Category Archives: Brass Instrument Cleaning

Old vs the New Way to Clean Brass Instruments

Have you ever had that moment where you encounter a new way of doing something and realize you’ll never do it the old way again? You’re about to have one of those moments.

To illustrate this, we’d like to share a couple of videos about cleaning brass musical instruments.

The first is from YouTuber and musician Luke Gall.

Now, we think this is a great video. Gall knows his stuff, lays it out well and he definitely aims to get that instrument as spotless as he can. But consider these points:

The old method requires 15 different types of tools and chemicals—those displayed in the video and the detergent.

It requires an hour of soaking time, plus the time spent filling and draining a tub.

If an individual musician follows this procedure, they have to spend even more time gathering materials and setting up a temporary work area, or they have to take up space in their home with a permanent arrangement.

All the cleaning is done by hand. Gall says “it will take a few passes to get everything” with the initial brush cleaning, and if you’re not quite thorough enough, your horn will have nasty gunk in it.

Still more brushing and still more water use are required in the second round of brushing. This can’t be great for the environment or for the musician’s water bill!

When Brasso is applied, Gall advises us, “you may have to do this a few times and use a bit of elbow grease,” and after all that work we have another session of rinsing and hand drying. Following that, two more chemicals are applied and the musician has to deal with ventilation concerns and gloving up. The process is described as “definitely tedious,” and requires “a fair amount of pressure,” or in other words, some more elbow grease. Using cotton swabs and creativity is the only way to get into the tightest spaces.

The result looks great, but what an astonishing amount of effort! And is it really as clean as it could be?

Ultrasonically clean brass instruments

Now take a look at the new way to clean brass instruments in this video kindly shared with us by our customers at A minor Tune Up in Wilmington, Delaware.

In this method, there’s no elbow grease required; ultrasonic cavitation does all the work. The ultrasonic waves create microscopic bubbles on every surface of the instrument that is in contact with water, reaching areas even a cotton swab can’t reach. There’s no soaking time required, either, and the cleaning process takes just minutes. The result is a perfectly clean trumpet that has had no chemicals applied to it other than a mild detergent.

Imagine being able to offer this option to everyone from flutists to tuba players, saving them time and ensuring they perform with the cleanest possible instrument. To learn more about the benefits of ultrasonic cleaning for instruments, download our Free Guide to Cleaning Brass Instruments here.

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

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.

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.

Ultrasonic Power Corporation’s “Crescendo to Excellence” Scholarship Winner Announced!

UPC is excited to announce  Windy Shaffer as the “Crescendo to Excellence” scholarship winner! UPC is proud to partner with  NAPBIRT (National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians) and advance their mission to it’s membership and technical profession development.  Windy Shaffer is a band instrument repair technician from  from Spanish Fork, Utah and the owner of Windy’s Wind.  She will be attending the upcoming String 1 Course from November 9-12.  Way to go Windy!

windy shaffer

Tuning it up at the Southwest Music Summer Exhibition

The 2015 Southwest Music Summer Exhibition, the largest summer music show in the U.S., is coming to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas from July 23 – 26th! Ultrasonic Power Corporation is excited to exhibit and showcase cutting-edge ultrasonic cleaning technology for musical instruments.

With thousands of Band, Choral and Orchestra Directors in attendance, The Southwest Music Summer Exhibition is an excellent opportunity to benefit from the robust music market in Texas and the Southwest U.S.

Ultrasonic Power Corporation will be exhibiting the 39 gallon portable, self-contained, ultrasonic cleaning system with Sonic Touch technology, perfect for trumpets, flutes, saxophones, trombones, baritones, sousaphones and tubas. The BT 2424SE will also be showcased, which cleans trumpets, flutes, saxophones, clarinets and euphoniums. UPC’s systems clean quickly, eliminate the need for strong acids, are environmentally friendly and are all stainless steel construction. Our ultrasonic technology cleans those hard to reach places prolonging the life of your instruments, thus increasing your profitability.

Right now is the perfect time for new budgets and purchasing for the new academic year!

Make sure to visit Chris Sperry in Booth #1083 to learn how our ultrasonic technology can be the solution for your needs.

Immersible Transducers…A Cost Effective Alternative

Ultrasonic Power Corporation’s Immersible Transducers provide you with an option to add ultrasonic advantage to your existing cleaning application. These transducers are designed for installation in existing or new tanks to enhance the speed and effectiveness of washing, rinsing and other processes. Single or multi-module installations can be custom designed for tanks from a few gallons to several thousand gallons capacity. These transducers can be installed on the bottom surface or the sides of the tank as needed. Immersible Ultrasonic Transducers can be used for all cleaning applications – both aqueous and semi-aqueous. The energy generated from the ultrasonics is helpful when cleaning porous surfaces, intricate configurations, and in the removal of difficult contaminants such as buffing compound.

