brass instrument tarnish

Preserving Brilliance: Avoid Tarnished Brass Instruments With Zerust Vapor Capsules

Brass instruments, renowned for their distinctive sounds in rich tones, are more than just music makers. For many musicians, their horns, tubas, flutes, trombones, and saxophones are extensions of themselves. A well-made brass instrument an last more than a century – but only if it’s cared for properly.  Preserving the brilliance of the sounds they make involves prioritizing proper cleaning and storage – specifically to avoid tarnished brass instruments.

The solution lies in innovative tarnish prevention methods – namely, anti-tarnish vapor capsules. Zerust vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) capsules are a simple, affordable way to protect the metallic components that may be prone to corrosion.

Brass is a type of non-ferrous metal. This means it doesn’t contain iron – which is the key component in the most commonly referenced form of corrosion, rust. But that doesn’t mean brass won’t corrode. It does contain a mixture of zinc and copper metals – both of which will tarnish and corrode with exposure to moisture and oxygen.

The Trouble With Tarnish

Tarnish is a natural phenomenon that occurs when brass metal components of your instrument react to moisture, air, and various pollutants. It manifests as a layer of discoloration on the surface – diminishing the instrument’s aesthetic appeal and potentially affecting sound quality.

Brass instruments are unfortunately highly prone to tarnish because of the way they’re used – frequently coming into direct contact with a musician’s breath, hand oils, and various environmental contaminants.

Horn manufacturers recommend using a labor-intensive approach to storage if you hope to avoid tarnished brass instruments. For example, Houghton Horns advise musicians to:

  • Completely disassemble the instrument, pulling out the mouthpiece, pistons, and slides.
  • Thoroughly wash every smidge of oil off the instrument before carefully drying and removing every last trace of water.
  • Store each part of the horn separately – with no metal touching metal. Consider putting each piece inside its own plastic bag or anti-tarnish storage bag.

In addition to using VCI anti-tarnish bags to store individual instrument pieces, tossing anti-tarnish vapor capsules into the storage case will help protect brass instruments from the chemical effects of tarnish. The capsules contain a controlled release formula that emits a specialized, molecule-sized protective barrier over the metal components of the instrument – allowing musicians to avoid tarnished brass instruments.

Benefits of Anti-Tarnish Vapor Capsules:

  1. Long-lasting Protection: Zerust anti-tarnish vapor capsules offer continuous protection for extended periods, ensuring that your brass instrument remains gleaming even during storage.
  2. Non-Intrusive Application: Applying anti-tarnish vapor capsules is a simple and non-intrusive process. The capsules can be placed inside the instrument case or storage compartment without any direct contact with the instrument itself.
  3. Effortless Maintenance: Unlike traditional cleaning methods that require frequent polishing, anti-tarnish vapor capsules reduce the need for constant maintenance. This translates to less time spent cleaning and more time playing music.
  4. Eco-Friendly Solution: The molecules released by these capsules are environmentally-friendly and safe for both the musician and the instrument. They do not introduce harmful chemicals or residues.
  5. Consistent Performance: Anti-tarnish vapor capsules provide consistent and reliable protection, ensuring that your instrument’s visual appeal and performance are preserved over time.
  6. Suitable for Various Environments: Whether you’re storing your instrument at home, in a practice studio, or on the road, anti-tarnish vapor capsules adapt to various environments, safeguarding your brass instrument from tarnish-inducing conditions.

Zerust’s innovative anti-tarnish capsules for storage offer a proactive solution to preserve the brilliance and elegance of brass instruments. By forming an invisible protective shield, these capsules ensure that musicians can focus on producing captivating melodies without the worry of tarnish detracting from the beauty and quality of their cherished instruments. Embrace the power of anti-tarnish vapor capsules and let your brass instrument shine through the ages.

Contact Zerust for information on VCI products to help with musical instrument tarnish prevention and rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Brass Instruments: Purchasing, Maintenance, Troubleshooting and More , July 2015, by Sally Wagner and David Fedderly, Cambridge University Press

More Blog Entries:

Prevent Brass Instrument Tarnish With Zerust Anti-Tarnish Capsules, Feb. 10, 2020, Musical Instrument Tarnish Prevention Blog