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 Frequently asked questions regarding Formula HLF Solutions and other PrestoValves products for Brass:


Most surprising misunderstanding about PrestoValves?
It is NOT a lubricant. It is a super biodegradeable cleaner formulated for brass wind instrument valves and slides. It works at the molecular level to get ALL the old oil residue off the moving parts so fresh new valve and slide oil can get you back to better-than-new action! Old oil builds up over time, and soap adds its own use PrestoValves to get back those fast valves!


Is Formula HLF Solution compatible with all valve oils/rotor oils?

Wrong question. It doesn't have to be, because when ALL the residual oil is removed at the molecular level, all that is left is super clean, cleaner than new, valves and valve casings! Clean valves are speedy valves! The goal is to get to purely clean, bare metal pistons and rotors.


What is the issue with mixing valve oils of different brands and types?

Oils in many players' experience do not mix well with other types or brands. All valve and rotor oil will build up, and synthetics in particular may gum up. Formula HLF is great for this reason, because once the old oils are completely gone from your valves and casings, you can start all over, and just stick with ONE valve oil that you perfer. Don't borrow another player's oil at a rehearsal, carry your own and don't run out. If you do mix, you'll have to use more Formula HLF to get back to bare metal again! I don't mind, but you'll be better off just using your own oil!


Is Formula HLF only for super-cleaning valves?

No. The whole horn can be cleaned safely, and all oils will be gone. Even though Formula HLF is not a surfactant, the solution can be used to clean the interior of the horn, and the exterior. Use with warm water preferably. Also, the same benefits for piston valves are available to rotary valves and trombone slides. Kills germs as well!

What about silver-plating, gold-plating, laquer or other finishes? Do I need to be careful?

The Formula HLF Solution is super powerful on greases and oils, but totally non-reactive to anything else. Laquered instruments can be left to soak for days with no effect on the finish. The targeted action of the Formula HLF Solution only reacts to and destroys oils and greases of any kind at the molecular level . We tested the safety regarding finishes by soaking silver plated, gold plated, and laquered slides from trumpets and cornets in FULL

FORMULA HLF FOR A FULL WEEK! Not a single problem with the finish!


How did you come up with this concept?

I have a footprint in several industries, and saw potential in this idea over two years ago. After many months of developing this product just for brass wind instruments, I knew the brass world was ready for it. The proprietary blend we developed makes the Formula HLF Solution perfect for brass instrument cleaning. One of the main reasons you should use PrestoVavles is that it is totally safe to dispose of anywhere. The oil and grease that are targetted are no longer harmful to the environment.



Is Formula HLS Solution expensive?

NO. The product is shipped as a concentrate to save money on shipping. Water is added when you use the product in order to save on cost of packaging and shipping. If you have a way to save the solution after adding water, you can use it over and over until it loses effectiveness. In fact, many customers will only need one or two bottles in their lifetime! The cost per ounce can be as little as a penny an ounce depending on the size and dilution! Other valve cleaning products don't solve the problem, PrestoValves does for a fraction of the cost per ounce!


Why can't I just use Dawn Dishwashing Liquid, alcohol, or another solvent? Why is PrestoValves special?

PrestoValves is special because the action on old valve oil and grease is unlike any other brass cleaning product. It works to destroy the structure of oil at the molecular level, and more than that, very safely.

You can use Dawn, or solvents, but the dishwashing liquids only emulsify the oil, not destroy it, and you also may have soap residue left on your valves and valve casings, which further adds to the issue. Also, solvents are a different story. Solvents are dangerous to store and use, and it is illegal to pour solvents down a drain, so disposal is a problem. 

Also, using solvents require a vent for indoor usage, and is not healthy to breathe. Do not use solvents indoors without ventilation.


Is this product safe to use, for my skin, or for my expensive trumpet (and other brass instruments)? Is is safe to store in my home?

It is completely safe for skin and for your instrument, and for storage. Since Formula HLF Solution attacks oils, it will remove the oil from your skin. Prolonged contact isn't recommended for this reason, but no harm will be done, and you may want to moisturize your skin if it feels dry. If you use Formula HLF as part of your job, or on a regular basis, use rubber gloves to keep your hands from drying out. PrestoValves Formula HLF is totally non-flammable, and is safer than storing vegetable oil!


How is Formula HLF Solution different?

Formula HLF Solution is very different in that is has only one purpose: to break down oil on wind instrument  valves and interior tubing at the molecular level so completely, is becomes inert. Safe for the environment, safe for humans and pets, and very green friendly. It is a patented process, because there is nothing else like it.


Where may I purchase Formula HLF Solution?

Formula HLF Solution will eventually be available in music stores, but for now, you may order online though


I'm a music industry dealer, do you have a dealership program?

Absolutely. Contact me for standard retail or master distributor information at Repair centers also can buy at dealer cost.


What about Trombone Slides and rotors?

All oils, synthetic or other, is completely obliterated by the Formula HLF Solution.


Why not just use Dawn(tm) dishwash, it seems to be safe?

Dawn will emulsify the oil, but will not break down the oil, so disposal is still a concern. Any soap product will leave soap residue on the valves and casings, adding to the problem of stickiness. Formula HLF changes the oil/grease completely at the molecular level, all Dawn and other detergents do is emulsify it. Dawn is really not good to send into your septic tank or the municipal sewer system, but we all do it.  PrestoValves is in no way harmful to your septic or municipal sewer system.


What other uses does Formula HLF have?

This product has been formulated for use on brass instruments, and although it is safe to use on any surface, we do not recommend it. PWK will be developing other products similar to Formula HLF for other purposes. Exception: We have found that valve oil can be removed from most clothing using a 10:1 solution, but make sure you test the product on a hidden part of the clothing. Wet the stain with water, then a capful or two of solution. Then brush the solution into the stain and let sit for 15 minutes. Pour a couple more capfuls onto the stain and brush again. Rinse. If needed, repeat. Also, we are finding that woodwind repairmen have uses for Formula HLF in cleaning parts. Also, hands can be washed free of oil, grease, and grime with Formula HLF.


How is the product shipped?

Formula HLF will be shipped in small quantities by

UPS or USPS, and larger quantities by common



What other products do you offer?

Pollard Water Key is the best water key on the market, bar none! It was developed to answer the issues inherent in the design of the Amado Water Key, but also address all the issues of standard water keys. Check it out at

Also, Slik-Slides Tuning Slide Gel is now available here. You will not find a better tuning slide lubricant!


Am I correct in that this is not to be used as a lubricant? Clean then oil with your oil fresh and clean, yes?

PrestoValves Formula HLF is NOT a destroys all traces of oil or grease, so it does allow you to start fresh with new valve oil. Such a nice "buttery" feel to your valve action!

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