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cleaning your drum pads

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  • cleaning your drum pads

    is there a best way to go about this? i just bought some out of storage that are covered in dust and grime. wondering if there are some products or procedures i should avoid, as to not damage the rubber. i'm obviously not going to take them out and hose them down, but i figure a damp paper towel or baby wipe is just going to get torn up and make a gummy mess, and i don't know if those bleachy wipes i use in the bathroom are safe on these.

    i suppose the obvious answer would be to keep them clean so this isn't an issue, but for the rest of us: how do you go about this? what do you use? does the rubber need to be maintained/treated/conditioned in some way? mine are over a decade old and aside from the layers of grime, appear to be in fine shape.

  • #2
    i looked around on some thing called "the internet" and it looks like people tend to use 303 aerospace protectant. or soap and water. part of me wants to order some on amazon, part of me wants to go see what pep boys has and some of me just wants to go at it with some brushes and sponges and such. maybe some damp sponges to get all the dirt off, and then some protectant of some kind to seal it up? i'm sure i have some kind of automotive wipes in the car. maybe one of those might help?

    edit: got antsy. took a brand new sponge, moistened it and went to town. and, well... it got the dust off, at least. now i can see what's under there. seemed to work really well on the snare pad. on the cymbal, less so. but they are largely cleaned now. i'll still need to get a toothbrush or something to get into those little crevices around the snare pad, though.

    i suppose this is good enough for a phase one, but i'll probably buy something else of some kind to provide a more thorough and lasting clean, maybe treat and protect the rubber some, too. under the dust the rubber is a little faded and grey, but not damaged. the surfaces are still smooth and pliable. no cuts or scrapes or hacks or worn spots or missing bits of any kind. intact. gives me hope for the next step, whatever it may be.
    Last edited by feet; 08-11-19, 07:21 AM. Reason: updated


    • #3
      While I havenít tried this, I read on this forum several years ago that you can put the Remo / Roland mesh heads in the dishwasher and that it works well. I do use the 303 on my cymbals. Donít spray it on directly, spray it on a cloth or paper towel and wipe the cymbals. Good luck..
      Equipment: TD-30KV, DW9000 hardware, ROC-N-SOC Throne, Behringer ULTRATONE K3000FX Amp, JBL EON 615 Powered Speaker, Yamaha MG06X. 1965 Ludwig Super Classic. Black diamond pearl. Zildjian K Custom Dark cymbals, DW 7000 hardware, DW 9000 kick pedal.


      • #4
        303 on rubber
        *** Never buy a module without MIDI IN ***
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        • #5
          settled. ordered it and some shop rags and i'll report back when its all over.


          • #6
            I've had great results with the 303 on rubber and everything else on the dishwasher minutes the electronics of course


            • #7

              As for rubber, always wipe/clean well with a water-damp cloth (no soap really needed), and then apply 303. I apply it well and let sit a bit. Wipe the 303 down to a very thin layer. (nearly dry) This seems to work very well. If possible, cover your kit with a king-size bed sheet. This keeps the needs to clean down considerably.

              Speaking from experience.
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              • #8
                so the amazon shipment arrived, and wouldn't you know it? a third of the bottle had leaked out. so they let me keep it and sent out another. glad i didn't get the large one, because now i'll have more of this than i'll know what to do with.

                and now, the moment you've all been waiting for! the reveal:

                here's where we started out. half was wiped down with a wet sponge.
                IMAG9399 by the photographic minority, on Flickr

                and here's what we're left with after a good wipe down. all the dust and dirt is gone, but there is some age and some white residue and whatnot under all that grime. not sure what that is, but a damp sponge wasn't doing a thing to it, so on to phase two.
                IMAG9430 by the photographic minority, on Flickr

                after the 303:
                IMAG9436 by the photographic minority, on Flickr

                i didn't let it sit or soak, just sprayed the shop rag and wiped it down. as you can see, it made a huge difference. we're at about 90-95% back to its original glory, believe it or not. they could probably stand for one more quick pass, but these results are pretty satisfying. i didn't use a crazy amount; just a reasonable amount and then applied it a couple of times. the middle photo was taken the day after the wipe down, and this last photo was taken a day after the 303 treatment, so it is all dry now. that white layer is gone, but i could have done a better job in the grooves on the cymbal. i don't think the bass drum pad will get much better than that, but i'm not complaining. maybe i'll get in there with an old toothbrush or something.

                i gave my multi 12 a wipe down too, but it didn't need it and didn't really do much. couldn't hurt.


                • #9
                  I recently shined all the rubber up with turtle wax trim restorer, worked great.