Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Alto, C-mel, Saxie
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have two old ligatures that came with vintage mouthpieces. They're still in pretty good shape despite being 90+ years old, but they're in desperate need of a cleaning. I've considered just using soap and water, but the age of these pieces is giving me pause. Will soap and water work, or is there some sort of special formula I should mix up? These ligatures aren't going to be winning any beauty contests, but since they're original I don't want to do anything that might hurt them.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,308 Posts
What are they made of that makes you think soap and water will cause damage?
 

·
Registered
Alto, C-mel, Saxie
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
They look like they could be brass; they're both so badly discolored that it's hard to tell. One of them looks like it might have been plated, but most of that has flecked off. I had planned on using light dish soap, but I didn't know how the metal would react to the chemicals. I know there probably won't be any damage done, but I didn't want to do anything with them until I got a second opinion.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,308 Posts
There are no 'chemicals' in dish soap that will damage metal...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,302 Posts
I'd go to a jewelry store and buy a bottle of that jewelry cleaning-dip in which precious metals and diamond rings, etc. are dropped, then lightly scrubbed with the included brush inside the bottle. Then rinse under the tap and dry them off. I've done that with my brass ligatures and they come out clean and shiny. If they are silver-plated ligs, then use silver-dip. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,770 Posts
You can also use a common grocery store product called 'Lime-Away' on anything brass including horns. Spray on and scrub with a toothbrush, rinse. Does not affect lacquer.
BTW, I wanted to say something about cleaning Rovners and this thread is as good as any other: yesterday I tried a new one, a 'Star Series', and it was dyn-o-mite! Anyway, I had used the old one for a long time so I decided to clean it up and keep it since it was still good. Basically you wash it down with soap and water, scrubbing with a toothbrush, then rinse and dry. I'm glad I cleaned it because at rehearsal last night the new one struck me as TOO much of a good thing so I got out 'old reliable' and used it. I have never seen so much effect from a ligature but I'm definitely keeping both of them. You can look at Rovner and see what the Star Series is, but I don't know the model on the old one. Its very similar to the Star but it has an oval-shaped opening on each side. It has slits in the fabric like the Star but only at the top on each side because of the openings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,933 Posts
Personally I would use hand soap and an old toothbrush. Good enough.

It's just brass, maybe plated, maybe lacquered.

If you want to shine them up, use some scouring powder (Comet or Ajax).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,770 Posts
The purpose of the 'Lime-Away' is to remove all tarnish/oxidation. It won't shine brass.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,216 Posts
I'd clean them first with any good fairly abrasive cleaner. Then use an appropriate polishing compound or polishing cloth, depending on whether they are brass, silver, or gold plated.

One thing you don't have to worry about (unlike with a mpc or the horn) is damaging them due to using an over aggressive cleaning product. They are only ligatures; 'vintage' or not, they aren't of any major value like some vintage mpcs (unless you can con someone into thinking they are!). If you did damage them somehow, you can replace them with a standard, inexpensive, 2-screw metal lig and be just fine.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top