It's best to NEVER use silver polish on your flute. Flute technicians can use it when the flute is completely disassembled. If you use it on an assembled flute, it can get on the pads turning them dark and causing potential damage to them. Also, the polish residue can get into the key mechanism and cause excessive wear. Silver polish actually has a very fine abrasive in it to remove tarnish. If that abrasive gets into the mechanism, then it is constantly wearing away metal everytime you play.And I suggest only using silver polish on your instrument only for important concerts or showcases, otherwise, leave the tarnish there for silver's sake.
Similar results can be achieved using a homemade silver dip solution made with cheap, common, safe household ingredients: steaming hot water, salt, baking soda, and aluminum foil. It is not as agressive as Tarn-X, but the ingredients do not cause cancer. It works well to remove the typical greyish or brownish forms of tarnish which are sulfides. It does not work particularly well on silver with black tarnish because it is not a sulfide.When I remove tarnish, I remove it chemically. My technician recommended using Tarn-x. This however is a really dangerous chemical (causes cancer) and must be handled carefully with gloves. It works really well though. I only use it when I'm doing an in depth cleaning of my instrument which also involves giving it adjustments. I basically take it apart, unpin the mechanism and go from there.
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