Brass Instruments and the Bacteria That Love Them

Imagine you are a brass instrument player in a band. You play your instrument to practice at home, in rehearsals, and for concert events. Whether you are a novice player or on a professional level, you play your instrument frequently and you’re putting your mouth on your instrument day after day. You want it to be clean right?

Now imagine that several other people have been using this same instrument before you. Previous players may have tried to clean it themselves, but how clean is it really when you can’t get into bends, nooks, and crannies and really scrub out the instrument? Your instrument is accumulating biological waste over time, not only from you but other people. It’s a gross thought in itself, but potentially harmful to your health as well.

Whether it’s your own germs or an accumulation of multiple parties, bacterial growth and pathogens in high doses can make musicians ill. Continued exposure to the growth can extend the length of those illnesses and allergies. Moist spit keys (water valves) are great environments for establishing thriving colonies of bacteria. It’s a dark and cozy breeding ground harboring contaminates that can possibly lead to recurrent bouts of illness.

Ultrasonic cleaning, coupled with the proper cleaning agent, removes more contamination than manual cleaning can. The microscopic cavitation bubbles that are produced by sound waves scrub every surface that the water touches. These scrubbing bubbles can get into tight and bendy areas that manual cleaning can’t, and in a fraction of time compared to manual cleaning.

To be a responsible instrument owner you should have your equipment cleaned. Why not get a better and more thorough cleaning result? It’s the smart and healthy choice.

Don’t believe me? Read this:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274082538_Wind_Ensemble_Infectious_Disease_Risks_A_Microbiological_Examination_of_Water_Key_Liquids_in_Brass_Instruments

Benefits of a Clean Manufacturing Plant

Worried about the efficiency of your manufacturing plant? Maybe there is just some sort of quota you need to meet to make sure every department of your facility is running at its maximum potential. Well, in many ways, the key to an efficient facility is a clean facility. How is that, you ask? Well allow me to explain the simple logic behind cleanliness equaling an upscale in productivity.

Organization

Related to keeping your facility clean is keeping it organized. It is something easy to achieve for your facility, and will definitely improve efficiency. Keep products, packages, materials, and junk under control. Make sure everything has a place where it belongs, and is well lit and easy to reach. In this way, you can reduce error by employees and increase the speed in locating anything you may need.

Increased Maintenance

Depending on the kind of facility you work in, there may be various equipment and machinery needed to perform your daily tasks. Keeping everything up-to-date and in good condition means less money you need to put out for repairs, and an increase in safety for your employees, working with properly functioning equipment. Try having regularly scheduled maintenance checks on your machinery to ensure optimal performance. Check any filters, seals, caps, etc. to make sure your equipment is not in any need of repair. As well, store any machinery or equipment in an environment safe from the elements to ensure rusting or corrosion does not occur, extending its life.

Psychological Effect

In a typical 9 to 5, five days a week work environment, it is safe to assume that a majority of your time is spent at work. Studies have shown that, although not immediately harmful, a dirty and disorganized workplace can have a negative impact on you, both physical and psychological. Low morale of your workmates may often result, and you’ll find they are more easily prone to getting in accidents or making mistakes. Eventually, if the environment is bad enough for a long enough time, employees will elect to leave, rather than stay any longer. A similar effect can be found for clients you bring into your facility as well. In a dirty workplace, clients may be less likely to do business with you, as your cleanliness can reflect the kind of quality they may expect to get out of you.

Make Sure to do These Things When Giving Your Firearm an Ultrasonic Cleaning

Of course, using an ultrasonic cleaner is the easiest way to make sure your firearm gets the best cleaning it has ever had, but you want to be careful as well. Following the guidelines below, you will want use your ultrasonic cleaner in the correct manner, otherwise you risk damaging the cleaner or the firearm you are trying to clean. With over 40 years of  knowledge and experience in the industrial ultrasonic cleaning industry at Ultrasonic Power Corporation, the following are highly recommended..

Don’t Run the System Empty

When running your ultrasonic cleaner, make sure the tank is filled to its recommended capacity. Reason being is when you turn on your ultrasonic cleaner, it immediately begins to create ultrasonic waves via the transducers on the tank bottom. However, if there is nowhere for this energy to go, you risk damaging the transducers themselves.

Don’t Let Parts Rest on Tank Bottom

Because the transducers are bonded to the tank bottom it acts like a high frequency speaker. Placing parts directly on the bottom will impede the ultrasonic energy much like placing your finger on a speaker cone. The baskets designed for your system prevent the parts from contacting the bottom. It is also acceptable to suspend a part in the tank using string or wire.

Take Apart Your Gun (If You Can)

Wherever the liquid makes contact with the firearm, the cavitation bubbles will remove the contaminant. Breaking the firearm down to the main components not only allows the loosened contaminant to flush free from the area preventing redistribution, it also allow easier and more thorough rinsing and drying.  Make sure, however, to remove attachments like laser sights and scopes from the firearm that may be damaged in the ultrasonic tank. The basic rule of thumb is that if an item may be damaged by immersing it in soapy water do not attempt to clean it in an ultrasonic tank. The ultrasonics simply provides the scrubbing action.

