Musical boxes in Singapore, whether new or antique, should be handled properly and kept in a safe location, preferably in a glass cabinet. It should be dusted often to keep it in mint condition. When taking care of music boxes, it should be on the same level as maintaining a furniture. You have to make sure it’s stored away from direct sunlight, allow it to wind down before storing in a cabinet, and avoid winding it while it is still in motion. Keep in mind that a music box that is maintained properly can become a valuable heirloom, bringing joy to generations.
When cleaning a musical box, you need a 100-percent cotton cloth, a mini computer vacuum, pure white vinegar, distilled water, and cotton swabs.
- Dabble the cotton cloth in distilled water and pat it gently onto the music box in a circular motion to remove all the dirt and fingerprints. Then, dry it with a 100-percent cotton cloth. After that, get another cotton cloth and pour a small amount of pure white vinegar on it to clean glass covers. Make sure you rub gently and dry with a new cotton cloth dampened with distilled water.
- Get rid of the dust and debris inside the music box by using a mini computer vacuum. Be careful in vacuuming small moving parts as they are fragile. Also, avoid touching the music box’s exterior with the computer vacuum. Clean the interiors of the lid and around the bedpan or base of the music box mechanism.
- Get a cotton swab dabbled in a tiny amount of pure white vinegar. Keep in mind that the swab should be moist, not dripping wet so you can gently rub the comb (the small metallic pieces that are plucked to produce musical sounds) and the cylinder. Make sure you do not snag the cotton fluff of the swab on the tiny spikes that pluck the teeth on the comb.
- Play the music box so its cylinder will rotate; at the same time, cleaning it along with the tiny spikes. As soon as the cotton swabs become dirty or soiled, discard them.
- Clean all the components a second time with a new cotton swab dampened with distilled water to eliminate all traces of vinegar from metal parts.
- Damp a cotton swab with a tiny amount of pure white vinegar to clean the inner lid of the key, that is if it’s removable. Don’t forget to clean the crank as well to which the key attaches. If the key is firmly attached to the music box, do not use vinegar. Instead, use distilled to clean around the key. Finally, dry it with a 100-percent cotton cloth.
Oiling Mechanical Music Boxes
Mechanical musical boxes in Singapore require oiling in order for them to perform effectively. To ‘oil’ mechanical music boxes, use an aerosol that has lubricating, cleaning, and protective features. Avoid using a product that may clog up the musical mechanism inside the music box over time.