Whatever steel your Hang, Handpan, or Pantam is made of, preventing rust is a must! While it has been common practice to use oils to protect your instruments, my time tuning and oiling hundreds of Saraz handpans as well as instruments from other makers has revealed that sometimes oils can shorten the decay of the sustain. While the answer is not totally clear as to why some instruments lose an amount of decay from oil use likely occurs from the various nitriding recipes and polishing techniques used by different builders. This experience and conversations with other builders lead me to try and find an alternative to oil on the instrument while still maintaining a completely natural and organic formula that is free of scent. After 1 year of research and rust testing, I finally settled on a formula using using two natural waxes mixed with coconut oil that can help preserve the original sound of the steel as well as provide a protective layer that leaves the instrument feeling dry. Builders and players of stainless steel instruments have often switched to using Pure Sound Wax on their instruments as the oil options often leave stainless steel feeling wet and greasy. If you find for any reason that the wax shortens your sustain, it is easily removed with rubbing alcohol and a soft scrubbing pad. In these cases, oil may be the best option for your particular instrument. In the case that oil is your preferred method I recommend using Phoenix Handpan Oil, which is the only oil made specifically for handpans. I also highly recommend knowing what product the builder of your instrument recommends for rust prevention.
Pure Sound Wax - 0.5 oz
1. Scrub and clean your instrument well by using a soft scrubbing pad, rubbing alcohol, and a clean cloth to remove previous wax or oil applications.
2. Using a clean microfibre cloth, apply a layer of Pure Sound Wax to the entire instrument as evenly as possible. You should see a slight color change where the Pure Sound Wax has been applied.
3. Let the wax dry on the instrument over night, or at least 4-6 hours, with an open air flow.
4. Remove the wax using a clean microfibre cloth until the instrument feels smooth.
5. Repeat every 6-8 weeks. More often if you live in climates with high humidity or closer to the ocean.
-Air flow! Leaving your instrument in a closed case can build up moisture and condensation. This happens often while camping and traveling in humid climates. Having a proper amount of air flow over the instrument can be an immense help in preventing rust.
-Clean your instrument every time you play. Wiping your instrument with a cloth after playing can significantly help prevent rust from built up oils and sweat. Some people naturally have a higher acidity in their sweat and leaving that on the instrument can quickly create a rust issue.
-If you live close the ocean more attention should be focused to keeping your instrument clean and dry as the increased amount of salt in the air can be a risk to the metal.
-Clean and protect your instrument on a regular basis. Usually, I tend to use Pure Sound Wax on my instruments every 6-8 weeks. More applications may be needed pending your climate and travel situations. It is highly recommended to clean the instrument very well before adding a layer of Pure Sound Wax or any other protectant to your instrument.