Posted by Joe S. on September 07, 1999 at 01:32:32:
In Reply to: Chemical flush posted by Chemical flush on September 06, 1999 at 16:16:48:
The chemical that a lot of repair shops use ("Slime-Away") has CITRIC acid as one of its main ingredients. It is really quite safe, and doesn't fume. Muriatic is pretty rough stuff and has become obsolete in this business, for the most part. Realize that all you are trying to do is to get the lime deposits out of your instrument, so that the valves work smoothly, and so that you don't rot out your mouthpipe with those deposits.
The only part of your instrument that might need this job is the valveset, mouthpipe, and main slide. It is ridiculous to run gallons of acid through the huge branches of a tuba. If you know how to completely disassemble your instrument and would like to experiment with white vinegar or lemon juice over a 15 minute to 30 minute period to see how well one or the other removes that hard caked-on white (or nasty gooey greenish) lime, I consider those two household acids to be quite harmless. Realize that you do NOT need to try to make the interior of your instrument bright yellow in appearance. (Leaving a patena there is quite appropriate and beneficial.) You are just trying to remove lime deposits.
If your instrument is silver-plated, I wouldn't go "messing around" with anything at all, however, unless it would be that restaurant silver-dip stuff, but that chemical isn't known for doing the job that you would want - removing lime.
It is really a very, very good idea, once the instrument is clean, to brush and rinse your teeth and gums prior to each time you play.