While PANArt recommended Biofa Oil, for protecting Hanghang from rust, in earlier years, and later switched to a new biopolymer-based cleaning and anti-corrosive fluid, known as “Hang cleaning fluid”, when an independent study was carried out by a member of Handpan.org back in 2011, testing various substances for their rust-preventing properties, against fragments of Handpan shell, which found FrogLube, and Ballistol, to be the best performing - these two concoctions became widely embraced - and until recently at least, have served as the two main go-tos, for Handpan rust protection/prevention.
However, two studies published just recently, by folks deeply involved in the building of Handpan, have, for differing reasons, called out both of these popular Handpan anti-corrosion treatments, as possibly having detrimental effects upon our instruments. Are these guys simply trying to drum up more business for their buddies over at Phoenix Handpan Care? Or should we be worried? Read on to find out more...
The Case of the Glue-Eating Oil
Aura Handpan-man, Jon Antzoulis, recently shared a study that he'd conducted into the possible negative effects of various oils upon the glue used to join the upper and lower Handpan shells:
"Over the past year, I have encountered at least 3 instances where the glue inside completed instruments appeared to have dissolved or changed in consistency, causing the shells to come apart from one another.", " I suspected that the glue was somehow being compromised by the lubricants that we use to protect our instruments from rust, so on November 29, 2016, I decided to do a test..."
Read Full Study
The Death of Sustain
Saraz Handpan-man, Josh Rivera, has also been conducting his own tests recently, having witnessed what he believes to be the negative effects of oils like Ballistol, and FrogLube, upon a Handpan's overall sound...
"As many of you know, I had spent months researching different oils and protections for the handpan, after having noticed a significant loss of sound using Balistol. Of course, after noticing it with Balistol, I then noticed it with FrogLube", "...after spending so much effort to get a sound/sustain we enjoy, having it altered and effectively undermined by the oils we use was getting quite frustrating. after spending so much effort to get a sound/sustain we enjoy, having it altered and effectively undermined by the oils we use was getting quite frustrating. "