How do I clean the instruments?
To promote a healthy, germ-free environment: Wash your hands before and after class and avoid putting your hands near your face. Be very diligent about cleaning instruments after each class. Use the following tips to best clean and care for your Kindermusik instruments. Natural Cleaning Solutions. We recommend:
• Soap and water, vinegar and water, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, or pure castile soap.
• EPA-approved plant-based or “green” commercial cleansers (that don’t contain Triclosan).
• If you use chlorine bleach, be sure not to use too much. 1 tsp bleach to 1 gallon of water will do it. At this dilution, it will kill germs but residue after an overnight evaporation/drying will not be dangerous to children. It will not be strongly scented. (NOTE: Any stronger solution may damage instruments.)
o Natural Wood (clear finish) instruments. Use a clean towel or rag to quickly wipe instruments with a natural cleaning solution. Do not soak the surface grain too heavily or immerse in water. If you choose, you may eventually want to use a natural salad bowl oil to replenish the surface. (You can find this oil in kitchen stores but please note that some of these oils may contain nut oils so beware of allergies.) Allow to air dry thoroughly.
o Painted Wood instruments. Use a clean towel or rag to quickly wipe instruments with a natural cleaning solution. Do not soak the surface grain too heavily, rub, or soak or immerse in water. Allow to air dry thoroughly.
o Metal instruments. Use a clean towel or rag to wipe instruments with a natural cleaning solution. Do not soak or immerse in water. Allow to air dry.
o Scarves. Machine wash in a lingerie bag in mild detergent on gentle cycle using cold water. Do not bleach. Lay flat to dry. Do not iron.
o Mirrors. Hand wash with cool water and mild soap on mirror side only. Do not scrub. Lightly pat dry. Do not put in dishwasher.
o Plastic Instruments. Use a clean towel or rag to wipe instruments with a natural cleaning solution. Items are not watertight, so do not immerse in water or place in the dishwasher. Allow to air dry. To disinfect, spray surface with a solution containing ½ teaspoon household bleach to 1 quart water then immediately wipe dry with a cloth or paper towel. The use of commercial cleaners, chemicals, and solvents must be avoided to prevent compromising the plastic components.
o Chime balls. Use a clean towel or rag to wipe with a natural cleaning solution. Do not use a bleach/water solution as this will discolor the thread and the material. Do not wash in machine.
o *Kindermusik Dulcimer. Like most stringed instruments, you need not 'clean' these except to remove dust from the fretboard. To do this, use a dry dust free cloth and wipe the fretboard down, carefully around the frets, as the edges can grab onto the cloth. Avoid the machine head area as the string ends can be quite sharp and the cloth can get twisted into the machine head assembly. No water or moisture at all should be used as the fretboard can be ruined by moisture.
*Replacing Dulcimer Strings 1. Turn the machine head (top of the neck) to loosen the bad string from the machine head. 2. After the string is totally out of the hole in the machine head, pull the string towards the bottom of the instrument to loosen it from the screw. 3. Take the loop holding the string off of the screw. If the other string loop is on top of the broken string's loop, loosen the string by following the first step and then slip off that string first, then the other. 4. Replace the string by placing the loop end over the screw. Hold the string taunt and place the other end of the string in the empty machine head's hole in the center of the shaft. 5. Tighten the string by turning the machine head until the string is wound around the shaft. You are now ready to tune the instrument.