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Caring for Your Handbells

You may have received a book when your handbells arrived explaining proper care to prolong the life of your bells. Below are a few tips to help you along the way.
  • Handle your bells with care! Metal can be brittle and will not stand improper handling or being dropped.

  • Try not to touch the castings unless necessary. Oils in your skin can cause tarnishing or create a "brassy" look. Many ringers wear gloves for this purpose and also to protect their hands.

  • Try to store your bells in a climate-controlled room out of direct sunlight. Moisture and excessive light will cause them to tarnish. Be sure to always store them in their cases or a proper container made for them.

  • If you suspect a problem with the mechanism of your bells, it is advised to send them for a professional assessment.

  • Handbells need routine maintenance to keep them looking nice and sounding good! It is recommended to have the bells serviced every five years depending on usage and the manner in which they are handled. The parts inside your bell should be replaced periodically to ensure the clapper moves freely.

  • Do not use a bell with a broken handle or hand guard. This could cause damage to the casting.

  • Never clean your bells with an abrasive cleaner. This will cause scratches on the casting. Use a polishing cloth after each use to remove fingerprints or impurities to prevent tarnishing.

  • Use a cloth made of 100% lint-free cotton to apply the polish. Use a second cloth to remove the polish and a third to do a final wipe down to ensure all the polish has been removed.

  • When polishing the castings, be sure to use a polish such as Simichrome and to not "dip" the cloth in and out of the can, dust or other particles could be picked up by the cloth and cause scratches. You should use a spoon or knife to scoop out as much polish as you need onto a piece of cardboard or plastic. Do not ever put extra polish back into the can.

  • If you have a few tips that you or your choir would like to share, TELL US ABOUT IT!