Anti-tarnish paper strips?

Taking care of your instrument

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Anti-tarnish paper strips?

Post by blowtorch711 »

I've seen - and have heard recommendations for - these little strips of special "anti tarnish" paper. Allegedly you leave these in your (closed) case (works better with the flute inside the case...) and it prevents tarnish. Hmmm.

Really? Do these things actually work? How?

I'm skeptical. Then again, my flutes do turn black-ish eventually, so what do I know? Still, seems like magic beans. Am I too cynical?

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Re: Anti-tarnish paper strips?

Post by fluteguy18 »

I have to take a multi-step approach to tarnish prevention. HOWEVER, my disclaimer to all of this is that tarnish is purely cosmetic in most cases. That being said, here's what I use.

The first step is good maintenance. I always wipe my flute down with an anti-tarnish cleaning cloth that I have. Not trying to make a sales pitch, but they honestly work. I'm a repair tech and I make these and sell them to my clients. They're non-abrasive and simply work by changing the ph balance of the surface of the metal to resist tarnish. I can't go into more detail than that. I've used them for a few years now and have absolutely no tarnish on my flute. Any non-abrasive cleaning cloth that wicks oils off the instrument will work better than an abrasive 'polishing' cloth. If you're interested in the cloths I make/sell, they're available on my website (in my signature), but keep in mind... this is not a sales pitch. Just me sharing my habits as a flutist myself. Fabrics that pull oils off the metal really well have a high nap like microfiber or ultra-suede.

The second step: the strips. I don't use the 3M strips, but I use a brand called 'Intercept.' A friend of mine (who was a frequent contributor here for a while) recommended them, and she had a background in jewelry. You can buy them from jeweler supply companies. Rio Grande sells to the public and they're fairly inexpensive. Just write the date you put them in with a silver sharpie, and keep the remainder in an airtight plastic bag for storage. My understanding on how they work is fairly limited if I'm honest, but they seem to absorb oxidizing gases. Similar to silica gel packets used for absorbing moisture. ... x-7/401526

But the real trick is meticulous maintenance, and keeping it closed in the case when you're not playing it.

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Re: Anti-tarnish paper strips?

Post by pied_piper »

I have to second FG18's recommendation of the Intercept anti-tarnish strips. I previously used the ones from 3M and the Intercept strips from Rio Grande are FAR superior and cheaper too!!! Since I switched over to the Intercept strips, I get almost no tarnish between COAs.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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Re: Anti-tarnish paper strips?

Post by cebrul »

What kind of anti-tarnish cloths do you use? This is different from polishing cloths correct?

@fluteguy18 / @pied_piper

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