The 7 Best Cymbal Cleaners (2023) to Bring Shine to Your Cymbals

cymbal-cleaners

Cymbal cleaners can be very effective in bringing back a cymbal’s original shine. This not only helps to make your drum set look great, but it can also bring out the sound of the cymbals in certain cases. 

When browsing for different cleaning products for your drums and cymbals you will find out that there are loads of different products and options on the market.

My top recommended cymbal cleaner is the Zildjian P1300 Cymbal Cleaning Polish. This is a very popular and effective cleaner from a renowned cymbal manufacturer.

My second recommended cymbal cleaner is the Dunlop Cymbal 65 Cleaner. This is an affordable, 4-ounce cymbal cleaner for those on a budget.

The 7 Best Cymbal Cleaners (2023)

1. Zildjian P1300 Cymbal Cleaning Polish
Top Pick - Popular and very effective cleaning polish from a renowned cymbal manufacturer.
2. Dunlop Cymbal 65 Cleaner
Budget Pick - Highly affordable, 4-ounce cymbal cleaner from Dunlop.
3. Buckaroo Cymbal Cleaner
Rub-on application cymbal cleaner that is great for very dirty cymbals.
4. Music Nomad MN110
Spray-on application, all-purpose cleaner.
5. Sabian Safe & Sound Cymbal Cleaner
Polishing cream from a reputable cymbal manufacturer.
6. Groove Juice Cymbal Cleaner
Effective and simple spray-on cymbal cleaner.
7. Meinl MCCL Cymbal Cleaner
Spray-and-wipe cleaner from a well-known cymbal and drum manufacturer.

Let’s compare these in more detail.

1. Zildjian P1300 Cymbal Cleaning Polish

Top Pick
Popular and very effective cleaning polish from a renowned cymbal manufacturer.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Zildjian brilliant cymbal polish is made by one of the most renowned cymbal makers in the world. It would be astounding if they didn’t know how to take care of cymbals. But luckily, they do, and they decided to share their knowledge with us.

The Zildjian P1300 Cymbal Cleaning Polish is a polish paste intended for use on Zildjian Brilliant cymbals, but it can be used on other types of standard cymbals as long as they are not plated (platinum, etc.).

This is a traditional polish paste and is used in a way that you take a bit of paste and rub it in a cymbal to take the dirt off. You should be warned that you will need a lot of cloths, as they get greasy and dirty in a matter of seconds, and after you finish with your cleanse you should take one last swipe with a clean cloth to remove residual grease and give your cymbals a shine they had when they were brand new.

You should be advised in covering your logos or at least not press them too hard when cleaning as this cleaner is rather strong and will erase print from your cymbals. But, if you cover them, there really should be no problems with that. This is a high-quality product that will most definitely clean your cymbals in every possible way.

2. Dunlop Cymbal 65 Cleaner

Budget Pick
Highly affordable, 4-ounce cymbal cleaner from Dunlop.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

Dunlop is a well-known company that produces musical accessories so it’s no surprise that it has a good cymbal cleaner. The Dunlop Cymbal 65 Cleaner is a highly affordable spray-on cleaner that anyone can afford.

It comes in a 4-ounce pump spray bottle and can be used daily to keep your cymbals clean and resonant. The way you use this cymbal cleaner cannot be simpler. Simply spray the formula and wipe it off with a cloth to bring that shine back to your cymbals.

In addition to the 65 Cymbal Cleaner, there is a plethora of other cleaning products that can be used in conjunction. For instance, the Dunlop Cymbal 65 Intensive Care is great for the surface of the cymbal, providing a clean finish and shine.

All in all, if you want something affordable and simple that works great, the Dunlop Cymbal 65 Cleaner should be your top option to consider.

3. Buckaroo Cymbal Cleaner

Highly Effective
Rub-on application cymbal cleaner that is great for very dirty cymbals.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Buckaroo Cymbal Cleaner is a little less known cleaner than two of the before mentioned, but it doesn’t mean that it is any less productive.

This is a classic polish paste, which comes in a vintage-looking metal box and the sight of it is oddly reassuring that your cymbals will look perfect.

You use it the same way as any polish paste, rubbing it on your cymbals and taking it off with clean cloths. You most definitely want to cover or avoid your logos and other printed stuff on cymbals as this will take it off along with all of the dirt.

It will bring shine in almost anything, no matter the wear and tear of the cymbals you have. Also, you may need to use the brush if you want to remove the dirt from grooves or folds as you may not be able to grasp them properly with your fingers.

4. Music Nomad MN110

All-purpose
Spray-on application, all-purpose cleaner.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Music Nomad is a company that makes guitar and drum cleaning products They provide all kinds of different cleaning products for your drums, and you can even get them in kits (e.g. drum cleaner and cymbals cleaner).

The Music Nomad MN110 is an acid-free spray that you can use to clean your cymbals, being the mix of ox acid sprays and polish paste. You can look at it as a liquid polish paste. This, of course, means that you will need a lot of manual work to get your cymbals clean and shiny, as you will need to rub and scrub, but once you’re done, you will see that the end product is awesome.

Naturally, be aware of removing the logos if they matter to you, as this product is strong enough to easily remove them.

This is a great product that you can use for cleaning your cymbals and the difference in the sound of your drums will be astounding, as well as the glitz of your newly polished cymbals.

5. Sabian Safe & Sound Cymbal Cleaner

Reliable
Polishing cream from a reputable cymbal manufacturer.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

Next to Zildjian, Sabian is one of the most renowned world cymbals produced, so it’s no surprise that they also have a Sabian cymbal cleaner in their product range. Even though this cleaning product comes in a bottle, it’s actually creamy polish paste, so don’t be fooled by looks of it.

