There is something about brass that produces a great, rich timbre – perfect for musical instruments. Brass is a non-ferrous metal, meaning it contains no iron and therefore cannot rust. However, it is comprised of zinc and copper, which can tarnish and corrode over time when exposed to oxygen and moisture. A good brass instrument can last 100 years or more – but only if it’s properly cared for. The best way to prevent brass instrument tarnish is to keep the instrument clean and use Zerust VCI anti-tarnish capsules. (VCI stands for vapor corrosion inhibitor.)
Tarnish will cause brass instruments to appear duller, and could even result in degradation of certain components that could diminish the robustness of sound. The resale value of a tarnished musical instrument is often greatly reduced. Damage to the finish can be accelerated with exposure to the oil and dirt on hands and faces. That’s why many musicians are so fastidious about washing their hands before handling.
Although Zerust has historically served more mechanics than musicians, we have had several instrumentalists write to us in recent years to tell us how our anti-tarnish vapor capsules have helped them to protect their prized instruments from tarnish, rust and corrosion.