Some of the features include:

  • Independent water proof modules provide thorough yet gentle cleaning power
  • TIG welded and pressure tested for long life
  • Reliable, efficient operation compatible with a wide range of cleaning chemicals
  • Chemical-resistant 316L stainless steel radiating surface
  • Four standard sizes in stock for fast delivery
  • Custom sizes available for nearly any size tank configuration
  • Available in 25kHz, 40kHz, 68kHz, 132kHz, and 170kHz
  • Choice of mounting options
  • Free customer support in systems design

The “Simultaneous Multi-Frequency®” from UPC meets the frequency requirements, which ensures a uniform and thorough cleaning. This feature makes the equipment the most versatile in the market. The “Vibra-Bar®” transducer module and the generator module combine to provide equipment that has maximum reliability and simplified field maintenance.

Ultrasonic Power Corporation facilities provide one source for all phases of industrial ultrasonic equipment. All the products are designed and developed by UPC engineers and are manufactured by UPC personnel, which is backed by the UPC’s industry leading 10yr/2yr Warranty.

UPC Resonates With the Music Industry

The 2015 NAMM Show, an action-packed global industry event that is attended by companies that manufacture, distribute, and/or retail musical instrument/products, will be held in the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, CA from January 22 – 25th.  This annual event allows companies to network and connect with music product buyers and enthusiasts. Different exhibits, educational sessions, and events will take place at this year’s show for attendees to learn more about the changing music industry.

UPC provides cleaning solutions for a diverse list of domestic and international music companies ranging from small repair shops, school districts, military bands, and large scale companies.

With the introduction of UPC’s ground breaking new features at last month’s Annual Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference, the NAMM Show is a perfect venue to exhibit the latest in ultrasonic cleaning for musical instruments.

Ultrasonic Power Corporation will be exhibiting the 90 gallon portable, self-contained, ultrasonic cleaning system with Sonic Touch ® technology, which can easily accommodates trumpets, flutes, saxophones, trombones, baritones, sousaphones and tubas.  The BT 2424SE will also be showcased, which cleans trumpets, flutes, saxophones, clarinets and euphoniums.  Both systems clean quickly and eliminate the need for strong acids. Visit us in Booth #2521 to learn about our cutting-edge product innovations!

Ultrasonic Power Corporation will be exhibiting at MRO Americas 2015 on April 14 – 16th in Miami, FL.

In our next blog, find out how Ultrasonic Power Corporation is assisting aerospace suppliers so they can meet the demand for surging orders.

Ultrasonic Attendees
Ultrasonic Eastman Music

UPC Introduces Groundbreaking New Features

The Ultrasonic Power Corporation is one of the pioneers in providing the best line of precision washing systems. These world-class cleaners use the ultrasonic vibrations to generate millions of microscopic bubbles and provide the force for the bubbles to reach the smallest crevices on precision machined equipment.  Watch the ultrasonic cleaning in action here!

The Annual Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference is held each year, which displays the top music groups to showcase the latest ideas and skills throughout the music conference. From students to professionals, performers have a chance to exhibit their talents to a supportive and enthusiastic audience with an interest in furthering music education. The 68th conference is held this year in Chicago’s McCormick Place from December 17 – 20, 2014.

In this conference, Ultrasonic Power Corporation will be exhibiting the 90 gallon portable, self-contained, ultrasonic cleaning system with Sonic Touch technology, which easily accommodates trumpets, flutes, saxophones, trombones, baritones, sousaphones and tubas.  The BT 2424SE will also be showcased, which cleans trumpets, flutes, saxophones, clarinets and euphoniums.  Both systems clean quickly and eliminate the need for strong acids.

The cleaning system used by Ultrasonic Power Corporation is environmental friendly and built using stainless steel. They clean both inside and outside the instruments and prolong the life of the instruments.

Some of the new features include:

  • The new horn flush and holster design, which is used to send a blast of water to contamination and hangs in the tank without dripping externally.
  • The wedge control panel, which offers an easier to read control panel and more ergonomic design function.
  • The double boiler pan, which is used for cleaning small items or when the operator decides to use multiple detergents within the same tank.

Lisa SerafiniFor more information, you can visit Booth Number 537 where Lisa Serafini will be available to answer your queries.