There are millions of guitar players out there and a lot of them are very skilled at playing the instrument with quite some finesse. However, that does not translate to the skill of cleaning and maintaining your guitar and it is a fact that a lot of people struggle to give their instrument the proper care it usually requires. We understand that every musician would like to know how to clean a guitar so that they can enjoy the instrument for a long time to come.
Guitars are complex instruments and every part of them requires a different approach to be cleaned and maintained so that they perform well and also last quite a bit. If one fails to clean their guitar in an appropriate fashion then it will start to degrade in quality pretty quickly and you will go back to the shop pretty soon looking to purchase a new one.
We are here to make things easier for you and get you equipped with the proper knowledge. After reading this article, you will know how to clean a guitar in a proper way without damaging it. It does not take anything but a little effort and some basic household equipment to get the job done.
Gather The Required Materials
The materials required for cleaning a guitar are pretty basic and are easily found in your home or a departmental store near you. You will need a piece of cloth which can be taken from anything starting from an old t-shirt to a sock. Make sure that you have a handful of cloth to work with as a guitar that is pretty shabby will make you run out of clean cloth pretty easily.
On top of the cloth, you will require a glass cleaner and also a guitar polish. These are the only three things you will need to get your guitar squeaky clean in no time.
Things to avoid:
In order to learn how to clean a guitar, you will also have to know how not to do so as it is very easy to mess things up while cleaning the instrument. If your guitar has not been cleaned in a long time then there’s a good chance that it is pretty shabby at this point. However, you should never go for heavy-duty household cleaning products as the chemicals can affect the body of the guitar in a major way.
You should never go for a paper towel as your cloth of choice for cleaning guitars. Paper towels can leave scratches and unwanted marks on your guitar’s surface which is not something that you would want for yourself.
How To Clean A Guitar The Proper Way
Remove The Strings
the first step towards learning how to clean a guitar is to start from removing the strings on your guitar. Removing The strings is an important step as it is not suggested that you get any kind of product or oils on your strings while cleaning as it will highly compromise their quality. Make sure that you remove the strings one at a time or it can be counterproductive for your guitar’s neck tension. Removing them also gives you easy access to your fretboard making it a breeze to clean. It is smart to get your guitar cleaned whenever you decide to change the strings as it works as the perfect time interval between two cleans.
Cleaning The Fretboard And Neck
You should make it a point to clean your fretboard about once or twice a year. Anything more frequent than that will disrupt the quality of your playing as the natural oils of your fingers tend to gather around the fretboard making it easier for you to navigate your way around the fretboard. To clean the fretboard effectively, you can simply use a piece of cloth that is dampened with either water or distilled vinegar and simply rub off the excess dirt.
One thing you must be careful about is that you do not want your cloth to be too wet as it will oversaturate your fretboard with moisture which is not at all ideal. Make sure to wring the cloth as hard as you can before bringing it in contact with your fretboard.
Cleaning The Body
After the fretboard is all cleaned, you will now need to clean the body of your guitar. The body also requires a damp cloth that is wrung out of excess water. If your guitar has gathered a considerable amount of dirt then you may need to use a cloth that has a bigger surface or else you will end up spreading the dirt around.
Dampen your cloth often throughout the process to get rid of the excess dirt accumulated on them. It is advised to clean in a circular motion as it does not disturb the texture of the body. Naturally, the surface will have a few spots after wiping. In order to get rid of those, you can huff on the surface and then run a dry cloth over it.
Cleaning The Tuning Keys
After you are done with the body, It is time to pay some attention to the tuning keys. The tuning keys are a pretty small part so it won’t take much time with the proper technique. A glass cleaner and a cloth will suffice to get the keys all shiny and squeaky clean. Make sure to avoid making contact with the fretboard and the neck with a glass cleaner. It is recommended to get the glass cleaner directly onto the cloth and then proceed to clean it.
Finish Up With Polish
The final step is to apply a guitar polish to top everything off and give your guitar a shiny new look. However, always be aware of the type of polish you will be going for. Using a polish that is rick on solvents and petroleum will be counterproductive. Go for the one with carnauba wax as it will give your guitar a mild polish without over saturating it. Avoid using polish on the satin finish and vintage guitars.
there you go, you now know how to clean a guitar and make it last for a considerable amount of time on your hands. make sure to follow these steps every once in a while to make sure you are keeping your guitar in top shape while learning how to master the instrument.