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Discussion Starter #1
It's not a mouthpiece, but you'll see why I'm asking.

My bass bow has an adjuster (the thing you turn to tighten) that apparently is made of ebonite/hard rubber. It has turned the greenish-brown that you so often see on sax mouthpieces, apparently from some exposure to heat.

What's the current consensus (if any) on the best way to restore, even if only partly, the black color?

I am asking here because saxophone people are going to have a lot more exposure to hard rubber than bass players.
 

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I've tried a bunch of different things, but the one I tried a few days ago seems to be best. Brasso. It has ammonia in it and says to keep out of eyes (duh) and off of skin (what?). I didn't see the skin part, because I had never read the instructions until just now, but no ill effects so far. It was really effective at taking off the brown blush and leaving shiny black. Plus, I had a bottle of it under the kitchen sink.

Mark
 

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I'm thinking Brasso would work well for making mouthpieces shiny black again, but may have some adverse health effects...
 

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Brasso works in some cases, for extreme cases I've used steel wool to remove the green/brown surface layer, then Meguiar's PlastX to polish out the scratches from the steel wool.
 

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Regular toothpaste. Safe, effective, and no special shopping required.
 

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My dentist just provided me with a list of toothpastes and their relative abrasiveness, based on what he saw during an examination. He recommended one of the least abrasive. The brand that I had been using for years was one of the most abrasive. I switched brands and my new toothpaste no longer works on polishing ebony. It also raises the question of whether I had been putting the wrong stuff in my mouth. Maybe I had been using the abrasive equivalent of Brasso all these years.

Mark
 

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Toothpaste is what the pipe smokers used to use to keep their pipe mouthpieces clean.

Mark, you are raising a valid point. Abrasive tooth paste is not a good thing, nor are super hard toothbrushes but more important is the brushing motion. Wax on, wax off :)

Back to the MPCs, I tried all kinds of things, from WD40 to cleaning wax and silver polish but Brasso and tooth paste are really the two things that work. I am at the point where I clean my MPCs off after every use, it only takes a few seconds if you do it on a regular basis. I also tried the Doctor's mouthpiece cleaner, it kind of worked but toothpaste is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I did a little experimenting with Brasso and it ceratinly made an improvement. However, there was so much "brown stuff" coming off on the rag-with-Brasso that I was a little concerned that it was seriously removing material through some chemical interaction. I'll try it again when time permits, maybe some of the other suggestions as well.

I am not sure whether I would apply this to a sax mouthpiece, though, due to my worries about removing material that might be signficant to the facing, or possibly softening the material. Again, being the tensioner of a bass bow, these concerns are much less critical.
 

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I just got back from having a new neck cork applied and while he was at my tech used cork grease to take the oxidation off my mouthpiece. Went from brown to black. Nice.
 

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I use this stuff: https://www.amazon.com/Novus-7100-P...lastic+polish&qid=1552677713&s=gateway&sr=8-3 on mouthpieces where I've changed the facing. End result nice and shiny just like brand new! I would think for brown mouthpieces, only the #1, or maybe the #2 then #1, would need to be used. #3 takes out sandpaper scratches, probably not needed for oxidation.

Of course, wash the mouthpiece in lukewarm water after using any compound (including olive oil!!!)
 

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A few people have mentioned this, but I can reiterate a similar sentiment. I have had great success in getting a whole myriad of my own "tarnished brown" ebonite pipe stems, and ebonite mouthpieces (tenor and alto sax, Bass Clarinet and regular Clarinet) to return to a nice black color using a gentle, non-abrasive toothpaste like Pepsodent. For the pipe stems and mouthpieces I do NOT use a toothbrush, though... instead I use a soft cloth to rub and polish away the discoloration. It has worked beautifully for me.

For a really high gloss look, I also have one other avenue open to me.... my tobacconist is a true, traditional "old school" shop and the owner has a very gentle buffing wheel that he uses on pipe stems he makes for new pipes he carves. I have asked him a couple of times if he would buff lightly a mouthpiece I was planning to use in a performance and he willingly agreed. My old ebonite pieces looked awfully damn beautiful after just a few seconds on his buffing wheel.
 
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