Best Cymbal Cleaner – Products That Will Give You Appealing Results

If you are a professional drummer, then you are aware of how important it is to clean your drum set frequently. Maintaining your cymbals is more important since it is what indicates that you are a good drummer.

The assortment of your cymbals and the budget you have are the determinants of the type of cleaner you will get. Nevertheless, you can always twist your budget to get the best product. The cymbal cleaner you decide to purchase should be well-suited to clean every part of your cymbal.

If you are clueless about what cleaning product to buy, then you’ll know it today. This article aims to give you guidance on what products to consider when looking for a top cymbal cleaner. I have vast familiarity with cymbal cleaners, and thus I have evaluated them in depth. I have reviewed their main features, how to use them, and the quality of the results they deliver.

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Top Cymbal Cleaners – an In-Depth Evaluation

You may find numerous brands of cymbal cleaners on the market, but all of them don’t apply to the kind of cymbals you have. Some are designed for particular types of metals, while some may not give you the cleaning results you desire. So, here are the top brands that you would never go wrong when you purchase:

1. Groove Juice Percussion Cleaning – Best Affordable Cymbal Cleaner

Groove-Juice-Percussion-Cleaning-GJCC

This cleaner is majorly manufactured for professional drummers to clean cymbals by removing any dirt and smudge on the cymbals. Dirt-like dust and smoke cause oxidation of the cymbals, which destroys the instrument. Therefore, to maintain your instruments, you need to clean them frequently with products such as groove juice, which works well on such dirt.

To use this cymbal cleaner, just spray it on the cymbal and spread the product with a piece of cloth. Then wait for it to soak in the dirt for 30 seconds. After that, wipe through the cymbal with a clean cloth and warm water to ensure everything is cleaned off, including the groove juice. After this procedure, you can dry them to ensure there is no moisture on the cymbals.

Additionally, it is advisable to clean your cymbals outside since, in enclosed areas, the odor could seem irritating. The product has some fantastic features, which include:

  • This item hardly ruins logos, but it is best to clean around the writings on the cymbals.
  • It is not necessarily used only on professional cymbals. Therefore, if your cymbal is a budget-priced one with a bronze sheet, then this cleaner will work best on it. If you are a beginner, and you have not upgraded to professional cymbals, you can still clean your cymbals with this product.
  • It is a wipe-off polish since you do not have to rub it on the instruments. The easy application is also enabled by the fact that the liquid comes in a 240 ml spray bottle, which makes it easy to apply the cleaner and wipe it off.
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Groove Juice Percussion Cleaning (GJCC)
570 Reviews
Groove Juice Percussion Cleaning (GJCC)
  • Groove Juice Cymbal Cleaner
  • Groove Juice Cymbal Cleaner

PROS:
  • Easy to apply and clean
  • Does not ruin logos and writings
  • It can be applied to both professional and budget-friendly cymbals
CONS:
  • The product has a bad odor. Hence, it should be used outside

2. GHS Strings Fast Fret – Premium Cleaner Free of Silicone

GHS Strings Fast Fret

If you want to have an eco-friendly cleaner for your cymbals, you might try this one. It takes care of cymbals as well as of other musical instruments, including guitar strings. Since this is not a spray, you are in charge of the place you want to apply it. To make your cymbals clean and bright, stroke the surface of the instrument with this cleaner. You can apply it on specific stains or move it around the entire cover.

The pack includes a small and comfortable-to-use towel. I recommend gently wiping the surface with it right after you apply the cleaner. The pack is 3.4 inches, and you can carry it around in your bag. This product is also lightweight. It is only 2.08 ounces. There is no silicone among active ingredients. It is effective against the grim and dirt. I believe one pack might last for several months. You can buy several packs at once. and use the cleaner at least 4 times a year. You don’t need to wash it.