The great thing about the Sabian Safe & Sound Cymbal Cleaner is that it can be used with both brilliant and natural finishes, so there is no need to get different products for different cymbals you own. Also, it can be used on any producers’ cymbals, without any cause for fear.

You will need to put in elbow work to get all of the dirt from your cymbals, and as always you need to watch for your logo if that’s important for you, but you will get your cymbals squeaky clean and shiny.

This is a great, high-quality product that will last you for a long time and always give you the highest performance when polishing is the theme.

6. Groove Juice Cymbal Cleaner

Budget-friendly
Effective and simple spray-on cymbal cleaner.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Groove Juice Cymbal Cleaner is a liquid spray cleaning product for your cymbals, which removes dirt and dust from your cymbals. This is not a traditional cleaner in the way that you usually get essentially paste with which you have to polish your cymbals to clean them and that takes a big amount of your time, especially if you have several cymbals that need to be cleaned.

Groove Juice is a spray that you spray onto your cymbals, leave it for a short amount of time (a minute or so) and rinse it off with water and maybe go over the cymbal one more time with a cloth.

Of course, this cleaner is safe to use with any standard cymbals out there, and the recommendation is to use it somewhere outdoors if you can since the odor of the stuff is really strong and if you’re doing it in a bathroom you could get nauseated quickly.

All in all, this is a great quick product that will give you a quick cleanse of your cymbals, especially if you clean them regularly or you have new cymbals.

7. Meinl MCCL Cymbal Cleaner

Simple
Spray-and-wipe cleaner from a well-known cymbal and drum manufacturer.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Meinl MCCL Cymbal Cleaner is a simple yet effective cymbal cleaner that can bring that shine back to your cymbal. It can be used for both traditional and brilliant finish cymbals and comes in a 250ml spray bottle.

This cymbal cleaner uses a premium concentrated liquid that’s made of organic and inorganic acids, non-ionic surfactants, and aluminum oxide stabilizers. For finishing and shine, this is the most simple, fast, and effective cleaner.

Be mindful and careful, naturally, as this concentrated liquid is acidic and should be handled with care and gloves. Simply spray the liquid on the cymbal, wait for 15 to 20 seconds and wipe it off with a clean cloth to bring back the shine.

Meinl is a very reputable manufacturer behind some of the best cymbals in the world, so it’s no surprise that it makes classic and effective cymbal cleaners.

How often should you Clean your Cymbals?

This is a question that is raised frequently in the drumming community. The real answer is, that it depends on whether or not they are new cymbals, the environment you keep them in, how dirty they are, and how frequently you play them.

The best advice I could give you is, if you’re using brilliant finish cymbals, try to be consistent in cleaning them and bringing back the shine. Once or twice a year should be fine. If they are new cymbals, you don’t need to clean them for some time, rather wait to see how they react to your environment.

Lastly, just use common sense. If you see your cymbals are dirty, bring out that cleaning kit and start rubbing.

What to be mindful of when Cleaning your Cymbals?

When cleaning your cymbals, always handle them with care. Hold the cymbal with both hands around the perimeter and always place it on a soft surface like a towel, never on a hard surface.

Spray or apply the solution with care and always use gloves because the concentrated nature of the cleaner can be harmful to your skin. Be extremely careful to not get the formula near your eyes.

When you clean your cymbals, always use clean, soft microfiber cloths to wipe them down. Naturally, read the instruction on the cleaning product you’re using in order to do it properly.

What to look for in a Cymbal Cleaner when buying?

You should always look for a strong and effective formula in a cymbal cleaner that is strong enough to remove blemishes and bring that shine back to your cymbal. Also, there are easy-to-use and apply cleaners on the market that make the whole process easier, like a spray-on bottle. Lastly, try to maintain that value-for-money ratio and get a reliable cymbal cleaner for a good price and from a good company.

Conclusion

Cymbal cleaners are a necessity for all drummers. Always check if your cymbals are compatible with the cleaner you’re using (e.g. don’t use high acid cleaners on plated cymbals as that will remove the plating). Also, be prepared to use a lot of little cloths to remove all of the dirt as they get really black and greasy, no matter what product you’re using.

My top pick is the Zildjian P1300 Cymbal Cleaning Polish, a very popular and effective cleaner from a reputable cymbal manufacturer.

My budget pick is the Dunlop Cymbal 65 Cleaner, an affordable, 4-ounce cymbal cleaner for those on a tighter budget.

Mike O'Connor

I've been playing drums for over 18 years. I work as both a session drummer and a drum teacher, and I love to share my knowledge and tips on this site. You can also find me on the Electronic Drum Advisor YouTube channel.

1 thought on “The 7 Best Cymbal Cleaners (2023) to Bring Shine to Your Cymbals”

  1. I’ve tried nearly all of these mentioned and own most of them. My go-to cymbal cleaner (spray-on) is The Brite Stuff. Nothing even comes close to this cleaner…nothing. It works phenomenal on Zildjian traditional cymbals (Avedis, Ks) and does not seem to effect the Zildjian logos – I wouldn’t scrub the logos. I have used with Sabian traditional finish – careful around the Sabian logos as they are not nearly as durable as Zildjian logos. I don’t use on Sabian brilliant finish (AAX, etc) as it will remove the logos instantly – found out the hard way! Works great on Meinl traditional finish (Byzance) – again, I wouldn’t scrub the logos. Sam Ash used to carry in their stores but apparently is available online only.

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