A drum set is expensive musical equipment so it must be well taken care of. Taking care of it is about keeping it in tune, changing the skins when necessary, and keeping the set clean. Cleaning it is not simply wiping the dirt off with wet cloth; remember, a drum set consists of different parts and materials. This article shows the proper way on how to clean a drum set.
How to clean a drum set: Things to Remember
Knowing more about these pieces of equipment enables you to understand how to clean a drum set. It is a pretty simple instrument but it is composed of small pieces, each of which needs to be properly cleaned and maintained. Each of the small pieces should be squeaky clean to keep the whole instrument in good condition.
The most important thing to remember on how to clean a drum set is to use a non-abrasive cleaner. These include non-ammonia based glass cleaners like 409, Windex, or other related products.
Never use Ajax, Comet, or other bathroom cleansers. The best cleaner to use is a cheap home-made 50- 50 solution of vinegar and water.
Each piece of drum set need a unique cleansing method. So here are these methods.
Cleaning the drums
Generally, cleaning the drums is done by using cleansers that will not fade the colors of the drums or make them flat and dull. Never use abrasive cleansers that will leave a permanent scratch to the finish.
As stated above, cleansers such as Windex, 409, and other related products are safe for the drums. Ammonia-based products can fade the color of the drums and make them look old.
The best and cheapest cleanser is a home-made 50-50 solution of vinegar and water. It is as effective as store-bought cleansers and it will not damage the drums.
Another effective cleanser is Goo Gone. It can remove any permanent residue on the drum. Simply dab a small amount of Goo Gone onto a clean cloth, and gently rub it on the affected surface. It will clean your drums and they will look like a brand new.
Cleaning the stands and hardware
The same products as above should be used for the stands and hardware, but if these parts have hard-to-clean dirt or discolored metal, a typical chrome polish can be used. This cleanser is usually found at local automotive stores.
However, a chrome polish, like Brasso, should not be used on the drum shell because it is very abrasive and has tough solvent-type chemicals. Avoid getting it on the drum shell or it could leave a permanent mark. Do the cleaning in a well ventilated area.
Cleaning the cymbals
Cleaning the cymbal is always messy and stinky no matter what kind of solution is used. There are several kinds of cymbal cleaners today; most cymbal companies actually make their own cleaners.
The types of cleaners trusted by most users are the products Never Dull Metal Polish and Flitz Metal Polish. Other cymbal cleaner that could work is the Bar Keeper’s Friend.
Cleaning the drum heads
There are two kinds of drums heads—coated head (white) and clear plastic head. Good news, you can actually clean the drum heads, whichever kind it is. For the coated head, use a clean, damp cloth.
You might notice a little coating flaking off of the head but this is totally normal and the head is still good. Do not spray water directly on the drum head. For the clear plastic head, use non-ammonia window cleaner to eliminate any dirt, residue, or stick marks.
Finishing the cleaning
Once you are all done with cleaning the drum set, cymbals, stands, and other drum hardware, give them a shine with Pledge, or any other spray-on furniture polish. Never use car wax or any other liquid wax because they contain harsh chemicals that may damage the drum set.
If you are not using the drum set, cover it with a large blanket or bed sheet to keep off the dust. There will always be dust and dirt in your home no matter how clean it is, and drums are the best places where dust rests.
The best way to keep dust and dirt off is to spend more time playing with your drum set instead of often cleaning them.