5 Best Cymbal Cleaners & Polishers For Maintaining the Performance and Lifespan Of Your Kit

As with all instruments and parts of your drumkit, over time, each piece is going to be build up with dirt, grime, dust, and sweat from when you’ve been playing. This doesn’t even take into account the natural dirt from the air and rooms you’ve been playing in.

While many drummers may simply ignore this concept completely, only the best drummers actually realize the importance that this cleanliness and quality control has on their performance. For example, having pollutants on your cymbals increases the weight of your cymbal, and changes its ability to vibrate and resonate sound.

This is going to affect your style of play and the sound you’re producing. Since this is something you’ve been getting used to over time, you probably won’t realize, but you can be sure a listener or audience member is going to notice the dull and unattractive sound almost immediately.

To counter this problem, the easiest thing to do is to clean and polish your cymbals back to their factory condition. As with any job in the world, you’re going to need the right tools to get the best and easiest results.

We’ve searched across the market and narrowed down what’s out there to just five of the best. These are the products we believe are going to help you produce the best results; all for the most affordable price.

Sabian SSSC1 Safe & Sound Cymbal Cleaner

Sabian SSSC1 Safe & Sound Cymbal Cleaner

To kickstart our list, we’ve chosen the Sabian SSSC1 which is designed to be super-effective on cymbals while remaining safe for you and the environment around you. This is ideal if you’re planning on cleaning your cymbals in a closed-off environment where you don’t want to be inhaling toxic industry-strength fumes.

With this cleaner, it’s been specially designed to not only clean the dirt and grime off your cymbals but also to protect it with a sheet of coating that forms after each application. Over time, this is designed to help you create a wipe-off coating that doesn’t affect the performance of your cymbal but makes it easier to clean.

As we mentioned, this cleaner pride itself on its levels of safety. The solution is produced to be fully organic, accent and acid-free, as well as being completely biodegradable. This means you can safely use this cleaner anywhere and everywhere without having to worry about causing damage.

We know you’ll really like this cleaner because it’s affordable and you’ll find it incredibly easy to use. It’s worth noting that this is a cream formula, rather than a spray-on,so make sure you read the instructions so you know how to use it properly!

PROS
  • Completely safe for you and the environment
  • An acid-free solution
  • An incredibly affordable price tag
  • Great for cleaning and protecting your cymbals
CONS
  • Not a spray-on application
  • May cause smears while cleaning

Paiste Cymbal Cleaner

Paiste Cymbal Cleaner

While this is the most expensive cymbal cleaner on the list, it’s still really affordable, and it won’t be breaking the bank of any musician’s any time soon. However, this is perhaps the most high-performance cleaner we’ve listed, so you can buy safe in the knowledge you’re paying for quality.

When applying your cleaner, you’ll notice how quickly and easily it picks up dirt and grease, as well as removing stains and marks with just a little bit of pressure and effort. While applying the cleaner, it also helps to form a proactive layer and coating that stops dirt and grime collecting in the future.

This layer of coating doesn’t affect the performance or weight of your cymbal in any way and is, in fact, used to simply enhance the existing coating that the manufacturer of the cymbal would have applied in the first place.

While this kit doesn’t come with its own instructions, it’s simple to figure out that you can squeeze some of the polish onto the cymbals, rub in with a paintbrush (or toothbrush for detail), scrub it in, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse it off with cool water.

The resulting shine of your cymbals will be amazing, and you’ll be amazed when you see what they would look like under shimmering stage lighting. There’s really nothing bad to say about this cleaner as you can be sure that it will get the job done right every time!

PROS
  • Great at removing dirt and grime from your cymbals
  • Contributes to the protective layer that exists on your cymbal
  • An easy method to get the best results
  • Ideal for all Paiste products
CONS
  • None!

Groove Juice Percussion Cleaning (GJCC)

Groove Juice Percussion Cleaning (GJCC)

Groove Juice is easily one of the most popular of all instrument cleaning products available on today’s market, and you speak to any musician who knows how to keep things clean; they’re probably going to recommend Groove Juice.

What we love most about Groove Juice is the fact that it’s a spray on solution that requires absolutely no effort in the cleaning process. If you’re looking for a quick fix that takes no time at all, it doesn’t get much better than this.

