Follow us on Twitter for important announcements and outage notices.

Main Menu

Cleaning Rusty/corroded tone bars WITHOUT removing plating?

Started by miguellacorte, December 27, 2021, 10:46:45 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hey guys I plated my tone bars about 3/4 years ago, and they have developed some corrosion ever since. Tines are perfect, though.

I was wondering if there is any way I can clean the tone bars without messing with the plating.

Vinegar solution: (?) I'v read on some threads that submerging the whole tine/tone solution on vinegar, ( I don't really understand how this would work as I think. " Vinegar speeds up rusting because it contains a dilute form of acetic acid; positive hydrogen ions in the acid remove electrons from iron, ionizing it and making it susceptible to rust."

Damp cloth: Already tried this but not nearly corrosive enough to remove the rust.


Well, here are some photos, I couldn't really upload them directly here, but hope you can at least catch a glimpse of the issue ;)


Honestly, I was expecting to see really nasty tone bars and tines.

These aren't bad at all.  You'll only really get better if you have them replated.  There are a few posts about replating if you search.

I would just leave those alone, put the lid back on and play it. 


hahahah yes I would honestly do the same, but unfortunately I need to sell my Rhodes and I want it to be as presentable as possible! Also replating i not the easiest thing to do where I am, so i figured best way would be to just try and make them tonebars look a little nicer XD

pianotuner steveo

Vinegar removes rust from old car bumpers, so I assume it would work here. Why don't you remove one tone bar and try it as an experiment to see if you like the results?
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...


I used viinegar and citric acid and worked well to me.
Rust is gone.
As i know the tines are made from steel so no problem, about the other part, where the tines are connected, its plated (chrome?) and there you cannot solve with acid (vinnegar or others).
Just having fun


yes they were chrome plated around 3 years ago, but unfortunately they got rusted in the meantime. I would love to try the vinegar and citric solution but im a bit scared also hahaha I don't really have spare tone bars!

Filmosound 621

tin foil soaked in coca cola is another solution, that does surprisingly well with rust removal, especially on chrome.



Oh wow @filmosound621 this is something! Will try it! Thanks!!


Hey! Quick Update! I tried coca cola and aluminium, it did remove a bit of the corrosion, however it was just barely enough and it also did seemed to take off a bit of the shine as well. I continued with a general stainless steel polishing cream which worked pretty good though :D.

Here's a link of the product:

Brasso should also do the trick as well as Wenol. I used Wenol for the tines in a previous occasion, which worked wonderful!


Hi there

I had a lot of white «oxidation» on my tonebars and tried the vinegar solution for 10mins and scrubbed the bars with 0000 super fine steel wool (which I also use for guitar fretboards). The result is amazing, the plating is gone, but there wasnt much left anyway. I tested on 2 tonebars and now they're stainless steel colored. Looks super nice. I'll let em rest for a few weeks and see how they're doing before I go onto cleaning the remaining 71 keys.  :)