The main features of Fast Fret cleaner:

  • Its weight is 2.08 ounces;
  • A compact height of 3.4 inches;
  • This is a silicone-free cleaner;
  • It comes with a small towel to wipe the cleaner;
  • You can use the cleaner on strings of any musical instrument, apart from the cymbals.
Sale
GHS Strings FAST FRET (A87)
2,265 Reviews
GHS Strings FAST FRET (A87)
  • Premium string and neck lubricant and string cleaner for all stringed instruments
  • Silicone free cleaner is liquid in an applicator, not a spray

PROS:
  • Does not leave stains
  • No washing required
  • Silicone-free
  • Savvy offer
  • You may apply it to specific places
CONS:
  • The towel that comes in the pack is not durable

3. Sabian Safe and Sound Cymbal Cleaner – Organic and Acid-Free Helper

Sabian Safe and Sound Cymbal Cleaner SSSC1

This cleaner was created specifically for cymbals. It takes care of the instrument’s surface in no time. The product cleans, polishes, and protects cymbals, extending their lifetime. I don’t recommend using this cleaner on other instruments; however, I know that many musicians apply it to anything that contains metal. The choice is up to you. Since this is a spray, you have to be careful with applying it. Press it gently once or twice on the surface you have to clean. Make sure you wash it away after several minutes.

This remedy does not contain acid. However, it does not mean that you can keep it near small children. Try to hold it far from your eyes as well. It is also accent-free. The product is totally organic. The bottle is 6.9 inches long, and you will be able to use it for several years if you clean cymbals at least 3 times per year. This cleaner is pretty strong. Before you use it, make sure that your cymbals are covered with high-quality materials, and this remedy will not stain them.

The main features of Sabian Safe and Sound cleaner:

  • Savvy offer with a big bottle;
  • Lightweight and transportable;
  • pH-balanced spray without acid;
  • Organic solution;
  • It is created by a cymbal-developing company.
Sale
Sabian Safe and Sound Cymbal Cleaner, (SSSC1)
196 Reviews
Sabian Safe and Sound Cymbal Cleaner, (SSSC1)
  • Specially formulated to effectively clean your cymbals while protecting their performance
  • Fully organic

PROS:
  • Organic remedy
  • Saves your money
  • Free of acid
  • Made by cymbal developers
  • Affordable price
CONS:
  • There is no towel included in the pack

4. Music Nomad MN111– Acid-Free Cymbal Cleaner

Music-Nomad-MN111-Premium-Cymbal-Cleaner-for-Brilliant-Finishes-8-oz.

All drummers want their cymbals to be shining and sparkling as they perform. Therefore, if you have a cymbal with a brilliant finish, then it is wise to clean it frequently using this product. Music

Nomad Company manufactures high-quality drum set cleaning products. It means that you can get a variety of items to clean both your drums and cymbals. How good is this one?

This premium cleaner leaves a layer on the cymbals that prevent oxidation from occurring. Therefore, there will be no room for the piling of dirt. Dirt is what leads to oxidation of the cymbal, which in turn affects the sound. Thus, sound production will always be perfect.

It also works fast to restore the shiny nature of the cymbals. Additionally, the product comes with extras, especially for the part where you can get a kit that cleans both drums and cymbals.

Therefore, you will have a shiny set of everything, not forgetting to mention the best sound production.

The cleaner is free from acid and hence works on a variety of cymbals. However, there is a reservation for using it on traditional cymbals unless you want them to shine. The cleaner is also a good selection since it will leave your cymbals looking new and shiny. You will even notice the positive change in sound variations and song rhythms. Below are other significant features of the brand.

  • There is no acid component.
  • It is used to polish, shine, and maintain the outlook of cymbals with a brilliant finish.
  • The product has a strong formula that works on any stain.
  • It contains properly mixed components that produce a nice smell.
  • It does not have strong and dangerous chemicals that may be harmful to the user.
Sale
MusicNomad Premium Cymbal Cleaner for Brilliant Finishes, 8 oz. (MN111)
274 Reviews
MusicNomad Premium Cymbal Cleaner for Brilliant Finishes, 8 oz. (MN111)
  • Cleans, polishes, and protects brilliant finishes (not for use on matte finishes)
  • Acid-free, pro-strength formula safely restores shine. Smells great

PROS:
  • A nice smell
  • Acid-free
  • Leaves a protective layer
  • It can be used on various cymbals to polish and make them shine
CONS:
  • Requires proper directions when using it
  • Removes logos and writings

5. Zildjian Brilliant Finish Cymbal Polish – Perfect for Cymbals with a Brilliant Finish

Zildjian-Company-Brilliant-Cymbal-Polish-P1300

The manufacturers of this polish are re-known since they also make some of the best cymbals. Therefore, it is not shocking that they came up with a perfect cleaner. They decided to create a cleaner that will maintain and keep your cymbals shining all through.

