Paiste Cymbal Cleaner and Protector Tips
Have you ever wondered what your cymbals would look like if you actually took the time to clean them? How much of that gunk is going to come off? Are those layers of dust I hammered in permanently stuck in the cymbal grooves?
The answer is - it depends on how much money you're willing to spend on cymbal cleaner. While I have seen some other brands which produce insane results with harsher chemicals, I have to say that the Paiste cymbal cleaner works very well for day-to-day cleaning.
In fact, if your cymbals still have a nice 'shine', then chances are, the protective coating from the manufacturer is still in place. Harsher chemicals could strip that off, and ultimately lead to problems such as discoloration more quickly. Even if you clean your cymbals often, there is nothing that will protect your cymbals like the original coating from the manufacturer. Paiste cymbals, in fact, have the highest quality coating from the factory, in my opinion.
With such a shine, I promise there is still dust and other dirt which has accumulated as you've played. So, now is your opportunity to keep them looking new, rather than let them get really dirty and prematurely age.
However, if you are playing with cymbals which are already discolored, then you really ought to take the time to clean them. If you're hoping to 'age' them prematurely on your own, then clean them aggressively, then skip the cymbal protector layer at the end (more on that later). This will promote oxidation, which will give the cymbal a drier tone. Not for every cymbal, of course - but it might be a sound you want to try.
Vintage cymbals which have been oxidized already should be cleaned frequently, and a protective coating used. Too much oxidation will lead to pitting and ultimately spots of discoloration which are ugly and weaken the cymbal. A vintage sound is great - but take it too far and you're not going to have a cymbal at all, just a rusty disk!
For new cymbals, I suggest cleaning every 3 to 6 months. Be sure to dust off your cymbals before playing them, as well. I don't own any vintage cymbals, but I'm sure cleaning them frequently is beneficial, as well.
Cymbal Cleaning Technique
Follow the instructions on the bottle. DON'T rub aggressively, at least not with the Paiste stuff. The chemical will pull the grime out. Just spread it around the cymbal and rinse it off. Repeat if you think it will help. Be gentle, and move from the center to the edge. Don't be shy with the cymbal cleaning fluid, use as much as you need to spread it around without pressing hard.
The trick is to rinse IMMEDIATELY. Don't let the fluid dry onto the cymbal, or you will have a hard time getting it out. It will leave a dense streaks of grime if you don't rinse the cymbal right away.
Of course, clean both sides.
In my experience, rubbing into rusty spots where pitting has occurred does not help. It just results in pushing debris into the cymbal, and maybe rubbing out some of the grooves. Not good!
After a final rinse in warm water, apply the Paiste cymbal protector. This will create a GREAT shine and protect your cymbals from more dust coming in. In other words, your cymbals will stay clean longer, and shine brighter.
You don't need to use much of the protective cymbal fluid. It is very thin and therefore spreads across the cymbal with a minimal amount. Again, no need to rub aggressively.