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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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2,547 Posts
I think you're on a hiding to nothing - the only way to keep that 'showroom shine' is not to touch the instrument at all.

The surface of a horn is relatively soft. Lacquer is soft, silver plate is soft. The air around you is full of particles of extremely fine grit and micro-droplets of various sticky substances, and it all collects on your horn when exposed to the air.
No matter how clean and how soft your polishing cloth, there will always be a very fine film of this atmospheric gunk on your horn - so any attempt at polishing without first washing this film off is going to result in those very, very fine scratches.

Regards,
 
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