This polish is best for cleaning brilliant cymbals. However, it can also work well on other cymbals if they are not coated or plated with platinum or any other type of coating.

Unlike most cleaners, this one is produced in a paste or cream form. It is also easy to use since you just rub it with a cloth on the cymbal. However, you will have to use several clothes since they become dirty quickly. After applying the cream, wipe it off completely using a clean cloth to bring back the initial shine.

Additionally, always ensure the brand names, logos, or any important writing is covered since the cleaner is strong enough to erase them. All in all, if you have a life-changing performance that might open doors to your budding musical or drumming career, then you can use this product to polish your cymbals. The cymbals will not only become shiny but, moreover, the sound produced and the song rhythms will be properly articulated. The key features of this brand include:

  • The application of the cream is fast and easy.
  • It removes nearly all stains on the cymbal, including molds. That is why it is the go-to cleaner for a lot of drummers.
  • The product is mostly used on cymbals with a brilliant finish, and it makes cymbals with a dull finish bright and shiny again.
  • It comes in a 240ml bottle, which can be used to clean several times before the cream runs out.
  • The item may be used for both cleaning and polishing.
Zildjian Company | Brilliant Cymbal Polish (P1300)
1,105 Reviews
Zildjian Company | Brilliant Cymbal Polish (P1300)
  • One quick and easy application
  • 8 fl. Oz/250 ml

PROS:
  • Tough on stains and dirt
  • Both application and cleaning are easy with this product
  • It performs both polish and cleaning functions
  • One bottle can be used multiple times
CONS:
  • Removes logos and any writings on the cymbals
  • Not suitable for titanium or platinum plated cymbals

6. Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish – Cymbal Cleaner That Removes Scratches

Mothers-05101-Mag-Aluminum-Polish-10-oz

This cleaner has an appropriately balanced formula that enables you to shine your cymbal effortlessly. It can be used to clean a variety of metals. Also, you can use the product to bring out the shine to any neglected metal as it has a unique strength.

Despite that level of strength, the item is still gentle if you want to use it for your routine cleaning. These unique features make this product a favorite polish for most professionals dealing with metals in different fields.

It is manufactured in the form of a paste, and as long as you have a piece of smooth cloth and just a small amount of elbow grease, you are good to go. You will have your cymbals looking all new and shiny again. Most people may dismiss the product as being specifically suitable for wheels, but the good news is that it can be used to polish any metal. However, take good care of your logos since the cleaner may erode them.

After applying the product, ensure you scrub it slowly on the cymbal with a paper towel. Then wipe off the excess paste, and you will be surprised by how shiny your cymbal will be. So, if you have stains on your cymbal that you want to remove before the performance day, try out this product and experience the magic.

It will enhance the tones and the rhythm of the songs you will be playing. If you are a professional drummer, then you know how important it is to wow your audience, and this can happen only with a clean drum set. Below are the main features of this item:

  • The cleaner has a long-lasting positive effect if used regularly. Therefore, you should clean your cymbal frequently using this product.
  • It removes scratches from metals. Your cymbal will be as good as new after cleaning it.
  • It works only on metals and surfaces that are not coated or plated. Therefore, if your cymbal is plated, then this would not be the best polish for it.
  • The product works on a variety of metals. This versatility is what makes it a good selection.
Sale
Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish - 10 oz
14,929 Reviews
Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish - 10 oz
  • Apply with a clean cloth and a little elbow grease for a shine
  • Gentle enough to use on a regular basis

PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Strong enough to remove all dirt
  • Leaves the surface shiny
  • Works on scratches
  • Versatile
CONS:
  • Can remove logos if scrubbing is not done gently>

7. Music Nomad MN210 Microfiber Drum Towels – Non-Linting Cleaning and Polishing Towels

Music-Nomad-MN210-Microfiber-Drum-Detailing-Towels-Pack-of-2-min

From all the descriptions of the cleaning products above, it is clear that you will always need a towel to wipe through the cymbals or the drum set. Therefore, this towel is a must-have, especially if you perform frequently. Undoubtedly, your cymbals will be having a lot of fingerprints and dust accumulated on them, and with these soft towels, you will be able to clean your whole drum set.

