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Thread: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

  1. #1
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    I saw this question posted on another forum and it got me to thinking: How do you clean your guitar(s)? This site doesn't have a poll option, so it's an open-ended question. I've been spending the weekend re-arranging my guitar room, trying to get the temperature and humidity balanced more evenly, and I noticed some of my guitars have acquired a layer of dust. I have a MusicNomad guitar brush I use to clean off the guitars I'm playing, and it works well for dust and specks, but for dirtier or built-up crud, what do you use? Keeping in mind that I think the answer depends a lot on how the guitar is finished...




    1. Nothing. Wipe it down with microfiber
    2. Damp Sponge.
    3. Guitar cleaner.
    4. Window/WD-40. Or something.
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  2. #2
    Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    Mine don't usually sit still long enough to accumulate dust.
    I'll occasionally wipe it down with microfiber / chamois / whatever cloths I have handy.
    I'll do a deeper clean using an insrument cleaner, |Dunlop 65, or Virtuoso, or whatever I have, when I do a string change. Depending on the guitar, and how it's looking, I may oil the fretboard if it really needs it, but that's usually only every second or third change.
    NEVER, EVER, EVER use window cleaner or WD40 on a guitar's finish.
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    "It is if you don't drop it."
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  3. #3
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    Usually I use a lint-free microfiber cloth. If it's really bad I'll use the same but damp with just a little dish soap & water

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgtr42 View Post
    NEVER, EVER, EVER use window cleaner or WD40 on a guitar's finish.

    That was meant to be sarcasm. However, I do know there are guitar cleaning solutions available.

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  5. #5
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    clean ... my guitars?

    oh, crap. You mean I was supposed to clean them, too? Why didn't somebody tell me this 50 years ago when I started?



    Got a bottle of that Dunlop 65 and a micro cloth on my desk beside me. Now how often do I use it? Eh, when I actually focus on the guitar and see how dusty it is? I go through phases of cleaning it after every time I play or when I go to put the guitar down and it sticks to my hand. Slight exaggeration
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  6. #6
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    I wipe them with a dry cloth after gigging. I’ll condition a RW fretboard with lemon oil but only if it’s real dry. I think I did it two or three times only.

    Other than that, a splash of WD40 on the saddle screws and screw heads if they show rust or tarnish, applied very carefully so the product never reaches wood or plastic.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    I'm like Sergio, wipe it off after a show and into the case.

    They only get dusty if you leave them out so that cures that problem.

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    Looks like someone found a way to extract money from people who already had a cheaper source for these supplies- a cheap plastic-handled paint brush and a microfiber cloth are all anyone needs. If the paint brush bristles are too soft, they can be cut back to make them stiffer.

  9. #9
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: How Do You Clean Your Guitars?

    I usually give my guitars a light cleaning when I change the strings. I prefer using a drying oil (one that won't leave a gummy residue or build up over time) such as mineral oil or linseed oil. A good article on this can be found here. And then, only when the neck/fingerboard appears overly dry. Most of the time, I simply wipe down a guitar with a microfiber cloth, and sometimes I'll apply a little Stringjoy String Conditioner (I don't know if it actually extends the life of strings, but it's all-natural, non-corrosive, and hasn't caused any negative effects).

    I do keep handy a nifty combination microfiber swab and soft brush (the MusicNomad "Nomad Tool") for times when I notice dust or grime building up under the strings.


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    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

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