Keeping your drum kit neat and clean is one way of showing how much dedication you have to drum. Luckily, you don’t need to do it daily. But it is recommended that you regularly clean them. Cleaning your drum kit is a very important aspect as a drummer, the often you clean your instruments, the lesser are the chances that it will get damaged or lost its proper flow. Cleaning will make sure that your drum is working properly and producing a high-quality sound.

For cymbals, you have to do twice as much the maintenance. The care you give them is equal to the quality of performance you get. Cymbal requires better protection and maintenance as compared to any other instrument. Cymbal is quite soft in nature so make sure you clean them with soft hands and do not hurt the cymbal or its logo.

Many people, especially beginners, don’t know a lot about cleaning a cymbal. There are different cleaning products on the market too, and choosing the right one may be overwhelming. The right cymbal cleaning product is very important because it will not only help you to clean cymbals easily, but it will make sure that the cymbal is cleaned according to its requirement.

Here, I will take you through the basics of cleaning your cymbals. Come along.

What is the Best Cymbal Cleaner?

Here are the top five cymbal cleaners.

1.      Zildjian Brilliant Finish Cymbal Polish

The Zildjian Brilliant Finish Cymbal cleaner is a solution designed for brilliant cymbals. It is a recommended product for professional use as well as casual applications. This solution is designed in a way that even a newbie can clean the cymbal in no time, and for professionals, this cymbal clean solution is highly recommended.

Whereas many cymbals cleaner is liquid, this polish comes in cream form. Many recommend it as a great cleaner, although it can remove the logos.

Also, it is not recommended for use on other cymbals, like those with a vintage finish. Do not also use for ZXT titanium or Kerope finishes. One thing to notice here is that not all the cymbal cleaning solutions are suitable for every cymbal, so before using this one, keep in mind that it can remove the logos from your cymbal and it’s not suitable for every cymbal.

It comes with user instructions. But it’s generally easy to use, apply using a piece of cloth and you are good to go. Reading instruction for the first time is quite necessary because you’ll understand the whole process and it will save you from any major loss.

The only downside is there limited usability and potential harm to logos. Like every product, this one has a few negative points, one of them is already mentioned above, the other is that you can clean your cymbals with this solution, but it will not last long.

2.      Music Nomad Drum and Cymbal Care

The Music Nomad Drum and Cymbal Care system is a two-in-one kit for cleaning the whole drum set. It contains the Cymbal Cleaner and Drum detail.

The Cymbal Cleaner is made to clean your cymbals only. But you can use the Drum Detailer for general polishing on all metals and wood. This two-in-one cymbal polish and cleaner comes with two bottles, one is used to clean the cymbal, and the other will give it a new texture and looks. Once you apply the polish on your cymbal, it will shine like a brand new, and amazingly, this shiner can be used on any other metal as well.

One of the biggest advantages is that the Cymbal Formula is acid and silicone-free at the same time. This means it is safe for all cymbals, although strong enough to tamper with the logo.

It is easy to use. Apply using a piece of cloth, leave to dry, and then wipe with another towel.

However, it can take logos off. And it does not go very well with non-brilliant cymbals.

3.      Groove Juice Percussion cleaner

This is a liquid cymbal cleaner that remover the toughest stains from your cymbals. It is easy to use. You just spray on the surface, leave it to dry for a while and then rinse offer with water before drying with a piece of towel. This is a specially formulated cymbal cleaner that will remove all those marks that can’t be removed easily. You can count this one among the best cymbal cleaner

This cleaner is applicable to standard cymbal. It is recommended for outdoor use as it has such a strong odor. It works great but because of some strong components, it’s better if you use this best cymbal cleaner in an open-air, otherwise, the order it produces will irritate you harshly.

In a nutshell, this is a wonderful cymbal cleaner that will leave them shining again. But it works best only for cymbals that require regular cleaning. Means, if you want to get a high-quality result, use such cymbal cleaners on a regular basis, they will show their results gradually.

4.      Music Nomad MN112

The Music Nomad MN112 may be among the little know cleaners in the market. However, it is highly productive.

It is a classic polish that comes in a vintage look. But the final results are quite reassuring. These cymbal cleaners come in a two-bottle pack, where one is for cleaning, and other is for polishing.

It is used just like any polish paste. Apply it on the cymbal utilizing a piece of cloth, let it drum, and then rub it off. It will restore the shiny nature of your cymbals, no matter the damage. Use a brush to get into grooves and folds. Its simple usage makes it among the best cymbal cleaners, and its brilliant cymbals polish will let your cymbals shine like a star.

However, you may need to cover the logos. It is too strong and can reap them off.

5.      Dunlop 6400 system 65

Jim Dunlop is a reputable producer of guitar, bass, and drum accessories. And System 65 cleaner by the company feature among world-best drum and cymbal cleaners. This will give you a traditional finish even if you have clean your cymbal years ago.

This product comes in a set of three containing a Cymbal Cleaner, Cymbal Intensive and, a Drum Shell Polish and Cleaner. It also includes a microfiber cloth. A complete package that will remove every single particle of dust and dirt, and provide you a brand new cymbal, even if you’ve brought is years ago.

