bell first. If you like the results, you can do the rest of the cymbal, taking care not to damage the graphic.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
I've never boughten cymbol polish and i was just wondering what's the best polish to get and if there's and specail technique to use when polishing it. Thanks.
I’ve only been playing for 45 years so maybe not as expert as some on here. My stepdad Chuck has been playing since 1950’s and still playing! We both use Zildjian exclusively so keep that in mind, I’ll give you two for one opinions:
I like clean cymbals and use brasso to remove the grimy buildup which naturally occurs over time with use. Sweat and body oils collect on the brass and actually change the sound of the cymbal but is not discernible since it’s such a gradual process. I liken it to your refrigerator: every so often you realize that the fridge is in need of a deep cleaning and you end up spending a man hour or more emptying out everything and scrubbing it down good (usually when you’re expecting guests who might open the door). Same thing with cymbals which over time and with use get ‘dirty’ and need cleaning. I have always preferred clean vs dirty cymbals. Chuck has a pair of 1960’s Zildjians (22” ride and 18” crash) which have only been cleaned a few times over the years by his wife (my mother who sang lead) and actually prefers the dirty cymbals over clean ones. It really is a matter of personal preference. If you decide to keep your cymbals clean, I suggest using nothing more abrasive than a liquid cleaner like brasso and FOLLOW THE GRAIN to avoid scratching the surface. Use circular motion around the entire circumference following the grooves. And make sure to completely remove any residue which can eat into the metal if left for extended period of time. Enjoy!
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
Re: What kind of cymbol polish do you prefer?

Ok! Thanks god I have an old useless Ride! I'm going to take that and soak it in Katchup for a day... See what happens... I hear if you put an old penny in Katchup for a day it will come out like new... Lets see! Now of to the Super Market to buy a galon of Katchup!
The acid or vinegar in ketchup is what does it. Soak it in vinegar and you’ll probably wind up with a shiny new cymbal worth a penny lol.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
My first cymbals tag came with then1973 Tama star drums kit were Avedis Zildjian 70's, ping ride, two 16 crashes heavy and medium heavy and new beat hi hat... All coming from a guy who collect cymbals he has around 300... And he likes the latina, I like them cleaned and Shiny...
Interest Grove juice and it was a disaster, maybe I didn't remove fats enough before the product was dry but I got these green residue on it... He took them back and cleaned them with lemon I think but I'm scared like hell to have my all other brand new cymbals getting dirty.
So, every day, I remove the dust with a dry microfiber and I bought all the brand cleaner, Sabian, the Sabian cleaner that works well, just need to have a lot of tissue to clean it before going dry.
Zildjian polish works awesome on my A custom Sweet ride, super easy, you could even use it without following the groove, it doesn't damage the cymbals, same stuff, change as often as you can the cloth or the microfiber you have.
Then I bought the kit from Meinl, work on both my traditional Meinl cymbals but we'll, better than the Grove juice in my old 70's Avedis... So, I know, maybe the product is quite the same but at least, I know if something happens, it's not because I haven't use the right product form the manufacturer...
Ha yes, I use to do that with gloves, white gloves and when I move my cymbals, I wear gloves as well, setting up, tearing down etc...so, less grease, less sweat, less residue to remove...
 

Claymorexz

Junior Member
So I've been trying quite a few products on the Zildjian 16" Paper Thin Crash and this is what I've discovered along the journey:

Sabian Cymbal Cleaner does indeed remove the murky stuff, but it wont bring the shine back on a cymbal.
Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" Did deal with the murky stuff too, but didnt do anything, just like the Cymbal Cleaner.
Siddol Aladdin (which is like a piece of soft cloth with a lot of chemicals) did bring a bit of shine to the cymbals, but not quite it. Although its something I recommend to people who tape their drumsticks to last more, since it got rid of absolutely any piece of tape that sticked to the cymbal. The second best cleaner I've tried at the moment.
And last, something as simple as #0000 Steel Wool could bring back a bit of color to the cymbal, and I'm thinking maybe a #000 piece will be ideal to bring back the shine. Just water and fine Steel Wool delivered the best results on my cymbal. Here is the before and after. Although there is still work to be done, this is how far I've gotten with what I have done, I might try vinegar but I'm afraid of it leaving a nasty mark.
 

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Quai34

Junior Member
I just cleaned my 21 inch AAX Stage Ride with Cymbal Nomad. It took about an hour and a half, but I applied 3 coats to each side because they haven't been cleaned since I've owned them (and that's been nearly 3 years) and they were dirty when I bought them.
Wool, that's awesome, what is the Cymbal Nomad? Is it a kit with some foam you have to use with a rotating tool?
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Re: What kind of cymbol polish do you prefer?

