Handpan Maintenance and Care
Care and maintenance are very essential to ensure that your handpan remains in top condition. Even though Handpans are made from strong metal, they have to be handled with extreme care. Impacts and falls can result in handpans getting detuned. The materials from which handpans are made have a certain degree of corrosion resistance, but they are not rust proof. It is important to take care of your handpan to avoid rust formation. So here are a few pointers to help you understand the art of taking good care of your handpan.
When not being played, your Handpan needs a secure and safe storage space that is free of dampness. Never stove away your handpan inside a closed bag / case for long periods. Routine cleaning and usage will help you in sustaining the quality of your handpan for decades. If you intend to display your handpan as a part of your home décor while not in use, it should be in a spot that is not exposed to direct sunlight to avoid the reduction in clamp tension. This display spot is also recommended to be out of reach for children and animals to prevent mishaps. You can use this type of wall mount –
When storing your handpan after cleaning sessions in a bag, always ensure that the bag is free of dirt and moisture. Making sure that the handpan itself is completely dry is also important. You can use moisture eaters or desiccants inside the back to absorb moisture.
We love our handpans, and we love carrying them everywhere! But often, without proper care during these travels, we unknowingly cause distress to the instrument. To avoid these, make sure you have a sturdy special case or hard case designed to carry handpans. If you are flying with your handpan, make sure you bring it as your cabin luggage or take advantage of special luggage services now available to transport musical instruments.
- RUST PREVENTION
Handpans are prone to rust due to the porous nature of the metal. They readily absorb moisture and develop coating if they are not carefully cleaned before and after playing, also before storing. To prevent this, coat your handpan with coconut oil or Phoenix Oil. Applying the oil can be a part of your handpan cleaning routine. Make sure you do not miss the port and the rim of the handpan along with the two shells. Pour just a few drops of oil and wipe & spread the oil thoroughly using a soft cloth. In regions with a humid climate, such as coastal areas, we recommend that the oil coating be done twice a week during summer & monsoon, and once a week during winter. It is also advisable to do the oil coating on the inside of the instrument once every two months. It is crucial to clean your handpan before the application of your fresh coat. You can use isopropyl alcohol, which is also called rubbing alcohol or acetone for cleaning.
- RUST TREATMENT & CLEANING
Most handpan makers conduct a process called gas nitriding that helps prevent rust. There are different ways for gas nitriding, and some help increases this rust-resistance. However, they do not make the handpan rust-immune. On an off chance, your instrument develops rust, do not panic! Follow these simple steps to remove rust and save your beloved handpan.
For this treatment, you will need soft clean, dry cloths (microfiber cloth would be ideal for this purpose), alcohol, a scourer, an all-purpose polishing cloth, and an oil.
- Firstly, wipe your handpan entirely all over, inside and out, with the clean, dry soft cloth (microfiber preferably). Alcohol at this stage is optional but can be used.
- Next, dampen the rough side of the scourer (green side) with some water and scrub mildly over the rust spot or if there are any blemishes on your handpan. Be careful not to be forceful as it may scrape off some of the finishing done on the instrument.
- Usage of all-purpose polishing cloth is only recommended if you have a stubborn or big rust spots. These cloths will remove the oxidation layer from your instrument, which would necessarily remove the coloring of the handpan. Avoid unless necessary.
- If you either use a scourer or the all-purpose polishing cloth, you would be required to clean the instrument with the soft microfiber cloth one more time to remove any residue.
- Then apply oil and gently coat it all through the device. Spread it all through with the help of a fresh new soft microfiber cloth and leave it on for a few minutes. That’s it!
Other simple things to keep in mind;
- Clean the instrument every time after playing
- Play the instrument with your fingers. Avoid using flat of your hand or banging them with sticks or mallets
- Remove any jewelry (metal rings) before playing
- Do not leave the handpan under the sun or near a heat source or expose to salty, moist air for too long
- Never play the handpan when it is hot
- If you are with your instrument near the sea, we recommend that you first clean and neutralize the handpan with alcohol before applying the oil. The salty breeze in beach areas can accelerate rust formation.
- Routine tuning is recommended, once in a couple of years
- Avoid touching the handpan with dirty fingers
We hope you found this useful! We are here to help and answer any other queries about handpan care. Feel free to drop us an email or a message if you have any questions.