ULTRA SONIC CLEANING
Written By: Stevie Milne
PHX Repair Tech
So you want to get an ultra sonic cleaning? Take a few minuets to read just how Music and Arts cares for your instrument in the safest more effective way possible.
The instrument in completely disassembled and prepped for the first pre soaks. The instrument is soaked in a citrus based solution for 3-5 minuets. With a special mixture of lava soap and dawn dish liquid, a soft bristle power brush is hooked up to a drill, and then used to gently brush all inner /outer slides and the valve cluster, this process is known as a Texas Flush. After being properly rinsed it is then placed in the ultra sonic cleaner for 3 minuets
What is Ultra sonic cleaning? Ultra sonic cleaning is a machine/process that uses ultrasound (usually from 20–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solvent to clean items.
HOW does it work?
The Ultrasonic cleaning uses cavitation bubbles induced by high frequency pressure (sound) waves to agitate a liquid. The agitation produces high forces on contaminants adhering to substrates like metals, plastics, glass, rubber, and ceramics. This action also penetrates blind holes, cracks, and recesses. The intention is to thoroughly remove all traces of contamination tightly adhering or embedded onto solid surfaces. What does this mean to you? It means your instrument will be stripped of all oils, rust, grease, algae, fungus, bacteria, lime scale, polishing compounds, flux agents, fingerprints and corrosions. Here at Music and Arts we are proud to announce that we have gone GREEN with our cleaning processes. Instead of using harsh acids or chemicals, we put all natural citrus based cleaners in with our pre soaks and ultra sonic cleaning machines to provide a safe and natural cleaning solution for both the player and the repair technicians.
Ultra sonic cleaning should be done once a year, think of it as a check up from the doctors! In the meantime, taking apart and cleaning your trumpet/trombone/euphonium once a month will keep it in safe working order. We do not recommend cleaning single/double French horns, or tuba bodies, these require tools and equipment that the average musician doesn’t have access to. If you can pull the slides for the tuba you can hand was them with the instructions below.
After your instrument has been ultra sonic cleaned it will be very thirsty, every thing has been stripped from the inside out, oiling the valves once a day for the first week before and after playing will help longevity, after the first week once a week oiling is recommended, be sure not to over oil!
To clean it your trumpet/trombone/slides you will need the following items:
-DAWN dish liquid
-baby bottle brush
-small bucket large enough for the slides and valves)
-Scotch Brite pad ( for slides)
A). Take apart instrument, including pulling all caps, valves and tuning slides. Wipe off slides with a soft rag with some Goo-gone or other grease removing cleaner.
B). Fill sink, bucket or bath with warm to touch water with Dawn dish liquid. Do not drop parts into the sink as you may damage parts, place them gently one at a time in the water.
C).. If you are able to, remove the finger button to remove top cap and felt, as we do not want the felts getting wet.
D). Using a Scotch-Brite pad for dishes, clean the tuning slide inner tubes. These are the dull tubes that go inside the main body of Instrument. Clean in the direction that they slide. Be careful not to scrub on any of the shiny areas.
E). Rinse thoroughly in warm water. If you have an air hose with a compressor, blow out all parts and wipe the body and parts dry with a soft clean cloth. You may use some Lemon Pledge on a rag and lacquered areas to polish, or use any number of silver polishes, if it's silver plated.
D). upon re assembly make sure all slides and vales fit freely before applying slide grease or valve oils
F). Use a thin slide grease on the 1st and 3rd valve slides only. Put a small amount on the threads of the upper and lower valve caps.
2). Use a thicker, creamier grease on #2 and the main tuning slide.
3). For valve oil we recommend al cast, or hetmans for rotors. Put a bead around the bottom, insert the valve about 3/4 of the way in, spinning the valve as you lower it. Line up the valve guide with the notch that is 1/3 the way down inside the valve casing. You should feel it grab or click as it lines up. Some valve guides will notch backwards as well, so pay attention to the original direction of the notch.
Some final food for thought:
Make sure you do not eat or drink anything other then water before playing! If anything is stuck and isn’t coming out, DO NOT FORCE IT. Your repair professionals at Music and Arts have the correct tools for removing stuck items. YOU WILL cause major costly damage!!