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How do I get grease off my keys?

1417 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  gary
It's funny how it's not until you need something that you realise you don't know the answer to a simple problem. But I just realised that I don't think I've ever really cleaned my horns. :shock:

So here's the problem: I have an unlacquered horn. My predecessor(s) must've had some seriously greasy hands because the keys, particularly the LH palm keys are so greasy my hands are sliding off of them when I play. I've rubbed them down with a soft cloth and that doesn't work. If I have to, I guess I can use Brasso but I don't like the residue it can leave. And I'm leery of using any chemical that might mess with the brass unless one of you can give me a good recommendation. I'm not asking how to make it all shiny and pretty, rather how to clean it.

Any recommendations on how to de-grease my UL horn and keep it clean in the future? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

Disclaimer - I have used the search function. If I missed something and anyone can give me a link that's great too.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Water and shampoo on a clean soft rag? Shampoo is designed to remove oils.
I dunno about this one but I had to clean off a gummy goo off a stereo and I used anti-reflective glasses cleaner. I think it's vinegar and water. That degummed it and left no residue.
Use a citrus (orange) based degreasing dish soap with a soft sponge. Then wipe dry with paper towels.
tjontheroad said:
Use a citrus (orange) based degreasing dish soap with a soft sponge. Then wipe dry with paper towels.
Around here its called Goo Gone. Good stuff and wont harm your horn at all.
I would use a little rubbing alcohol on a rag.
Dawn dish soap, Windex, or a light mix of plain old Ammonia and water work very well for degreasing keys. Use an old washcloth or piece of flannel. Just be careful to rinse well. Soap residue will attract more dirt and grease from your own hands.
And stop playing while your cooking dinner !
Hoff Boy, :D

Most dishwashing liquids and household cleaners, are a combination of solvents and surfactants, in varying degrees.
If the gunk is really baked on there, you'll want a solvent to loosen it up. If it's not baked on, you'll want a surfactant to surf, or "float," it off the keys.
All the suggestions in the posts above will work. Just remember what bandmommy said and wipe/dry all the soap residue off.
several solvents are up to the job, possibly, diluted cleaning soda crystals provide you the best de-greasing action, they are a fundamental part of most house cleaners, but you need to rinse well so do not splash around too much of the stuff, make sure the concetration is not too high otherwise there will be a white residue left if you don't rinse well . Wipe with microfibers cloth. If the oily keys are not obviously coverd with gunk, the microfibers cloth might be enough to take care of the problem entirely.
Martin Williams said:
I would use a little rubbing alcohol on a rag.
vinegar/water or place it in the dishwasher
If it really is greae, many of the above will not touch it, because they don't dissolve grease.

Lighter fluid ('Naptha', 'White Spirits') is great for oils and grease, and does not readily harm other materials.
I like the alcohol suggestion! I can see an early end to this week. Me, my horn and Jack. :D

Actually, I think I'll begin with the lighter fluid because it's a one-step process. I'll follow up on this later in case anyone else is looking for the same question/answer. Thanks folks.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
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