RUBBING too hard when cleaning flute?

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RUBBING too hard when cleaning flute?

Post by amadeusfluter »

I just noticed that the body joint of my (Amadeus Af700 Sterling silver) flute is very dull compared to my foot joint. I don't really touch my foot joint except the keys because i use a cloth to put together my flute, due to my extremely sweaty hands; however, i obviously sweat all over my body joint, and there's always spots on it, so i clean every once a week. Recently i noticed that the shine on my body joint has become relatively dull compared to my foot joint. Is this because I'm rubbing to hard when I'm cleaning because i noticed that i use a lot of effort to rub off Water marks, not finger prints cause there's so much sweat it almost covers the whole flute. I usually have to rub pretty hard cause when the sweat dries it kinda doesn't come off, its like its part of the flute. Am i rubbing to hard?

Should i just use rubbing alcohol to clean my flute? I heard that rubbing alcohol can be kinda abrasive because it strips away all the protective layers of the flute that it becomes exposed and easily tarnished. I also heard that professional flute technicians use some other form of alcohol to clean the flute, is it true? IF it is, where can i buy it?

I also noticed that on my head joint that there is two layers of color on it, One layer is whitish and dull, and the other layer ( might be underneath the dull layer) is similar to the foot joint and body joint. Is this because of something I did or is it like a protective layer they put or something? It's bothering me quite a bit.

Is there something that prevents tarnish that i can put on my flute because i heard that the companies put a protective coating silver and silver plated flutes, but they usually wear away in time.

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Post by fluteguy18 »

There are two things that usually diminish the appearance of a flute (aside from big scratches, dents, and other obvious culprits). Item one is tarnish. Tarnish can be any color from yellow to brown to black, and any lightness and darkness in between. The other common reason is the appearance of "micro-abrasions." These are very light microscopic scratches that get on your flute from general use and cleaning. It usually just dulls the sheen of the metal. These can be polished out with a polishing cloth or be professionally removed, but it is not recommended if you are playing a flute that is silver or gold plated. Removing them would require taking off a very thin layer of metal by means of diatoms in the metal polish (or polish infused cloth). If your instrument is solid silver, it shouldn't be an issue.

I would say that it is probably a combination of both. Tarnish is the most likely culprit since you described having sweaty hands. I would just ask to have tarnish removed when you get your next COA (Clean, Oil, and Adjust) at your yearly instrument maintenance appointment. It is a very simple process that is easily performed by qualified technicians.

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RUBBING too hard when cleaning flute

Post by vernuskloyz »

A lot depends upon the finish that the flute already has. Its always a good idea to check with the maker if you know who they are and have contact info for their particular recommendations.

Something like a beeswax polish will probably work on top of most finishes without doing any harm. I dont know that Id put oil on anything other than an oil-finished flute and then Id try to use the same type of oil if possible.

As far as how often: Usually your eye will tell you when the finish is starting to show wear and tear or to look dull.

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