My flute is tarnished and needs to be cleaned... I was afraid if I polished it, I would break something on it. I read online that it's a bad idea to remove tarnish on a flute yourself as you can ruin the pads. I have some questions regarding cleaning a tarnished flute:
My flute is one of those cheap, mass-produced $200 ones. From what I've read online, it costs about $50 to have your flute tuned and cleaned. Is this worth it if I have a cheap flute, or is this something that those with really nice instruments have done (leaving people with student instruments to clean their instruments themselves.) Basically, what I'm asking is, "is this worthwhile?"
Also, the inside of my flute is clean (I had the sense to clean that part) and the pads work great. Is there any downfall, besides ugliness, to playing a tarnished flute? Does it corrode after a while? Even though it's tarnished, should I continue to polish the flute to prevent it from getting worse -- or does it not matter at this point?
Edit: I have found that regular cleaning has helped with the tarnish over time. I got this kit which has been really nice. I gave the cork grease to a clarinet player as I had no need for it. The kit isn't really specific to the flute, despite the name.