microfiber cleaning cloth
Arrived today from our factory, this high-quality microfiber cleaning cloth is a high-tech option for safely keeping your musical instruments clean. It is now available from my shop, 5.00 EUR (+19% Dutch VAT; FREE shipping). Size: 28x28cm, colour: ivory. Order one now.
What is the benefit?
It lifts dirt, oily film, grease, leaves no scratches or lint on the varnish or bows, it does not require any cleaning liquids and can be washed unlimited number of times. You can wipe your precious violins and bows until holes appear in the cloth but it will not damage your instruments. It's dust-wiping capacity is 30 times that of the ordinary cloth so you will not have to rub until the holes appear in it like in your handkerchief or gaze. It is a safe, conservative method of caring for your instruments.
Get if free
However, before you decide to get a cloth - free or for a price - I would like to tell a few words about cleaning.
|Baroque violin no 67, |
by Dmitry Badiarov
Should you clean your instruments?
Yes, you should. Different parts of the world have different opinions about hygiene and also about cleanness of your professional equipment. I have seen valuable violins with fat, grease, dust built-up dozens of years worth. Varnish on these violins reacted to the generally not very innocent chemical compounds found in sweat and fat and deteriorated badly. It is therefore not the "safest" option not to clean your instruments.
Dos and do nots
Most players wipe their instruments clean after each use with a handkerchief. They eventually clean their instruments with the help of commercially available cleaners or even solvents such as eau de cologne. It should be repeated that agressive solvents should never be used unless by qualified personel. Soapy water is also often used and is the cheapest and safest option, however, solvents and liquids are potentially destructive. Even if they do not remove the varnish, they can soften both the dirt and the varnish and cause the dirt incorporate into the varnish. Additional danger are the cracks. If there are any cracks, cleaners can sip through those cracks and sometimes render them almost unrepairable, at least, not without major intervention. The so called "safe" commercial cleaners will perhaps not physically dissolve the varnish and this is why they are called "safe", however organic chemistry of varnishes is delicate and unstable. No matter how old it is, varnish continues to react with the chemicals that come in contact and so it may react to the chemicals, both organic and non-organic, found in the cleaning products. I have seen a violin so shiny and oily because it was literally soaked in some kind of commercial polish to the extent that the wood in the soundpost area was all grease and there was no way to stabilise the sound-post - it would move into some other place in just a few days. There were also some opened cracks soaked in polish. I am happy I did not have to glue those cracks!
So, yes or no?
It is advisable to have your instrument professionally cleaned once in a few years, but this is typically not the kind of operation an untrained musician should risk to undertake. Therefore the micro-fiber cleaning cloth is the best option for the valuable delicate surfaces of your bowed instruments and can be used daily, safely.
You can get one tiny piece of MF cloth for free at any optician with your new eye-glasses. It is typically of a such tiny size that renders it nearly useless for violins or larger instruments.
For a cost
You can buy one at any good photography shop. It will be excellent for your violins even though photographic micro-fiber cloth is optimized for lenses. You can buy one from my shop. The Badiarov Violins microfiber cloth is ideal for varnish, also on antique instruments where the varnish may have some marks of wear and tear. The surface of my micro-fiber cloth is extra soft and can clean effectively antique varnishes and surfaces that are not very smooth. Come to think of how many applications there are apart from your instruments: your computer, cameras, glasses.