In my opinon, Paste makes the best cymbal polish. It took of all the dirt and made it look like new. Other cymbal polish doesnt work as well and it takes of the cymbal logo. I would deffenetly go for the Paste Cymbal Polish.
Is Paste polish a liquid or a Paiste?
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
So I've been trying quite a few products on the Zildjian 16" Paper Thin Crash and this is what I've discovered along the journey:

Sabian Cymbal Cleaner does indeed remove the murky stuff, but it wont bring the shine back on a cymbal.
Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" Did deal with the murky stuff too, but didnt do anything, just like the Cymbal Cleaner.
Siddol Aladdin (which is like a piece of soft cloth with a lot of chemicals) did bring a bit of shine to the cymbals, but not quite it. Although its something I recommend to people who tape their drumsticks to last more, since it got rid of absolutely any piece of tape that sticked to the cymbal. The second best cleaner I've tried at the moment.
And last, something as simple as #0000 Steel Wool could bring back a bit of color to the cymbal, and I'm thinking maybe a #000 piece will be ideal to bring back the shine. Just water and fine Steel Wool delivered the best results on my cymbal. Here is the before and after. Although there is still work to be done, this is how far I've gotten with what I have done, I might try vinegar but I'm afraid of it leaving a nasty mark.
Steel wool?
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I
This is partially true.

I'm suprised no one has specifically mentioned that Paiste cymbals have a protective coating on them, and anything other than Paiste cymbal cleaner or mild soap and water will take the coating off. If the coating comes off, which it eventually might, then polish it like any other cymbal.

You can use pretty much whatever you want on other cymbals, but common sense says to use the least abrasive method that gets the job done.

I polished an old 22" Sabian riveted china (an AA, I think?) that had been sitting in a damp basement for years, with powdered metal polish, some old rags and lots of elbow grease. If it weren't for the faded logos and rusted rivets, it looked like a new cymbal.

But the best thing to do is to wipe your fingerprints off them after playing, and every now and then use a very mild polish, like Paiste's, to get the stick marks off and make it shiny.
I've read that Zil's have a poly coating too, so maybe most do. Dreams seem to be unusual in having no factory protection.
I've sprayed mine with wax furniture polish, will report results!
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
My go to for cymbals is washing up liquid with microfibre cloth (before you wash your dishes!)...dry thoroughly with paper towel, then make a paste (not Paiste @Yamaha Rider!) with bicarbonate of soda and lime juice. Put the paste on the cymbal by dipping half a lime in the paste and apply to the cymbal by rubbing the lime in circles (squeeze the lime as you do it to put more juice on-I get through 2 or 3 limes). Wash off the paste with water, dry thoroughly with a paper towel, and polish with WD40 using a duster. Barkeepers’ Friend is also very good for serious crud but apply sparingly and watch your logos (if you don’t want to clean them off!!)...that’s my method anyway! :unsure: (y) :)
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
My go to for cymbals is washing up liquid with microfibre cloth (before you wash your dishes!)...dry thoroughly with paper towel, then make a paste (not Paiste @Yamaha Rider!) with bicarbonate of soda and lime juice. Put the paste on the cymbal by dipping half a lime in the paste and apply to the cymbal by rubbing the lime in circles (squeeze the lime as you do it to put more juice on-I get through 2 or 3 limes). Wash off the paste with water, dry thoroughly with a paper towel, and polish with WD40 using a duster. Barkeepers’ Friend is also very good for serious crud but apply sparingly and watch your logos (if you don’t want to clean them off!!)...that’s my method anyway! :unsure: (y) :)
I recently polished all of my Zildjians and the newer ones with logos ended up with partial logos. I’m okay with that because they are all used and needed cleaning. And because IMO they look better clean minus some of the logos than nasty with logos in tact. And since that works for me, that is all that matters. For those who prefer grungy brass, then by all means.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
Wow - 31 pages......
Groove juice applied with a used/soft toothbrush,rinse and towel dry.
Work round the logo's if you wanna keep them....
 

belairien

Silver Member
Didn't want to read through 31 pages, but was curious...

On newer cymbals, before patina sets in, any one use Dawn dish soap for cleaning?

I've been using on my Sabians with good results, then dry them and wipe them with a bit of lemon pledge. Smells great and keeps fingerprints off longer. Just watch out, things get slippery!
 

wraub

Well-known member
I recently got a couple funky CSOs at a thrift store, a couple of likely candidates for a cleaning... I'd like to avoid the harsh stuff if possible, so I may be trying some homemade methods.
I'll report back. ;) :D
 
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