Lubricate

Once done with cleaning your firearm, don’t stop there! The ultrasonic cleaner is so thorough that not only does it get all dirt and grime off of your firearm, but it also removes lubricant as well. Thankfully, there are other lubricating solutions you can use in your ultrasonic tank to re-apply the lubrication to your gun. And if done ultrasonically, it will be the best lube job it ever had.

8 Steps for Using Ultrasonics to Clean Brass Instruments

Musical instrument repair shops, manufacturers, as well as marching bands at universities and high schools struggle to keep their large numbers of brass instruments clean. Ultrasonic technology has proven to be a great time and money saver for anyone with a large number of instruments to clean. Whether you are the band director at a school distric or a shop owner with a large rental fleet ultrasonics can save you time and money.

An ultrasonic cleaning solution can clean instruments in less time without hazardous chemicals:

  1. Felt and leather pads should be removed from the instrument prior to cleaning. Synthetic pads can be left on the instrument.
  2. The instrument should be disassembled and the parts placed into the stainless steel mesh basket.
  3. The water bath should be room temperature water or slightly warmer.
  4. We recommend using our environmentally friendly brass instrument cleaner, Ultra-Power 132-B detergent at 1-2 oz per gallon.
  5. The basket is then placed into the ultrasonic bath. Typical cleaning timeframes are 2-4 minutes.
  6. Rinse the instrument with clean water.
  7. Dry with a forced air parts blower.
  8. Re-assemble.

The Illinois Gun Regulations You Should Know and What to Expect

Gun ownership is a huge responsibility for those interested in selling, maintaining, or collecting firearms. Whether you’re a gun enthusiast, a gunsmith, salesman, or an agent of the law, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations set aside by our government, and most importantly your local state government. Without speaking to the specific rules of each individual state or referring to the official documentation of the federal firearm regulations, here are some of the general laws you may see:

  • Must have a license or permit in order to purchase and/or possess firearms.
  • Individual firearms must be registered with the police, or other law enforcement agencies.
  • Some weapons are restricted in specific states, or there are restrictions on the number of rounds a magazine is allowed to hold. NFA weapons are those that are heavily restricted by the Federal Government. Such firearms included are automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns, and short-barreled rifles.
  • All states allow some form of concealed carry, but there are other restrictions when it comes to open carry.
  • Some states require background checks before you can purchase a firearm.

Although these rules are more general (with the exception of NFA weapons), you will see some form of these restrictions set in place with each state you visit, varying in strictness. For residents of Illinois (where Ultrasonic Power Corporation is headquartered), here is a more specific set of laws which you must abide by:

  • Illinois gun owners are required to have a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) Card in order to purchase/own a firearm.
  • There are no standing laws in Illinois requiring you to register your firearm(s) with local authorities.
  • You may acquire a license to conceal carry handguns, but only if your license is through the Illinois State Police.
  • Open Carry is not allowed in Illinois.
  • NFA Weapons are still restricted.
  • While passing through Illinois, if you have concealed carry through your own state’s laws, you may continue uninhibited, as long as your firearm(s) remain in your vehicle.
  • Background checks are required for private gun sales in Illinois. Sellers must verify the buyer’s FOID card with the Illinois State Police, and must keep record of the sale for at least 10 years.

Is Illinois not your state? If you are interested in the gun laws of other states, you may check out the NRA’s (National Rifle Association) webpage to find out more.

Why Ultrasonics is a Perfect Solution for Cleaning Brass Instruments

At first glance ultrasonic instrument cleaners look like very simple soak tanks but these stainless steel work horses are a band room’s best friend. Ultrasonics provide a safe and efficient way of cleaning, for you and your instrument.

Brass instruments, such as trumpets, french horns and tubas, have oddly shaped surfaces, intricate valves, and interior areas that are difficult to clean by hand. When submerged in an ultrasonic cleaning tank, the cleaning fluid enters these hard to reach areas, cleaning the instrument inside and out.

Ultrasonics can clean brass instruments in only 2-4 minutes without using nasty chemicals. Traditional chemical baths can expose personnel to toxic fumes. Ultrasonic cleaning technology uses sound waves to create microscopic cavitation bubbles that implode and basically create a slight scrubbing action on any hard surface the water touches.

School Districts, universities, and instrument repair shops are all using ultrasonic technology. Ultrasonics can thoroughly clean the nooks and crannies of instruments that manual cleaning can miss. This results in a better and faster cleaning process with purer sound result from the instrument and improved cleanliness.

Video of Trumpets being Cleaned by Ultrasonic Power

At first glance ultrasonic instrument cleaners look like very simple soak tanks but these stainless steel work horses are a band room’s best friend.

It takes only 2 to 4 minutes to clean most brass instruments, and ultrasonics can thoroughly clean the nooks and crannies of instruments that manual cleaning can miss. This results in a better and faster cleaning process with purer sound result from the instrument and improved cleanliness.

Check out this video of this Yamaha Trumpet cleaned with Ultra-Power 132B.

And these Holton Trumpets being cleaned with Ultra-Power 132B.

And another Holton Trumpet being cleaned with Ultra-Power 132B.