5 Ways To Keep Your Guitar Clean and Healthy

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Quite aside from sounding awesome and being a fun tool to explore your creative side, guitars look super cool, and many people even use them as decoration for their homes. 

You can leave them sitting in a guitar stand, or on a hanger on the wall, or even just leave them casually leaning on the corner of a couch – but the one thing you don’t want is to leave a grungy-looking guitar hanging around.

Here are our five steps for making sure your guitar always looks its best for visitors and feeling fresh and ready for a jam sesh!

Wipe Down Strings, Neck And Bridge

Strings tend to pick up on dirt in the air as well as all of the natural skin oils that get deposited while you’re playing your favorite tunes. Over time, skin oils will corrode your strings and cause rust on the strings, which in turn can mess with your guitar’s intonation, making it sound out of tune.

Luckily, all you need to do is get any lint-free cloth and wipe down the strings after every time you play the guitar. While you’re at it, wipe down the back of the next and bridge as well so that those finger oils don’t cause you any issues long term.

Use A Polishing Cloth On Metal Parts

There’s a whole industry around selling you crazy guitar contact cleaners for the metal parts of your guitar (like the bridge, tuners, etc) – but I’m going to leave you in on a secret: All you need is a good polishing cloth.

As much as you may be tempted to pull out some cleaner, just use the cloth to wipe off any smudges or dust, and you’re ready to go.

Use Guitar Cleaner On Woods

On the flip side, normal household woods are very different from guitar woods, as guitars want to hold a certain amount of water in them, but also they don’t want to get too wet or that will mess with their resonance.

Guitars also have very specific finishes on them that will react badly to household cleaners.

For that reason, when it comes to woods, use a good guitar-specific cleaner to keep them looking good and feeling fine!

Never Use Home Cleaners On Your Guitar

This is one I’ve already touched on, but I’m going to say it again – NEVER use household cleaners on your guitar. Many household cleaners are very corrosive and can ruin anything from the strings to the steel bits like the tuners and saddles, to the finish on any of the wood, either through degrading them or discoloring them

Make sure to use specialist cleaners where appropriate, and avoid trying to clean your guitar with anything that comes from the grocery store!

Keep Lacquer Finishes Away From Plastics and Synthetics

Admittedly, this is less of a cleaning tip and more of a way to keep it looking clean.

For a lot of guitar finishes, the lacquer is sensitive to plastics, synthetics, and even surgical rubber tubing (which is often used for stands and straps). These can burn away the finish, or in some guitars leave a telltale green mark.

Make sure to buy stands and hangers that are safe for the finish on your guitar.

Conclusion

Guitars are a ton of fun, and kept looking beautiful can be an awesome display item for your home.

Just make sure you’re doing all the right things to clean them without breaking them down.

Have fun!

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