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I just bought a silver-plated sax. All my saxes are in lacquer. So just want to know how to keep silver-plated sax in nice condition as I understand it can go tanish and become dirty-looking. Any methods to prevent it happens?

Thank you.
 

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Get a large bottle of silver polish Wrights or Haggertys) or 3M Tarni-shield! A box of Q-tips and some soft polishing cloths. 3M Anti-tarnish strips placed in your case will slow the tarnishing. I have silver plated saxes-I remove keys and polish every 3 months. Touch up with Q-tips etc in between.
 

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I have a silver plated alto and C-mel. I spent some time cleaning them up and although I live in a rural area without much sulphur in the air (that's what I understand causes silver tarnish) I lined the cases with a fabric that's usually used for silverware boxes. Not a really neat job but it sure keeps the horns looking good. I haven't polished the Cmel in a year and it still looks fresh. I found the fabric on a website, if you're interested I may be able to find the name for you. By the way I used to use Haggerty's silver polish but have found that Wright's is far better. If you put some car wax on the polished surface it also will prolong the shine (I use Turtle wax). Hope this helps.
 

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I personally would not disassemble and use a polish on a silver plated sax every three months. Silver polish is essentially a very mild abrasive, and polishing rubs off the very thin layer of tarnish that accumulates.

I have a few silver plated horns, and my main alto I just let it go. I clean and polish it every time I repad it, otherwise it sits on a stand all day and it still looks pretty good. I do have one sax I like to keep looking as close to mint as I can, and all I do for that one is wipe it down after I play it (which isn't very often) and put it in its case with tarnishield strips, which I change every month or so.

I found a website a while ago with a few hints, although it is aimed at silverware and you'll have to pick through to find stuff that is applicable to your sax: http://utut.essortment.com/howtocleanpol_rkvl.htm
 

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An old (and clean) cotton T-shirt makes a good cleaning cloth for polishing up silver plated saxes after playing to keep the plating bright. Breathe on the silver to fog it up, then buff it with the T-shirt to remove fingerprints and grease.

Do not use any liquid silver or metal polish at all - you'll do more harm than good as it can get onto the pads and into the mechanism - so don't be tempted to use liquid polish.

If you can get hold of an impregnated silver polishing cloth used for polishing cutlery or specifically for musical instruments (these are soft and dry, and impregnated with a silver cleaning agent which is very mildly abrasive, as are all metal polishes), then these will bring back the shine on dull silver. You can also slightly dampen the silvercloths with a water spray to make the polish work better, but don't wash these cloths as it will remove the polish from them.

But do bear in mind that polishing by hand is removing a tiny amount of the plating each time (as you're removing the oxide on the surface of the silver to expose the underlying untarnished silver), but it will take a lot of excessive polishing to wear right through the plating to the base metal.
 

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First, just so you know, no damage is done by doing nothing. Tarnish is actually good because it protects the finish underneath.

I own two silver axes, a matte/polished engravings and keys, 10M from 1946, and a Conn Transitional Sop that is also matte silver.

I have tried the sulfur absorbing strips and find them to be useless. They may in fact absorb sulfur but I have never seen noticeable effects of using them.

The most effective weekly/daily treatment is a nice gentle rub with a dry treated silver cloth (any brand, find it at household stores). Every few weeks I do a gentle hand polish with Hagerty's all silver polish which works well although I'm sure other brands work well too. I also run wool yarn underneath the rods and around the bases of posts etc... I then do a back and forth "shoe shine" action. This works well to remove dirt and oil buildup in hard to reach spots. Q-tips will also work well as Jim mentioned. Others obviously take their instruments apart periodically and do a more thorough polish with the keys off. You can of course do this too, if you want to take your sax apart. It does require balls of steel or a little know how.;)

Fred, where did you find that silver cloth online? Was it in bulk form or precut?
 

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Othello: the cloth comes in bulk (you can buy it by the yard). Here is the website:
http://www.nancysilver.com/storage/wraps/silvercloth.htm

I applied it using 3M spray adhesive. Be careful - it will stick as soon as you put the cloth on, so put the fabric on slowly and deliberately, a little at a time, so it dosn't stick where you don't want it to. If you don't get it all the way down in a low spot, for instance, it will "bridge" the low place and your horn won't seat where it should.
 

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3M strips won't reverse the effects of tarnish - they will only slow down the rate of tarnish if used in a closed case in a preventative way, not cure (or reverse) that which has already oxidised.
 

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I find the strips work better in a case that doesn't have a lot of air flowing through it- for instance, they seem to work better for me in a new Hiscox case vs. a roughed up old Buescher case.
 

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I stripped my silver mk 6 down last year when it needed a load of work pads and tech cork etc.

the sax was cleaned using a silver cloth from a music shop (i work there so get em for free) once the sax was re assembled and clean I put a couple of the 3M tarnish strips in the case.

I shake out all the moisture from the mody and crook. occasionally I pull a mop through there. I also wipe the sax down with a dry cloth when i have finished.

the sax goes into the flight case and the mouthpiece, mop and reeds go into a seperate compartment so to keep the moisture away from the sax.

I find that this keeps the tarnish at bay for longer periods.



www.dg-music.co.uk
 

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i have heard that by putting a substance that is more tarnishable than silver in the case then that will tarnish and the sax wont, like putting a block of zinc on a ships hull so the block of zinc rusts because it is more reactive than the iron and the iron stays fine.
 

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I was just looking at the Cybersax website under this topic. They apparently have bags made of silver cloth that can be special ordered. Anyone try them?
 
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