The company upholds the production of high-quality products, and it is the reason why they have come with these towels that do not have hems on the edges to enable them to clean the set without scratching the cymbals or drums. Additionally, the cloth is lint-free. It means that when you are wiping, there would be no build-up of charge, which may damage the cymbals.

Besides, they can be used to wipe off any dirt or residue of the cleaning chemicals even before your grand performance just to ensure everything is perfect. Thus, if you want the perfect towel for your final touches, then you can get this product. Its key features include:

  • It can be used to clean both cymbals and drums.
  • The product is made up of 90,000 microfibers per square inch, which easily and effectively wipes off any sludge from the cymbals and drums.
  • They are sizeable, and hence can cover the whole drum when cleaning, which in turn results in uniform cleaning of the instruments.
  • They are not bulky, and therefore, you can safely put them in your bag and use the product when the need arises.
  • These towels have a soft texture, which also prevents scratching.

It is important to note that you will not be scrubbing your cymbals using the cleaners daily. There are some days when you will be using a towel only. So why not invest in a good one like this?

Sale
MusicNomad Edgeless Microfiber Drum Detailing Towels - 2 pack (MN210)
125 Reviews
MusicNomad Edgeless Microfiber Drum Detailing Towels - 2 pack (MN210)
  • 2 Pack 12" x 16"
  • Non-Linting, Non-Hemmed Edge will not Scratch Drums

PROS:
  • Used to clean the whole drum set
  • The product is soft and does not have rough edges
  • It can be washed and reused
CONS:
  • The towels should be stored carefully to avoid staining with things like hair due to their microfiber nature

Buyer’s Guide on Cymbal Cleaners

If you want to prolong the life of your cymbals or restore their former glory, you have to clean them at least several times a year. However, not all the cleaners are equally good and suitable for this musical instrument. Read this guide to find out which one is your option.

What is a cymbal cleaner?

A cymbal cleaner is a product that was specifically created to remove dirt and old stains from cymbals. It contains polishing components that bring back the shine to the metal. This tool is helpful against greasy finger marks, stick marks, and air humidity. It restores the dazzling gloss that your cymbals once had.

Use this cleaner when you notice that your cymbals look dull, and once the shiny surface has darkened. Water and soap will not help you with the problem. Don’t try to scrub the cover of cymbals since all you will do is leave the marks on it.

Many of the cymbal cleaners are universal. They were created for a wide range of instruments. They will polish and protect cymbals from further fading out.

If you believe that the cymbal bags are enough to keep the instrument dazzling, you should know the following. Even in the protective bag, it will not be safe from dust and from your fingers. A cymbal cleaner removes oxidation that usually appears with time, no matter how often you play cymbals. Although the patina from grease might be invisible at first, layer after layer, it will ruin the total view of your musical instrument. A cymbal cleaner will take care of it.

How to choose a home cymbal cleaner?

There are lots of options on the market. Some of them might be helpful to you, while others not so much. You have to make sure that you know what you are looking for. The most important features of cymbal cleaners are:

  • Active ingredients. If you want an eco-friendly remedy, you have to make sure that it does not contain silicone or acid. Pay attention to the ingredients written on the bottle. Usually, developers underline the fact that their cleaners do not harm nature;
  • The type of cymbals you have. If the surface of the cymbals is shiny and covered with some extra dazzling material, you can use any type of cleaner. If your cymbals are traditional and covered in a specific patina, it’s better not to use any cleaner. You have to search for a mild detergent for traditional finish cymbals;
  • The way to apply it. Decide whether you prefer a spray or creamy type of cleaner. A spray might cover the bigger area at once. A creamy product acts on the specific spot;
  • The price of the product. On average, such a spray costs near $8-12. It depends on the amount of the remedy you buy. Don’t overpay for the cleaner.

How to clean traditional finish cymbals?

Many drummers believe that they don’t need to clean traditional finish cymbals. In the end, they receive a headache with the old grease and the loss of original sound. While the traditional finish instrument is covered with a specific patina and does not shine like other types of cymbals, it needs cleaning as well. Don’t think that your cymbals will lose color after cleaning.

To clean the traditional finish cymbals, perform the next moves:

  • Mix a mild detergent with hot or warm water;
  • Take the towel and soak it in this water;
  • Gently scrub the surface of the cymbals with this remedy;
  • Remove the build-up grease.

