Is lemon Old English wood cleaner safe for instruments?
My mom wants to use lemon old English cleaner designed for wood on my piano. If it's safe, I'll probably use it on my violin, as well, to get rid of excess rosin.
The bottle just says it's used to clean wood and prevent stains. It isn't safe to ingest, nor to get in the eyes, but that isn't surprising. It doesn't say anything about being safe specifically for musical instruments, just wood. I don't see why it wouldn't be, if it's for wood, but I wanted to check first before applying.
Also, as a side question, I've heard that lemon oil (I'm assuming ESSENTIAL oil, not just oil) is used to clean the fingerboard on stringed instruments, but no more than one drop a year. I'm assuming that it is diluted a bit with water to go farther? I know it is commonly used in cleaning.
As another side question, do we clean the bows? My teacher never said anything about it. I know the actual hair isn't to be touched, but should the other parts be cleaned? Mine is graphite, so can the above cleaner (assuming it's safe) be used for that?
Thanks in advance.
It's OK for the piano NOT OK FOR VIOLIN. Clean solid parts of violin and bow with microfiber cloth. You can use a slightly damp cloth to remove stains (like dried sweat residue) from your violin.
Furniture cleaner will wreck your violin.
Good violins have delicate varnish finishes that are not the same as the finishes used on furniture or pianos. Violin varnish is designed to remain somewhat soft so that it doesn't constrain the vibrations of the the wooden parts. A product made for furniture finishes should not be considered safe for violins. Such a product could also be absorbed into the wood and/or glue joints causing problems with future repairs. It's good that you asked about this first. Tell your mom that violins and bows are not furniture!
Make sure your piano finish is varnish and not a polyurethane or polyester finish before using. The products you reference will make a mess of the piano; not damage, just an oily mess that will attract dust and more fingerprints. Most pianos built over the last 40 or so years have these finishes. Consult your piano qualified technician.
For pianos with polyester finishes you can use a spray glass cleaner such as "glass plus" but you need to make sure that it does NOT contain ammonia.
I'm registered piano technician. I'd stay away from the product the OP mentioned. Or any other products that have wax or silicone.
Rosin dust should be brushed off the violin daily via a clean painting brush. (The small kind, not the kind you'd use to paint a house). "Clean", in this context, means never used for painting in the past.
NooOOO! No, no, no, no! Not on the piano, definitely not on the violin!
The best violin polish/cleaner is that one the player NEVER USES!!!!
This is funny.
Yeah, you want to give nightmares to the good people on violinist.com, you mention using furniture polish on a violin. Pretty funny.
The Music Nomad Tool has a brush at one end and a fuzzy string cleaner on the other. The brush is perfect for cleaning rosin off the surface and the other end does a decent job of cleaning the strings.
Paul Deck's first post was spot on. I'm surprised how many violinists don't know they shouldn't touch the body of the instrument with their fingers. (I was enlightened by my luthier.) And vacuuming: not only to remove dust but to remove bow hair beetles that may have snuck in.
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