[Harp-L] Re: Chromatic Care

The topic of cleaning/polishing would seen to extend to any type of  
First, tarnish and wear are two different things, if the plating is worn  off 
no amount of polishing will bring it back.  No big deal on the  average 10 
hole, but a different story if you're playing something expensive.  If you use 
any sort of polish or wax it's best to remove the covers  before the 
application, makes it much easier to remove all traces before  reassembly and putting 
the thing into your mouth.  This also lets  you protect the insides of the 
covers and keeps the stuff away from  the reeds & wind savers.  Use a soft clean 
cotton cloth,  and never anything abrasive such as paper products or cleaning 
pads to  rub or buff the covers.  
For those who feel compelled to cut corners and leave the covers on when  
polishing, save your used toothbrushes, they work great for getting the  
inevitable bits of dry wax or polish out of the cracks &  crevices.  Hold the part 
your are brushing facing down so the dried bits  fall away from the instrument, 
and then blow it out before putting it  to your mouth.  Just don't come 
complaining about that odd twitch you  develop if you wind up sucking in the polish 
residue.  I haven't tried Mojo  Red's toothpaste thing, sounds like a great 
idea, but with covers in  place maybe avoid the types with peroxide or other 
"whiteners" which might  be hard on a wood comb???  I'd still wax it for  
protection once it's clean. 
Beware, although most waxes are paint friendly, some types of  metal polish 
will quickly damage paint, and maybe your plastic combs  as well.  Some of 
these products, especially the metal polishes  are fairly toxic and should NOT be 
To extend the topic to your hand held microphones, its a great idea to  
periodically clean & wax those expensive bullet mic's that many of us  use.  Keep 
the stuff away from any switches & open 1/4" connectors  (insert a jack into 
the opening first, seals off the hole and gives you  something to hold while 
waxing).  Keep the stuff away from the grille  on the front... hard to remove wax 
from the windscreen "silk" without causing it  to detach from the inside of 
the grille.  The original paint on  your valuable 1940's Astatic or Shure may 
not be compatible with some types  of cleaners or wax, find out before 
proceeding if the product is safe  for all surfaces. 
Christopher Richards
Twin Tone Harmonica Microphones
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