The Great Paiste Cymbal Cleaner Mystery

Most drummers who have played Paiste cymbals for a long time know the little orange bottle well. Even if they love the patina-ridden, well-used, never-cleaned cymbal look, they’ve at least seen or heard of it.

The infamous (and illusive) Paiste Cymbal Cleaner

Paiste Cymbal Cleaner has been around for as long as I can remember and I remember using it in the early 80’s! All was right in the world.

And then one day… it disappeared. That’s right. Now, in 2022 you can’t find it anywhere. And no one appears to know why. You can search online message boards and you’ll only find more folks wondering about this mystery.

Go to Sweetwater and try to buy some and you’ll find “Out of Stock“. Try Amazon, you’ll see “Currently unavailable.
We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.

It’s odd that Paiste won’t say exactly what the problem is. And it’s especially odd that they recommend it on their site under “Usage & Care” but yet you can’t find it anywhere. Does the formula contain an ingredient recently banned by the EU? Did an ingredient suddenly become cost prohibitive or difficult to get? No one knows and Paiste is remaining silent on this.

I recently reached out to them via their website and here was their reply from April 19, 2022:

Hi Charles,

Thank you for your inquiry and for being a loyal Paiste player. Our cymbal protector and cleaner will be reintroduced this year and announced on social media.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out.

Thank you and have a nice day,
Paiste America

So hopefully we’ll see some product sometime this year (2022) here in the U.S.

In the mean time, the best thing you can do to clean your Paiste cymbals while preserving their protective coating is to use simple dishwashing liquid and warm water. It doesn’t work near as well as the Paiste cleaner did but you can at least get the finger prints off and prevent any new patina from setting in.

UPDATE – March 6, 2023

I’ve discovered a good alternative: Flitz Metal Polish. It seems to perform similar to the Paiste cleaner in that it does a pretty good job of removing dirt and won’t destroy your ink logos.

Flitz Metal Polish
Flitz Metal Polish – Does not remove logos

Here’s a 1978 Paiste Sound Creation 20″ Ride I rubbed pretty hard with Fitz. You can see the black ink logo is still in good shape:

A 1978 Paiste Sound Creation 20″ Ride cleaned up with Fitz Metal Polish

So I’ve given up waiting on Paiste to produce more cleaner. If they ever do resume production I’ll jump right on it of course, but in the mean time, Flitz Metal Polish is doing a good job.