Many cymbal-cleaning products are made for brilliant finish cymbals. They will be harmful to the traditional cover. You have to read the description of the cleaner in advance. You might also find universal cleaners for brilliant and traditional finishes. In this case, you still have to read the active ingredient. They must not cause dents and scratches. If you worry about discoloring, you can try using homemade remedies, like hot water and vinegar mix.

After you are done with cleaning, wipe cymbals with a dry cloth. If your towel is hard, you can use an old cotton t-shirt. Once you finish playing cymbals, hide them in the bag.

FAQ

I have gathered the most popular questions about cleaners for cymbals here. Read my answers before you order any product. You might find this information helpful.

How to use a cymbal cleaner?

Every cymbal cleaner contains instructions. Before you buy it, make sure that it suits the coating of your cymbals. While you are cleaning your musical instrument, don’t forget to hold it firmly. Never lay cymbals on the hard surface while there is a cleaner on it. Follow the next instructions:

  1. You have to find a soft surface to lay the instrument on while you will clean it. I recommend using kitchen towels. Make sure that everything is ready for cleaning, including a soft and clean cloth to wipe it;
  2. Spread the cleaner evenly around the surface;
  3. Wait for some time. If the developer asks you to wipe or scrub the surface gently with a towel, do it. The time you have to wait is always indicated in the instructions. Usually, it is up to 30 seconds;
  4. Wash the surface with hot water if it is required;
  5. Use a clean cloth to wipe down cymbals.

Why do my cymbals sound bad?

Your cymbals might sound bad because of different reasons. The most popular is that they are covered with dirt and grease from your own fingers. If your cymbals suddenly become sticky and abrasive, you might need to clean them. Pay attention to the condition of cymbals. Make sure there are no scratches, and they are not damaged. A small tear on the surface can completely ruin your performance.

The main reasons why your cymbals sound poorly:

  • Your own skills as a drummer;
  • Condition of cymbals;
  • The angle of attack;
  • Quality of materials;
  • The environment you are playing at;
  • The dirt and grease might be layered on the cymbals.

Do clean cymbals sound better?

Cleaning cymbals may not affect the sound unless they are really dirty. If you clean cymbals at least several times a year, there will be no problem. However, if you don’t clean cymbals at all, they can get sticky, lose color, and begin to sound mellow and dark. Still, the difference between clean and new cymbals and your greasy and dirty ones is noticeable. Dirty cymbals look dull when they have to be shiny. Clean cymbals look brighter and sound sharper and louder. Besides, clean cymbals will serve you longer. After they are clean again, you receive the crystal clear sound. If it is still losing something, you need to use a more effective cleaner.

Warning! Keep in mind that you can’t scratch the surface of cymbals with your fingers, no matter how luring it is. Also, avoid washing the instrument with your bare hands.

Closing Remarks

All drummers want to get that standing ovation at the end of their performance. But with a poorly cleaned cymbal, you cannot attain this. Additionally, these instruments are quite pricey; therefore, they deserve proper maintenance. You want them to serve you for a more extended period to get value from the money spent. But with poor maintenance, these instruments easily get damaged.

To ensure perfect maintenance, first, you should get a cleaner that perfectly matches your cymbal to avoid disappointments and even poor cleaning of the instruments. From my analysis, I consider Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish to be the best cymbal cleaner. It can be used to clean a variety of metals. Also, it removes scratches and has a long-lasting positive effect.

Irrespective of the brand you pick, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. It will help you achieve the best results after finalizing your cleaning. Most cymbal cleaner’s soil clothes used to wipe them very fast. Therefore, you need to put in enough clothes for use when cleaning. As well, it is important that you have a microfiber towel for frequent dusting and cleaning of your instruments.

Nonetheless, cleaning your instruments frequently will ensure your drum set produces amazing sounds and tonal variations that will captivate your listeners to follow the performance religiously. Therefore, it is time to restore the shine that your cymbals had when you first purchased them, just make your best selection and get to work.

How often do you clean your cymbals? Which procedures do you use for cleaning? Do you always attain desired results? Leave a comment, please.

1 Comment
  1. Chad, just had to say thank you. I’ve had my 3 dot Zildjians since the late 60s. I’ve tried every home remedy and commercial snake oil out there trying to get my old pies to look like they did when new. GHS fast fret did it. I was amazed. Thanks for getting that information out there. You made an old drummer very happy.

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