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Thread: Polishing Tips for Silver

  1. #11

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    I have found this sometimes when part of the silver seems to have a tendency to darken. Maybe it's because of an impurity in the silver in that place, or maybe it's due to something in your case that is touching the horn there. Check out the case first (including a gig bag if you use one). Any contact with leather can cause this, for example.

    If that is not the trouble, then I would try the silver dip:
    Hagerty Flatware 17-1/2oz. Silver Dip

    You can let this sit on the area affected for a few minutes (read the directions and see what they suggest for stubborn spots). It is probably more gentle than rubbing with standard polish. Once it is clean, use the regular polish to protect it in the future.

    Do this area carefully, and in progressive steps with the dip. If the cause is an impurity in the silver or an impurity in the brass underneath, it's possible the plating will be more fragile. Get the black off before you use the normal polish.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  2. Polishing Tips for Silver

    To polish horns, I generally use Wright's silver polish. It doesn't erode the lacquer, and leaves the thing sparkling. You can get little tubs of it at Wal-mart for relatively cheap. Just coat the horn, allow to stand for a 15 minutes or so, and then wipe it off with a clean and dampened towel. You can even rinse it off under running water. You don't need to use a very thick coating. The main thing is to make sure to rub the polish onto the horn. I can generally get a good 20 polishings out of one tub of Wrights.
    I have also heard very good things about Windex wipes, but I've never used them. They may be good things to have handy for pre-performance touchups.

  3. Polishing Tips for Silver

    Originally posted by: Wingfield

    To polish horns, I generally use Wright's silver polish. It doesn't erode the lacquer, and leaves the thing sparkling.
    I must disagree. Silver Polish contains an abrasive that will dull a laquor finish. Although I wouldn't put laquor on silver, but some people do.

    Wright's is great for Silver that is unlaquored.

  4. Polishing Tips for Silver

    I used Wright's and it seemed to leave marks on my horn in some areas (silver plated). It's unnoticeable from far away but I can see it. Was it something I did wrong?

    I applied some of the polish, not a lot to my horn and then I rinsed it off. (Maybe the rinsing part?)

    -Is laquor meaning the shiny silver? Kevin posted that Wright's would dull, and I'm thinking thats what happened to my horn.

  5. #15

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Originally posted by: euphm
    I used Wright's and it seemed to leave marks on my horn in some areas (silver plated). ...
    Without seeing it I can't be sure, but I suspect the Wright's did not clean the horn fully. Handprints and the tarnish that follows can be tough to clean off. It depends partly on your body chemistry, how long between polishings, etc. I have never found a polish that would really clean an instrument well without some rubbing, both during application and during final polishing.

    I've heard good things about Wright's but have not tried it yet. I suggest you find some of the Haggerty's mentioned above and try it. Rub it in well as you apply it, let it dry a bit, then polish it off.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  6. Polishing Tips for Silver

    It isn't dirty marks, its sort of looks like light abrasion marks. Instead of the plating being one whole plate, there are lines criss crossing it now and they feel rough.

    -I did find that some of the marks were due to polish not being cleaned all the way off.

  7. #17

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    It's possible that there was a few particles of dirt, sand, etc, on the cloth used to apply or remove the polish. I've done this myself and learned to be really careful about using a clean cloth and being careful about where I set it down. It can be a problem if you are working outside (as nice as that can be!).

    - Carroll

  8. #18

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    (Bump) This topic had disappeared, so I just restored it.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  9. #19

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    Just got a silver plated King 623SP baritone/euph for my son (off ebay). Since I've only had brass+lacquer finishes before, I'm a little confused about cleaning a silver plated instrument. From what I can tell, I can still clean it in the tub with warm water and very mild liquid detergent (e.g., Ivory liquid). But when it comes to polishing, I'm confused. I assume that it has clear lacquer sprayed over the silver (is there some obvious way to tell?). Is there a different polishing regime for lacquer and non-lacquer silver plated instruments? Thanks!

  10. #20
    Join Date
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    3,142

    Polishing Tips for Silver

    It would be very unusual if your silver horn also had a lacquer coating on it. A lacquer coating over silver will turn the silver yellow. Silver normally stands up to frequent use pretty well. Polishing it once every 4 to 6 months is about normal.

    I usually use Hagerty's silver polish. The spray on / wipe off works real well for those hard to reach areas like the valve cluster. For the larger areas, I use Hagerty's polishing gloves.

    Hope this helps.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
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