How to Clean Your Guitar (and What to Avoid)

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When you’re a musician, your instrument is more than just a piece of equipment. It’s an extension of yourself and your craft. When it comes to caring for your guitar, you want to be sure that you’re cleaning it properly. When you clean your guitar, you’ll help it to sound, look, and play its best.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can clean your guitar without damaging it or affecting the tone of your instrument in any way.

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Why Cleaning Your Guitar Is Important

If you’re a guitar player, you know that over time your instrument can get dirty. Bits of grime and dust will collect on the strings, in the soundholes, and on the frets.

Cleaning your instrument regularly is actually an important part of maintenance. Not only can it protect your investment, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing that your guitar is always in great shape.

A guitar can collect sweat, oil, and dust as time goes by and as you get plenty of use out of it. All of these things will build upon the top of the body, the back of the neck, and the fretboard. If left alone, this buildup can cause cosmetic damage and can cause hardware to rust.

Whether you have a typical acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, or even a tenor guitar, it’s important to give it the right amount of care and attention. By cleaning your guitar regularly, it will feel better and it will sound better as well.

How to Clean Your Guitar in 3 Steps

Here are 3 key steps you need to follow when cleaning your guitar.

1. Wipe the Strings

Be sure that you’re regularly wiping down the guitar strings on your guitar as well as the neck and bridge. You can use a lint-free cloth to do this.

2. Wipe Metal Parts

You should also give some attention to the metal parts on your instrument. Be sure that you clean them gently with a soft polishing cloth from time to time. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to use any kind of cleaning agent when wiping down the metal parts on your guitar.

3. Clean Wood Surfaces

For the wood surface of your guitar, you can use a special polishing cleaner to keep it looking great. There are many different polishes and cleaners you can use on the guitar and doing so can help to give it an extra shine and help to get rid of dirt and grime. The Dunlop Formula 65 Guitar Polish & Cleaner is one of the most popular options.

What to Avoid

While the basics of cleaning your guitar are pretty simple to grasp, it’s just as important to avoid certain things as well. Here are some things that you should avoid doing when caring for your guitar.

  • Over-cleaning: Cleaning your guitar too much can be a problem. Avoid overdoing it and instead only clean your guitar every now and then.
  • Household cleaners: Make sure that you avoid using any household cleaners on your guitar. These can be too abrasive and may cause damage. Don’t use any cleaners that contain alcohol, ammonia, bleach, silicon, d-Limonene, or heavy waxes.
  • Use a Clean Cloth: Always make sure that any cloths that you’re using to clean your guitar are cleaned before use.

Final Thoughts

If you want to take care of your instrument and give it the respect it deserves, be sure that you keep the information above in mind. Make sure that you use these tips to clean your guitar if you want it to look and play its best.