Now that you have your new guitar you will want to play it a lot, and keep it in optimum playing condition. Let’s take a look at how you can keep your guitar like new for as long as you own it. Your guitar will naturally get dirty just from the dust particles that are in the air. Without getting to gross lets cover some facts.
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Before long your guitar will get dirty, the strings, and fretboard will get grungy from playing it. First off when you play your guitar your skin has oil that secretes through your pores. Furthermore sweat, Dirt and Skin will become embedded in the strings and fretboard.
Even if you wash your hands frequently you’re still going to have a buildup of unwanted skin and dirt. Don’t forget when you’re playing your guitar your finger tips are building Calais’s and loosing old dead skin. Thus a buildup of unwanted matter will eventually end up on the strings and fretboard. Not to worry there are cleaners, polishes, and tools you can use to maintain your pride and joy.
By giving your guitar a thorough cleaning you can get rid of the accumulated unwanted particles. You can clean up your guitars appearance, and the sound. Allowing your guitar to play like new again, and giving you back that Tone. If you neglect to clean your guitar periodically you run the risk of permanently damaging the resonance of the guitar.
How to Clean a Guitar
A good time to clean your guitar is when you replace your guitar strings. Speaking of strings did you know that you can prolong the life of your guitar strings? There are special string cleaners that you can purchase. I will leave a link for all the products recommended in this article that you will need to maintain your guitars quality.
Your strings get dirty too. You can clean your strings to prolong the life of them, and also make for smooth playability allowing you to increase speed when you play. This tool will allow you to keep your strings in good condition longer, but eventually like all things “nothing lasts forever. “
First Remove Your Guitar Strings
When it is time to replace your strings this would be a good time to clean your guitar. Removing the strings gives you complete access to your fretboard. It is best to remove your strings a couple at a time so you don’t cause the neck tension to be released all at once. If you have a string winder it makes loosening the tuning pegs easy to help when removing the strings.
How to Clean Acoustic Guitar Fretboard
First take a cotton cloth and wet it with water, just so it becomes damp. The cloth just needs to be damp, you don’t want any drops of water on the fretboard. Rub over the fretboard one fret at a time working your way down the neck. Try to use a clean part of the cloth so you are not spreading the dirt as you clean, but actually cleaning the crud off the fingerboard. Use a cleaner and apply it with a cloth to the body of the guitar.
Next you can use steel wool to gently rub over the frets to clean them up. Note: There will be fine particles that can get into the fretboard. There are fretboard guards to help protect the fretboard from excessive metal shavings getting onto the fretboard. Make sure to clean them up or a better solution, and cost effective are the fretboard erasers and fingerboard guards.
I have found that If the frets are dull, scratched or have nicks on them now would be a good time to use a fret eraser to clean them up. Use a Finger board guard to protect the fretboard while you’re cleaning up the frets. Fret erasers are made of flexible rubber blocks with abrasive grits embedded. They work like very very fine sand paper. Would be a good analogy. The erasers will make your frets shine.
If the fretboard is dried out or there are small cracks you might want to use a fretboard conditioner. Mineral Oil, Linseed oil can be used. Just use a minimal amount of oil on the fretboard, one or two drops then rub it into the fretboard. Make sure all excessive oil is removed with a dry clean cloth.
Fretboard Conditioner to Clean the Bridge and Saddle
Acoustic Guitar Bridge and saddle gets gunked up too. Use a soft brush (toothbrush) to clean up the bridge. Be careful not to scratch the bridge. Use a conditioner to clean the bridge. You can use a Qtip to clean where the pins go into the bridge. Then wipe it with a soft cloth to clear any debris.
Cleaning the Hardware
Use 3 in one oil to clean the hardware, free up rust and debris. Dirt and rust appear on the hardware of the instrument over time. Due to the natural oils, dirt and sweat from our hands the acids cause corrosion. This causes the moving parts of the tuners to become clogged. In turn making them hard to move.
Polish the Finish Keeps a Guitar Cleaner
Once or twice a year clean and polish your guitar. Get a good guitar polish and some elbow grease, and get busy wiping and shining. Whether you have an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar cleaning instructions are primarily the same.
Most guitar finishes react the same to guitar polish. Except for a guitar that has a Nitrocellulose finish like Gibson guitars. The Nitro is very porous so just be careful on what polish you use. Check with the Manufacture recommendations to be safe.
Vintage guitars also have a Nitrocellulose finish it allows the wood to resonate. Nitro after time is known for Checking and cracking avoid working water or oils into the cracks.
After cleaning your guitar it is a good idea to keep it secure in a case. This will keep it dust free, dirt free and safe from accidents. If you don’t have a guitar case go ahead and Review the post Best guitar cases. The top rated recommend cases.
In addition it would be beneficial to have a guitar case humidifier. A humidifier keeps the correct amount of humidity in the case and in your guitar. A guitar needs a proper amount of humidity to keep your guitar from cracking or coming unglued. Like all wood it reacts to the climate.
If there is too much humidity it can cause your guitar to warp. Not enough humidity and your guitar can crack. There is a complete article about the pros of using guitar humidifiers, and the cons of not using a humidifier. Review the post and see how many different designs of humidifiers there are. Find the best suited humidifier for your guitar.
Polish Your Pickups
Polish your pickups – Use a soft cloth to clean off the dust from your guitar pickups. If the pickups appear to be more than dusty, maybe rusty use a rust dissolving agent to clean them. First remove the faceplates, be careful not to disturb the wiring. Remember to use a soft cloth to clean them.
Now you’re ready to put the strings back on your guitar! If you’re not familiar with this, or just need a refresher course on how to install guitar strings. Review the post, how to install guitar strings.
Protect Your Guitar with a Little TLC & Maintenance
Finally After all that hard work your guitar is looking and sounding new again. Put it back into its case. Keep it clean longer and free from dirt. Have a look here at the recommended cleaners, tools, and polishes you will need to maintain your guitar. So that you can keep your guitar performing at its optimal condition.
Now that You have cleaned up your Act, take a look at some of the other posts, and How To’s. Some of the Best updated Reviews.