Cleaning Cymbals


New member
Just some quick questions regarding cymbal care. I really like the sound of my cymbals right now, but as I look at them I noticed they have gathered grease from my hands over the years. I imagined that has dulled them some and taken away the brigthness, which I don't mind too much, but I am curuios to see what they would sound like cleaned. Questioned I have is if I cleaned them do you think that would change the sound at all, a little, or not even noticabley? Also, what would you recommend I use to clean them? I have the following) 14" Zildjian New Beat HH, 16" Amir Zildjian, 18" A Custom, 13" Paiste Splash, 20" Zildjian ride (no specific series from what I can tell, but kinda old). Thank you.


New member
I only clean my brilliant finish cymbals - Paiste 2002 and Alchemy Professional and I use something called "Dunlop65" - as for the traditional finish cymbals I just wipe them with a soft cloth after each playing :) I think that because I don't clean them their sound gets darker and darker and darker each year... I love it :)


New member
I use, and recommend, Zims Cymbal Cleaner. A few tips, though...

Zims is a weak acid. Protect your hands. And, if you like your cymbal logos, be very careful with your scrubbing once you've applied Zims. It will take the logos right off your cymbals if they are inked.

I don't have to worry about that, my new Saludas have etched logos, so they can't rub off.


New member
look for "groove juice" on ebay.

It is citric based just like zimms that Kev has mentioned above and its not a scourer solution, it will actually protect your cymbals and not leave a paste residue that will take ages to finally get off. It will remove your logo's unless they are etched.

Spray on the groove juice, over a blanket or many layers of newspaper cos your carpet will rot if it hits it. Leave for a while and then take your cymbal to the shower and spray off with warm water....yes warm water...... it works :lol:

click here for groove juice

Johnny Cat

New member
Just a word of advice on Groove Juice:

Be very careful while using it if you're concerned with the cosmetics of your cymbal besides the logo. Test it out in a small area on the underside, as the bottle suggests. It seriously discolored one of my cymbals. It didn't affect the sound though of course, which is obviously the most important.

I'm sure it doesn't do that with every cymbal, but be careful all the same if you've never used it before. :)

Apparently Sabian cymbals now don't even need cleaner. They recommend soap and water.

Other than that I would recommend using the cymbal cleaner made or endorsed by the company that makes your cymbals.


New member
Qbs":na2kpyoi said:
I think that because I don't clean them their sound gets darker and darker and darker each year... I love it :)
Sure you don't mean "their sound gets fatter and fatter and fatter each year" or "their sound gets greasier and greasier and greasier each year"...? :lol:

Seriously, you don't clean any of your cymbals? Any time?

I don't clean my cymbals very often myself, but that's mainly due to lazyness! :wink:


New member
pour petrol over it and set fire to it and wash the residue left by the petrol off .. ur cymbals cant get any cleaner... no really this actually works.. but dont do it

i give them a dusting once in a while... but there always in there case. . since traverling etc etc ..


New member
I don't clean my cymbals. I don't see any difference in sound and they look better with stick marks :]

Rob Crisp

New member
I tried the tomato ketchup idea tonight and it had amazing results!

It removed all the grease and fingermarks and also the inside of my nostrils! That stuff really is potent, kinda makes you think twice about eating it.

As for my A Customs, they're looking as shiny as the day I bought them!


New member
I work in the printing industry running an offset printing press. I use an industry favorite 'Plate Sav-ur'. I just follow the directions on the bottle. I got the idea because cleaning cymbals should be done with something gentle. Recently, I used this stuff on my new AA Sabian's and the pad I was usning turned an oh-so-lite shade of green. I also used it on my over 10 years old Hihats and they looked a lot better. I'm not saying they will be like new, but if you use this stuff you will prolly keep even with the patina fairy. :wink:


New member
If you dont clean your cymbols they will get 'darker' and lose some of the overtones. I dont ever clean my cymbols for this reason.

Groove juice is good, so is any cleaner that is made by Zildjian, Sabian, ect.ect.

You should try cleaning them and if you dont like it just have people rub them when they come over, lol. Everytime one of your friends comes over make them touch your cymbols, lol. They will be back to thier state now in no time.


New member
I was looking at my cymbals last night and thought I might want to take the ink logos off of them. I really like the way old cymbals look without the logos, but in order to do that I'd have to clean my cymbals. Now my crashes and rides wouldn't be so bad as all are somewhat newer and therefore relatively clean already, but my hi-hats are 10 years old and they have a pretty good coating of sweat, blood, tears and possibly some other bodily fluids... :wink: So I'm really hesitant about removing all that character. Esp. since I've heard it will change the sound, I don't know how true that is, but it frightens the hell out of me. They should make some sort of goo that you can put on new cymbals that will give them that worn in look, sound and feel.
It is a very true fact that cleaning your cymbals will indeed change the sound. It does depend on how dirty your cymbals are however. If you have barely dirty cymbals, cleaning won't make a drastic change in sound. If you have very dirty cymbals, they will sound much brighter, possibly with more high overtones than when they were dirty. I own a recording studio, and trust me, cleaning makes a huge difference in sound. The two cleaners I use are 1. Groove Juice, which is good for lightly soiled cymbals. 2. Buckaroo cymbal polish, which takes some elbow grease, but looks amazing when its done right.
I use some brass cleaner on my cymbals. Makes them sound brighter, and takes away all that residue and oil and grease that masks the sound. Epecially cymbals that are really aged and are real dark looking. I aha a couple, took a buffer wheel on a drill and some Brasso and went to town. I tell you what, those cymbals that used to be real black, looked brand new and sounded brand new.


New member
I know this is completely opposite of the subject but I read an interview with Buddy Rich where he said that some of his friends would bury their cymbals in the ground for a couple of days just to get them darker

I have noticed my cymbals brighten up after cleaning them
One of the Zildjian brothers (forget the first name) also reccomended a cleaner called Zud
I used it for a long time
It will eventually take the logos off the cymbals but mine don't last long enough for it to matter