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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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I'm talking about the next level beyond tarnish...what you get when a silver horn is put away wet, or in a humid location.

Little black spots. Little green spots. Green crud, aka verdigris if you're a jeweler.

What can be done? What can't be? Share your experiences.
 

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Try the moistened lens wipes. About weekly I remove the moisture stains with these wet wipes. I use these to prevent the spots you are referring to. Yours may be too far gone. I also wipe my lacquered horns with these wipes to prevent pitting which occurs if moisture spots are not wiped off in a timely manner. I don't mind ordinary plating tarnish or lacquer wear, but leaving moisture spots damages plating and turns brass ugly.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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Little black spots are likely oxide, little green spots are more likely evidence of pits that have penetrated the plate and are truly verdigris (brass corrosion).

Clean the areas with silver polish to limit further corrosion.
 

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I have a new silver plated 82z, does all moisture & saliva spots between keys need to be polished off every time it's played?
 

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I have a new silver plated 82z, does all moisture & saliva spots between keys need to be polished off every time it's played?
That all depends if you care. For my silver plated tenor, I take it apart every few months or so and give it a good polishing with Hagerty creme. That will generally protect the finish against minor buildup of tarnish and prevent corrosion. I also lubricate all the rods and pivots at that time to keep in it top playing condition. Some people, in contrast, will leave the reed on the mouthpiece for that long. Ewwwwwwww...
 

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Some guys will have a darkened slightly tarnished looking silver horn (silver equivalent to the patina on unlaquered horns), are those on their way to corrosion like you described? Also, on palm keys and other contact points, will sweat corrode those places if not pampered? Thanks for your insights
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Bueschers and Conns, 1930s vintage.
If original, it's very thick plating. Dr G and I both do the same thing. Basically, wipe the horn down with a soft absorbant cloth (terry towel will do) when you're done for the day. About once a year I take mine apart and polish it with Hagerty's, but I also keep mine in a tarnish resistant (silver impregnated cloth) bag while it's in the case, so it doesn't tarnish as quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All great advice. Now...what if the damage is done?
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Some guys will have a darkened slightly tarnished looking silver horn (silver equivalent to the patina on unlaquered horns), are those on their way to corrosion like you described? Also, on palm keys and other contact points, will sweat corrode those places if not pampered? Thanks for your insights
Tarnish is tarnish, it can be light brown, purple, black, and a few other colors, but ultimately it's all silver sulfide and corrosion of the finish. Only the severity is at question.

As for your palm keys, well that depends on the person and their body chemistry. Mine is pretty neutral and I don't tend to corrode silver. I've seen some people with acidic skin chemistry that quickly corrode the finish off the touch points of their silver and lacquer horns. Gold usually holds up better to that, but some folks are better off wearing gloves while they play.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Little black spots? Not the end of the world by any means.

Polish them off with Hagerty's. The polish will also leave a protective coating so that it doesn't happen as quickly next time, but with silver, tarnish happens no matter what you do.

Many people don't like silver horns because they're a pain in the patoot to keep shiny.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Learn to love it. Many folks have to wait years for that lovely patina. :)

All kidding aside, regular cleaning is not a bad thing but with silver it's best not to obsess. The only real solution is disassembly and thorough cleaning as the good Dr prescribed. To keep your sax in excellent playing condition, you only need this done every few years. To keep it shiny-new, you'll need to do this much more often. It's time better spent playing unless you're just that good...
 

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im always amazed when i see these vintage dukoff or FL solid silver mouthpieces for sale...and in the pictures the silver looks trashed...im thinking...its solid silver...how hard is it to keep clean???!!!

...well now I have my solid silver sakshama guardala...and its getting those black areas pretty darn quickly!!!!!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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You can always go for a sonic cleaning to get the black spots and green spots off...and then remember to treat the horn well (the way Grumps and Madd describe) from hereon in.....

I have has some Silverplate horns, old ones, which did not respond to ANY over-counter polish remedies (nor Polish remedies)....that finally acquiesced to the sonic tub.

This thread has 2 different conditions going on..one being the "spotty" kinda staining, the other being the natural tendency of Silverplate to darken to a cloudy sorta black over time. The latter can be avoided (or significantly delayed) by keeping the anti-tarnish strips inside your case...or so I have read....
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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FWIW, my experience with the 3M strips and silver saxophones isn't good. Might work well enough in a flute case or silverware drawer, but just too much air moves around in a sax.

Only thing I've found that actually works is this. http://www.silverguard.com/c-6-pacific-silvercloth.aspx

Take it to your local dry cleaner and have them make it into a small laundry bag (tie string and all). It does work, but it doesn't prevent it forever. I still have to polish.

BTW, I don't think Grumps has responded to the thread yet. That was Dr G. :)
 

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The 3M strips don't last longer than about 3 weeks when exposed to air.
If you get the spotted area cleaned off, you can use Rub 'N Buff (sold at craft stores) in a small tube and rub it in. Covers the worn areas. I use it around post spats and tone holes.
 
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