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Cleaning the lacquer?

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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I've put the job off too long. I thought lighter fluid was the cure-all for this kind of thing, but it doesn't remove the gunk on the lacquer finish.
For a moment, I thought the naphtha was removing the lacquer, but gently scratching the deposit for a fingernail removes it. A lot of this is in tiny spaces around rods and springs, but the larger areas can be rubbed. With what, though? Some very light abrasive liquid, like the one used to clean vitro stoves? Is there a product made for cleaning the finish without removing it? Hobs don't have a finish so I didn't rush to try that stuff.



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Colin the Bear

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Mr sheen and a soft, long bristled paint brush. A make up brush will do the job too but you may not have one of those. ;)
 

jbtsax

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I'm at a loss to know what products are available in your area so I will just throw out some ideas of things that I use and find effective. If the "gunk" is water based, a bit of dish soap on a moist cloth over your fingertip and some rubbing usually does the job. Pledge furniture polish also works as a mild solvent as well as a polish that can be buffed to a shine. If the "gunk" is not water based I often try "Goo Gone" which dissolves lots of kinds of stuck on material. It is also safe to use on lacquer. The "last resort" when all of the above fail to do the job is to use a tiny amount of metal polish like Flitz or Simichrome on a cotton cloth with a gentle circular rubbing motion. If done too long or aggressively this can go through the lacquer so must be used carefully.
 

Stephen Howard

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1,854
As JBT says, water with a little detergent should do it. Lighter fluid rarely works that well on lacquer - but methylated spirits can sometimes shift stubborn spots (and can be used for cleaning shellac dribbles/smears).
 

Colin the Bear

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That's the stuff. Spray on and leave a moment or two then work it into those awkward areas with the brush. Careful not to unhook springs or dislodge cork.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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4,491
on a cotton cloth with a gentle circular rubbing motion. If done too long or aggressively this can go through the lacquer so must be used carefully.
It's become obvious that brute force, e.g. a screwdriver with a cloth around the blade, putting pressure on the cloth to the finish, works pretty well. Unfortunately, brute force, when used on a complex machine like a saxophone, will end in tears! One false move could tear off springs, keys, etc. So that's out.

Goo Gone, like Mr Sheen, appears to be available at Amazon here. Good thing there's no rush, because Amazon's shipping in France is slower due to the forced closure of all of their fulfillment centers, due to people not wanting to work there without protection. Go figure! (Seriously, good for them, AMZ needs to get their sh1te in order on that level.)
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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Messages
4,491
a bit of dish soap on a moist cloth over your fingertip and some rubbing
water with a little detergent should do it.
Surprisingly, this generally works well, thanks! On a humorous note, one doesn't look at the other side of a saxophone often, so I wondered for a moment what the round black key was. The LH thumb rest!

The trouble is, the tighter areas can't take any rubbing, so I'll have to procure sone of the aforementioned potions and use Q-tips or something.
And once they've done that, they can think about paying their taxes ...
There is that, as well!
Ok so this is horribly OT, but the govt here told Amazon they'd be fined 1 million pounds a day if they remained open with no safety precautions. They are a very important source to us musicians, but we can't enable them under these conditions, either.
 
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David Dorning

Senior Member
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If a fingernail works then you are in the right area because it's harder than the deposit and softer the the lacquer, so won't scratch it. Whereas the particles in an abrasive cleaner are harder than the lacquer so they will. Maybe something like a toothbrush or quill (which is pretty well the same material as a fingernail) will be the right tool.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,584
And once they've done that, maybe they can think about paying their taxes ... :optimistic:
I doubt greatly Bezos loses a millisecond of sleep over that....but his company leaving people (gasp) 'unfulfilled' ?

I shudder at the thought....

(BTW I would challenge the notion that the company 'is a very important source' for musicians.
If memory serves, musicians got along quite fine pre-Octopus (oops, I mean "pre-Amazon")

Yeah...Pledge, Goo-gone (the yellow stuff in the plastic bottle, not the metal can -there are 2 kinds of Goo-gones). I'd go with Pledge. Pretty standard to find it on the shelves pf a lot of tech shops.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Extensive user studies in my house have suggested that Mr Sheen is preferable to Pledge for cleaning saxophones, but I can’t remember what is better about it. Maybe it was the smell.

I spray it on a 1” paintbrush and then paint the sax with it and shine with a duster. If you spray the sax directly, it can get onto the pads.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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4,491
All very promising. As stores open soon, I'll see what they might have. Meanwhile, detergent does the trick when I can access the spots and rub a but.

Thank you all for the help!
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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4,491
Would someone be kind enough to furnish the chemical bases of these two products so I can find one that may not be branded under those names.

(BTW I would challenge the notion that the company 'is a very important source' for musicians.
At the moment, they're very useful, while local stores have been closed. However, Thomann often has better pricing when you hit the free shipping level of 50€, and they use the most reliable shipper for where I live, UPS.

Jay, you are not at all a contrarian, but you do enjoy expressing differences of opinion, and that's why a forum of any kind works. Thanks for that value added, I say this without irony!


In the context of this thread, stores will be open next week so I can go try to find a product based on the main ingredient of all those mentioned. But while the stores were closed, Amazon was the best way to go, other than opening an account at some unknown online store for this one use. It seems to be furniture polish! That's unintuitive, since the instrument isn't made of wood? We must have some of that in the house; I'll do some small scale testing.

:clapping: Thanks :clapping:for all :clapping:the fish :clapping:
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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12,934
I've tried them all and mr sheen is best imo. It cleans well and buffs easily. I use it on vehicle paintwork too. Showroom shine with minimum effort.

Furniture is varnished. ie lacquered. ;)
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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5,853
Would someone be kind enough to furnish the chemical bases of these two products so I can find one that may not be branded under those names.
They are just two competing brands of ordinary aerosol household furniture polish.

Mr Sheen contains:
5-15% Aliphatic Hydrocarbons,
< 5% non-ionic surfactants,
perfumes,
Geraniol,
Limonene
Hexyl,
Cinnamaldehyde,
preservative,
Chrloromethylisothiazolinone,
Methylisothialzolinone

well, you did ask!
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
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4,491
Apparently, Pledge is available here a "Pleeze". I tried the polish we had, Ô Cedar and it does the job.
It's 30% Aliphatic Hydrocarbons and perfume.
The café saves us money most days. Thanks!
 

thomsax

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3,672
I use destilled water + a few drops of apple cider vinegar. Cotton cloth and topz.
 
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