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flute laundry -cleaning tips for the various types of stains

Taking care of your instrument

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Aschflute
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:12 pm

Re: flute laundry -cleaning tips for the various types of stains

Postby Aschflute » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:54 pm

Hi Quick question. How do I take the flute apart, to do a wash. I am wondering if some things have to stay dry/unwashed for the best.
I have a copper flute with a Nickel plating.
Last edited by Aschflute on Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1615
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: flute laundry -cleaning tips for the various types of stains

Postby pied_piper » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:39 pm

The simple answer is don't do it. Taking a flute apart and reassembling it should be left to a trained flute technician. You have no idea how many things can go wrong without a through understanding of flute mechanics. A little dirt and dust will not hurt a flutes playability, but taking it apart with with no experience will likely end badly... :?
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Aschflute
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:12 pm

Re: flute laundry -cleaning tips for the various types of st

Postby Aschflute » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:58 pm

Yes there are various ways to remove tarnish.

If the instrument is in good condition with light tarnish, warm water / detergent / and a soft cloth will remove

The next level again is warm water / detergent and a baby's toothbrush

The next level is a jewellery polishing cloth

From here up to remove tarnish becomes more aggressive to even a dip in a mild sulphuric acid, but I would never go to the stage of brasso / silvo or baking soda
Hi I would like to try out your tips but, I'm not sure how to take it apart , what to wash, what not. Could you/someone help me? Also what is detergent?

Aschflute
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:12 pm

Re: flute laundry -cleaning tips for the various types of stains

Postby Aschflute » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:02 pm

The simple answer is don't do it. Taking a flute apart and reassembling it should be left to a trained flute technician. You have no idea how many things can go wrong without a through understanding of flute mechanics. A little dirt and dust will not hurt a flutes playability, but taking it apart with with no experience will likely end badly... :?
Well I didn't mean take apart really, just for washing it some people do that themselves right?

BuckeyeFlute
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:35 pm

Re: flute laundry -cleaning tips for the various types of stains

Postby BuckeyeFlute » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:53 am

I decided I wanted to learn how to repad and do some minor things. I purchased the Phalen book, and read it. I watched some You Tube videos. I purchased some cheap flutes at a thrift store. $6-10 for Bundy.

I am a chemistry minor, so I understand oxidation. I also read about digging the pads out, and wondered why anyone had to work so hard.

I undid the springs, took the flute apart, including removing the cork from the head joint. I then got a cheap disposable aluminum pan from the dollar store. I boiled water with a fair amount of baking soda, and added it to the pan, with a swish to dissolve the extra baking soda. Put the flute pieces in, and wait about 5 minutes. Use a soft bristle toothbrush to remove any dirt that doesn't come off on its own. One flute I had was BLACK, and it worked well. I didn't have to repeat it.

However, one thing I liked was that the worn pads are VERY easy to remove. The shellac or glue is loosened in the very hot water, and I didn't have to play with an alcohol burner or other heat method (I like a warming tray.... a tad longer but safer).

The hot water and aluminum pan method also cleaned the inside. Unless the flute comes to me shiny and cleaned, I think the hot water method is going to be my go to method. After the tarnish was removed, I rinsed in hot water, and then dried with a soft cloth.

I'm sure there are people cringing, but if you don't need to save the pads, it is a very easy, non-mechanical way to remove the tarnish. It is also easier than silver polish.


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