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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: how to clean a skin head?

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

dsr - Posted - 03/28/2008:  10:07:12

did a search and came up empty. The one link to banjo maintenance is dead.
So I have some small smudges from where my are rests, might have been on my sleeve and I was wondering what the best way to clean the head would be?

bluemule_77 - Posted - 03/28/2008:  10:18:15

This is all I could find:

"Goat should be well-scrubbed with mild soap prior to skinning."


dsr - Posted - 03/28/2008:  10:26:43

washing a dog is bad enough let alone a goat!!!

timmo_1949 - Posted - 03/28/2008:  10:36:31

Many have had god results with an eraser. I like the type with the ink eraser on one end and pencil eraser on the other. The ink end is more abrasive for more difficult marks.

"Bother Yum-Yum!"

jhandsfield - Posted - 03/28/2008:  12:47:58

My first thought was to throw him in the shower - then I realized you meant on a banjo.

I don't know if saddle soap might work if used very sparingly and make sure the head can dry completely.

Jim Handsfield
Always preach the Gospel - use words if you must (Francis of Assisi)

ifish - Posted - 03/28/2008:  13:37:47

Fantastic is fantastic on the regular ones, the main thing I would suggest is to wipe with a damp rag & dry quickly afterward. This will remove any residue of the cleaner used. But I have never used a real skin head. I leave mine dirty, to me its like a mechanic with new tools, does he really know what he is doing.

Hobbyhorse - Posted - 03/28/2008:  13:47:51

I clean them in two ways:

Lots of grime? Damp clean rag and a a dry clean wipe-off rag. Works like a charm.

Just light pencil marks and loose dirt? I find just lightly rubbing it with #0000 steel wool works great, and quickly!

Jake in Vermont

strokestyle - Posted - 03/28/2008:  14:23:31

I have had a small amount of success with eraser's. Mostly try to keep your hands clean before playing. I tried all the above suggestions, including the steel wool no matter what I tried, the grub always comes back. If you abraise the surface of the skin head trying to clean it then that area will hold more dirt in the future.

dsr - Posted - 03/28/2008:  16:06:42

Thanks guys. I am getting it ready to sell so am trying to perty it up! LOL

mrbook - Posted - 03/28/2008:  16:19:15

If you are using an eraser I would suggest the "Pink Pearl." Accept no substitutes. I once visited Olana, the home of the artist Frederic Church, and the guide said they used them to clean all the 19th century wallpaper in the house (interns did the work, of course). It's my first choice for cleaining things ever since, but similar brands don't seem to work as well (they are not as soft, and seem more abrasive).


banjonz - Posted - 03/28/2008:  17:10:31

One thing to remember with vellums is that they are porus. They will absorb moisture. Any liquid cleaner you use will be sucked into the head. An eraser is the best bet.

New Zealand

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