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CLeaning sterling silver flute with alcohol?

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etc-etc
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Postby etc-etc » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:16 pm

FG18 - When I've used this technique on flutes, it's never quite as fast and dramatic as in the video. I suspect that is because the silver bars in the video have a much smaller surface area than a flute. Also, the flat silver bar has a greater surface area in contact with the tin foil. It definitely works on silver flutes, but it is a bit slower. I only recently saw the video using the battery. Maybe that would speed it up and make it work even better.

Perhaps our resident chemist (etc-etc) can elaborate on my theory... :D
Indeed, large surface area of flute can slow down the reaction if the active surface area of the aluminum electrode is small in comparison, limiting the total current. Too low temperature of water, and presence of grease on the surface of the tarnish will also decelerate the reaction.

Amandaibags

Re: CLeaning sterling silver flute with alcohol?

Postby Amandaibags » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:38 pm

I found that when my hands become very seaty,and i polish the flute with a polishing cloth the marks come off. I'm guessing because my sweat is soaking through the cloth and cleaning the flute, is this bad for the flute, because it would be similar to using water?

wkzh
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 3:45 am

Re: CLeaning sterling silver flute with alcohol?

Postby wkzh » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:19 am

Amandaibags, you might to reread the previous posts; they have some really good advice and information.

Anyway, by "marks" do you mean black tarnish marks? As mentioned in previous posts, if your cloth turns black after wiping, then it is impregnated with silver polishing compounds and abrasives; if it doesn't, then it is just a normal cloth and... well, we'd have to see what you mean by "marks".

As a side note (which is also previously mentioned), sweat is acidic and can harm the key axles by corroding them, so they aren't at all healthy for the keys. I've sweaty palms myself and very often (more than it should be) I have to remove the rust off stuck axles.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

tracybrser
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Re: CLeaning sterling silver flute with alcohol?

Postby tracybrser » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:48 pm

I found that when my hands become very seaty,and i polish the flute with a polishing cloth the marks come off. I'm guessing because my sweat is soaking through the cloth and cleaning the flute, is this bad for the flute, because it would be similar to using water?

ObscureStar
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:36 pm

Re:

Postby ObscureStar » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:04 pm

It's called denatured alcohol. Rubbing alcohol contains water whereas denatured alcohol doesn't.
Denatured alcohol or MET is different from rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol in several ways.

MET is Ethanol with a methyl group attached to it because we have prudish idiots in government. MET is poisonous to drink but should evaporate off a surface and not be harmful to a person. It otherwise is very similar in behavior to Ethanol (which is to say Everclear) If you have 180proof laying about (who doesn't? I use it to thin paint when airbrushing, more on that in a moment!) you can safely use that anywhere you use MET.

Isopropyl is a polar solvent.
Ethanol is non-polar.

This means that each is better at solving different sorts of organic compounds. In general isopropyl is going to be better at dissolving oils greases and many types of plastics... That last bit is important with regard to pads. I don't know what they're made from but it seems like a place where isopropyl might eventually cause problems with prolonged use. For those of us who wear glasses, you probably also don't want to use isopropyl wipes to clean cheap sunglasses or glasses with an anti-glare layer on them as long term it will eventually cause the plastic to fog and become less clear. (And the reason I use ethanol when airbrushing is that isopropyl breaks down the emulsifiers in my acrylic paints where ethanol does not and both dry considerably faster than water)

Ethanol or MET is going to be better at breaking down stuff like sugars and proteins. Hopefully you always wash your hands and brush your teeth before playing but you'll probably still get some proteins from mucus in your saliva. Water, I should note is also a non-polar solvent just like Ethanol and given that sweat is mostly water, most of the things in sweat are going to be solvable in a non-polar solvent. (salts, sugars, proteins, urea, etc) It will by contrast also be less destructive to plastics.

TLDR: Isopropyl alcohol will remove oils but could damage pads.. And FWIW, the oils should actually protect the silver from oxidization somewhat so it's probably better to leave them. (Methyl)Ethanol is probably better/safer for a lot of the corrosive organics you'll get on your instrument (salts, sugars, ammonia, etc) BUT aside from evaporating more easily than water, it is not a substantially better solvent than water.

tracybrser
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Re: CLeaning sterling silver flute with alcohol?

Postby tracybrser » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:06 am

I'd suggest rather to leave the tarnish

Vincentcnbres
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Re: CLeaning sterling silver flute with alcohol?

Postby Vincentcnbres » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:39 pm

I found that when my hands become very seaty,and i polish the flute with a polishing cloth the marks come off.


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