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B# Brass Instrument Soak Experience?

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  • XenopodTheEuphonist
    Junior Member
    • Apr 2019
    • 5

    B# Brass Instrument Soak Experience?

    Hello!

    My horn is in dire need of a good cleaning, and I happened to run across a product online that seemed like something that may be useful to me.

    I usually use warm water and dish soap to clean my horn, using sponges, soft cloths, and the appropriate brushes. However, I've been encountering some buildup that's been harder to reach and clean, and so I've been looking for a more pervasive method of cleaning the horn.

    I found B# Brass Instrument Soak online, and I can't find out much about it besides the standard description on the store websites where it is featured. I'd like to know if anyone has had any experience with it, as I don't see many reviews besides the paid promotion on euphoniumstore. I suspect it is Hydrochlorous acid with perfume based on the description.

    Thanks,

    Sebastian
    Sebastian Davies
    Besson New Standard (1976)
    Student, Euphonium Fanatic, etc.
  • enhite
    Senior Member
    • May 2012
    • 270

    #2
    I've never heard of this product. Please give us a review if you try it.

    Comment

    • davewerden
      Administrator
      • Nov 2005
      • 11138

      #3
      Originally posted by enhite View Post
      I've never heard of this product. Please give us a review if you try it.
      I second both parts of that!

      Cleaning a compensating euphonium is very tricky. In the old days I broke countless "snakes" trying to get through all the twists while cleaning. Now I use a "power rinse" method. I either use my Quick Horn Rinse to feed soapy water under pressure through the leadpipe, or I dump some Dawn in the bell, then use a rag around a hose to get a decent seal while I reverse-flush the horn. You need to manipulate the valves in all combinations to make sure you are getting to all the twists and turns. And you will still need to clean out the valve caps, springs, etc. in a bucket of soapy water with a brush or something.

      It's possible that B# Brass Instrument Soak could be used during a rinsing process like I perform, but I don't know if it works better than Dawn.
      Dave Werden (ASCAP)
      Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
      Adams Artist (Adams E3)
      Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
      YouTube: dwerden
      Facebook: davewerden
      Twitter: davewerden
      Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

      Comment

      • Micah.Dominic.Parsons-OFFLINE
        Senior Member
        • Jun 2020
        • 217

        #4
        Hello everyone,

        I have used The B# Brass Cleaning Kit and I can say it is absolutely incredible especially the instrument soak which was designed to combat any germs inside the instrument. It was designed by an an individual who had has designed various cleaning products and it is hands down the best product I have ever used. I have a full cleaning kit and a spare instrument soak.

        I hope this information helps a little. I’m always happy to respond to any questions about this super product.

        Best Wishes,

        Micah Dominic Parsons

        Comment

        • Charlie Baker
          Junior Member
          • Aug 2014
          • 10

          #5
          Euphonium Cleanse

          I’ve used B# Instrument Soak, and I like it. (Ingredients: 5 to 15% lauryl betaine, 15 - 30% cocomidopropyl betaine) You soak the horn in the tub, then flip it over for one hour total. Seems to work well. Cleaning kit also includes brushes, spray finishing polish and cloth. I wish someone would sell it in the US. Shipping from UK is slow.

          Comment

          • ghmerrill
            Senior Member
            • Dec 2011
            • 2385

            #6
            I don't think you need to worry that its HCL or anything like that. I suspect, to the contrary, that it's pretty anemic in terms of cleaning action.

            Lauryl Betaine is a surfactant -- apparently often used in cosmetics. It's surfactant properties help to strengthen hair fibers and improve hair elasticity when used in shampoos. According to some available publications, it is effective to some degree in the treatment of dandruff and certain fungi. Also used in skin conditioners. Likewise cocomidopropyl betaine is widely used in shampoos.

            So basically ... err ... this looks a lot like shampoo. So you could just try shampoo and maybe save $20? While I won't say it's snake oil, I prefer more effective cleaning agents -- especially in the $20 range. If you're cleaning an already mostly clean (not encrusted with build-up) instrument, it may work just great. But so might your shampoo.

            First, don't overlook taking this to a good repair tech who can clean it thoroughly for you once, and then you can maintain it better. That may be the best (and in the end cheapest) approach for you, and give you peace of mind.

            Then, before the next step ... a warning: If your instrument is lacquered, but is not a relatively modern "epoxy lacquer" lacquer finish. BEWARE OF USING HOT WATER -- because hot water will very effectively strip nitrocellulose lacquer, which was the traditional lacquer finish on brass instruments, and which some makers (Bach, for example) still use. In fact, I just used it to refinish an old Olds trombone -- because it's easy and gives a nice (if not very tough/resistant) result. So be cautious about simply melting your lacquer off with hot water. If that '76 Besson of yours is lacquered, I think it's likely that it's nitrocellulose lacquer. So "warm" water is okay, but really hot water can just float the lacquer off it.

            Also, do NOT use vinegar (especially to soak) unless you're really confident about what you're doing. It can destroy the brass alloy, and basically give you chemically induced "red rot".

            Otherwise, what I'd recommend for an instrument that hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in some time, or in which you're having a problem with some sort of "gunk buildup," is to switch off the "dish soap" (which is very mild stuff) and try Simple Green (diluted to whatever level seems reasonable to you based on your intuitions and the instructions ). Also, you need to be able to fill up the instrument and let it SOAK for some period of time. Then flush. Then repeat, ... then repeat ... Or at least to let the crooks and bows soak for a long period (I mean, like a day or more). If you're having trouble reaching stuff in the various crooks/curves, try a reasonably close-fitting pull-through of some sort. There are various instrument swabs you can find online that might work well for you in this regard. Trombonists use these for cleaning or removing water from their hand slides.

            An alternative might be a shotgun-cleaning pull-through, which often has a brush on it. Search on Amazon for "gun snake" or "gun cleaning rope." You just need to be sure you don't use one so big that it will get stuck in your tube. Measure your tube diameter and compare it to a 20 ga, 12 ga, 28 ga, .410 cleaning snake. Then just be careful that you can pull it through the whole tube (remembering that euph/tuba tubes are conical, and so may get narrower and grab your swab ). You can even make your own "pull from each direction" swab out of cloth and weed whacker cord -- so if you're careful and it starts to get stuck you can pull it back out. (Trombone outer slide swabs have this same feature.) But I won't go into the details of that here.

            Above, all ... have a good time!
            Last edited by ghmerrill; 02-19-2024, 06:50 PM.
            Gary Merrill
            Wessex EEb Bass tuba (DW 3XL or 2XL)
            Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
            Amati Oval Euph (DE 104, Euph J, J6 euph)
            1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba (with std US receiver), Kelly 25
            Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K10/112/14 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
            1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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