That’s right; you don’t need to rub, buff or polish the cymbal whatsoever. You just spray it on, leave it for a couple of minutes, and then wash it off with cool water. That’s all you need to do in order to achieve nearly brand-new looking cymbals that perform to their best.

The result is both shiny, and you’ll instantly noticed a difference in the sound that your cymbals are producing. You’ll find it’s so much clearer and has such a better spark to it, rather than the dull sounds you may have become accustomed to.

However, you’re probably going to want to clean your cymbals using this formula while you’re outside because it does smell pretty bad. It’s not overpowering or really horrible, it’s just not that nice, and you’re not going to want it over your furniture or sticking into your floors or walls.

It’s also worth noting that this stuff is pretty powerful. In most cases, especially after a few uses, it’s probably going to start to take off any print on your cymbals, logos, text or otherwise, so make sure you’re applying and using it gently for the polishing results!

PROS
  • Produces such a clean and clear result
  • Cymbals look brand-new after using
  • Simple spray-on/wash-off technique
  • Well-known coveted manufacturer
CONS
  • Can remove print because it’s so powerful
  • The smell of the solution is not that pleasant

Lizard Spit MP03 Cymbal Polish

Lizard Spit MP03 Cymbal Polish

Another extremely popular cymbal cleaning solution, Lizard Spit is a new-age styled formula that aims to help you restore your cymbals to their former glory, ultimately helping you produce the best quality sounds.

This particular brand is ideal if you want to remove grease, dirt, dust, fingerprints, and signs of oxidation on your cymbals. Once removed the dirt, this spray-on solution then helps to shine and polish the metal, helping it produce that crisp and bright sound.

What really sets this spray apart from the rest of the cymbal cleaners out there is the special sealant solution which is built into the ingredients. This helps to form that protective layer across the entire cymbal which helps to slow and sometimes completely eliminate the process of rust and oxidation.

We also love the fact this comes with a 4-ounce bottle, which means you’ll have more than enough to keep you busy and to go for many years to come. This brand is also one of the most affordable, so when you do need to top up, you don’t have to break the bank.

Much like the cleaner above, you’ll find this cleaner is equally as strong. Again, unless you water it down to begin with you can be sure that it’s going to strip the print, text, and logos of your cymbals, so bear this in mind before you apply it! Apart from this attention to detail, this is another polish that guarantees to create great results!

PROS
  • The super-strong formula for getting off dirt
  • Creates a protective layer to protect cymbal from oxidation
  • An incredibly affordable price tag
  • Helps your cymbal create a bright and brilliant sound
CONS
  • Can smell unpleasant
  • Will strip logos and text if not watered down

Zildjian Brilliant Finish Cymbal Polish

Zildjian Brilliant Finish Cymbal Polish

To finish off this list, we’ve chosen the Zildjian, simply because a list of cymbal cleaners wouldn’t be complete without mentioning them. Zildjian is one of the most iconic drum and accessory manufacturers of the modern-day, and this Brilliant Finish Cleaner is a great example.

This comes with a huge bottle, measuring 8 fl. Ounces, which is more than enough to keep you busy and covered for many years to come. Once applied using the easy apply and wash off technique, your cymbals will be completely free from dirt and grime.

However, like the other cleaners we’ve listed here, this one is prone to taking off ink, logos, and text, so make sure you’re applying it around these areas unless you’re happy for them to go.

It’s also important to note that this cleaner is not suitable for traditional finishes, Kerope or ZXT Titanium cymbals, but any other type of cymbal will be fine! The product is easy to apply, promises to get the job done, and is an all-around great cymbal cleaner!

PROS
  • A super-powerful solution for taking off dirt and grime
  • Easy to apply and wash off
  • Huge 8fl. Ounce bottle for long-lasting product
  • One of the most renowned product companies
CONS
  • Not suitable for traditional finish, Kerope or ZXT Titanium cymbals
  • Will take off logos, text, and ink off cymbals

Summary

As you can see, when it comes around to the time where you need to clean your cymbals, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to the cleaner you can use. All of the five cleaners we’ve listed above make ideal choices and guarantee to get the job done.

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