The 65 Cymbal Cleaner offers normal maintenance applications, whereas the 65 Cymbal Intensive Care hardest more serious duties. They are both applications for all types of cymbals. This cymbals cleaner is designed to remove old, new, or every type of marks even it is on the cymbals for years ago.

The application is pretty simple. Apply using a piece of towel, let it dry and wipe off and see finish cymbals.

It is strong and efficient, come with a microfiber cloth and a drum shell polisher. There is so far, no serious limitation. You can utilize this cleaner even if you brought it years ago.

How to Use The Best Cymbal Cleaner?

Cleaning cymbals are quite similar across the board. Though there are brands that require you to clean them in a specific manner, it would, therefore, be best if you checked the manufacturer’s manual to learn the best cleaning methods. 

Generally, here are steps for cleaning cymbals:

1. Bring your tools together

Some drummers love a ‘darker’ sound from their cymbals. But for those who would rather get a bright, clean sound response, you should restore the cymbals to their glory.

Cymbal gets dirty pretty fast. When it happens, they become tarnished in terms of authenticity and change their tonal quality due to oxidation. The moment your cymbals will get in touch with any sort of dirt, you’ll observe a change in tune and flow in your cymbals, you’ll not enjoy the same rhythm that your cymbals used to have years ago.

To start the cleaning process, you will first have to get the right cleaning solution. The right cleaning product will remove almost anything it touches. Hence, you don’t want to clean from the house and risk bleaching everything. As we have mentioned earlier, cleaning the cymbals requires proper knowledge and guidance, in terms of which brand to pick and how you operate on cymbals.

You will also need water, a brush, and a towel while cleaning cymbals.  

2. Applying the cleaner 

The second step is to apply the cymbal cleaner. In some methods, you may have to use lemon juice and similar products. But for this case, we shall focus on purpose-designed products like the ones mentioned above. Every cymbals require a different technique that’s why all this knowledge is fruitful.

Many of them are packed in a spray bottle. This makes it easy for you to just spray evenly on the surface of the cymbals, one side at a time, and watch as the cymbals washer eats away the rust from the cymbals.

3. Start scrubbing 

This step may not be necessary, unless the cymbal us soiled, or has deep grooves. In these cases, use a toothbrush. This will get into the cymbals grooves and get the hidden dirt out. Do not use and wire brush as it scratch, or worse, wear out the surface of your cymbals. Using a simple brush is the best option if you want to clean your cymbals without hurting it.

Be careful not to scrub out any brand logos on them. You want the cymbals to look as new as possible. 

4. Now rinse them

For this, you need water. The best way would be to hose them down from outside. You will enjoy seeing the surface of the clean cymbals being uncovered.

And just like in the previous step, be careful working around cymbals logos. They become softened by the cleaner, and water can easily rip them off. 

Considering this, it would be better to pour water on the cymbals gently.

5. Dry and polish

Once you are sure no more cleaner is remaining, take a towel, or polishing cloth and give it a good dry to your cymbals. You can simply part around it with a buff until the cymbals completely dried up. 

You will not a brilliant change in the items. I would advise you don’t try cleaning un-lathed cymbals. The results will not be good for anyone. 

What About My Traditional Finish Cymbals?

The question of cleaning tradition cymbal is quite a tough one. Some will tell you to clean, while others will tell you to leave them.

On one side, these cymbals feature stick marks and oxidation tampering. But that is what gives them the characteristic while producing the vintage sounds. Removing this layer means you will get a different sound.

But some cannot leave with such cymbals. And therefore, you may want to clean them. In this case, I would suggest you use a mild mix of soap and hot water. Also, using a soft-bristled scrubbing brush may be a good way to remove the oil. 

Also, it is good to clean them once every few months. I would suggest you use hot water, lemon juice, and vinegar every time. Be sure to protect your logos, too; they tend to come out no matter the agent you use.

How To Minimize Cymbal Blemishes

There are many reasons for blemishes on cymbals. A player must be aware of the best maintenance methods to keep the items shiny. Consider the following.

  • Play them in the right manner. Do not hit on the edge as this can cause crashes.
  • Pick the right cymbal. It is easier to avoid blemished is with the right type of cymbals. Consider the alloy content, size, shame, hammering, and lathing pattern.
  • Protect them at all times. When carrying, use a padded cymbal bad or a protective case. Store them immediately after working. For prolonged storage, wrap them separately with a piece of cloth and keep them away from the cold and hit. Avoid metal contact.
  • Do not over-tighten the wing nut. It can cause the center hole to crack.
  • Ensure you mount them well. Start by ensuring the knobs are tight, then put the nylon or plastic sleeve on the mounting rod the place a felt on the sleeve before finishing with the cymbal.
  • Be careful about how you play them. The way you strike them determines their lifespan.
  • Be sure to know the right setup, transport, and cleaning. These are the most vulnerable times for your cymbals.


You cannot get the best sound from your cymbals but by keeping them in good shape. For this reason, you need to have a cymbal cleaner with you at all times. Maintaining your cymbals will ensure better daily drumming and recording. It also gives them a longer life.

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