What Are the Factors to Consider when Cleaning Your Acoustic Guitar?
Your acoustic guitar is a special tool that has its special needs and specifications that you need to meet. You cannot just clean your acoustic guitar like you would any equipment you have. Your acoustic guitar is a delicate piece of equipment that requires you to be extra gentle when it comes to its maintenance.
1. Your Acoustic Guitar Hates Moisture and Water!
Whatever you do, steer clear of water and all water-based cleaning solutions. Remember that your acoustic guitar is made of wood, and water is wood's number one enemy. Even the non-wood parts that are made of metal are also easily affected and rusted by water. Warped wood and rusted strings will be the ruin of your beloved acoustic guitar.
2. Go Easy on the Lemon Oil.Lemon oil is easily the most popular guitar cleaners out there but is it all that great? Pure lemon oil is acidic and will damage your guitar. Pick lemon oil guitar products because these will have just the right amount of lemon essential oil and will not be harmful to your guitar. It will be tough on grime and will leave a pleasant lemon scent. Just never use this on maple fretboard, as products that contain lemon oil are harsh on maple wood. The Step-by-Step Guide on How to Properly Clean Your Acoustic Guitar Properly Here’s a guide on how to thoroughly clean your acoustic guitar. This process illustrated here is more of a spring-cleaning type of routine and one you can do sparingly, as in once a couple of months or so, or whenever you change the strings on your acoustic guitar.
- Collect the right tools and cleaning materials you will need. For this particular process, you will need the following:
- Soft paintbrush
- Cotton buds or Q-tips
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Paper towels
- Guitar polish/oils
- Fretboard conditioner
- Piece of cotton cloth
- Microfiber cloth
- Wax/finishing polish
- Clean your fretboard. Take out your acoustic guitar’s strings to gain easier access to the fretboard. This way, it is easier to scrub off the accumulated dirt, grime, and dead skin cells stuck on the fretboard. Use your old toothbrush to do this. Use an old credit card to scrape off stubborn dirt. Spray some fretboard conditioner and wipe off the remaining dirt. Apply a final layer of fretboard conditioner after all the dirt is gone. Polish with your paper towels.
- Clean your guitar strings. Clean strings will always sound better than dirty ones, so make sure to clean your strings thoroughly if you don’t plan to replace them yet. Acoustic guitar strings tend to accumulate a lot of dirt and grime if you don’t wipe them down after every time you use them. Detach your strings and dampen a piece of cotton cloth with isopropyl alcohol to remove dirt and grime off your acoustic guitar strings. Repeat wiping each string until clean. Wipe dry before reinstalling.
- Clean the inside of your guitar. Cobwebs and dust can accumulate inside your acoustic guitar. Insert your hand in the sock and wipe off all the dust and cobwebs inside your acoustic guitar
- Clean and polish the body and the rest of your guitar. Brush off any dirt and grime on your acoustic guitar’s headstock, capstan, tuning pegs bridge, and bridge pins. Finish up these parts by applying a polisher and buffing with your microfiber cloth.
Apply guitar polish/oil on the body and neck of the guitar and buff with your microfiber cloth. This will clean and at the same time protect your acoustic guitar's body from dirt and grime. This will also leave your guitar looking brand new.
Essential Tips in Keeping Your Acoustic Guitar in Good Condition Some tips in keeping your guitar in tip-top shape.
- Store your acoustic guitar in cool, a dry place. Keep it in its hard case when not in use. Attach a guitar holder or a guitar wall stand in the part of your house that is away from heat and has a low humidity level.
- Remove your guitar strap when the guitar is not in use. Seems pretty simple, but you’d be surprised with how many people accidentally snag and break their guitars because they left their strap on.
- Do not lend your acoustic guitar. You and you alone love your acoustic guitar. Other people will not give the same care when handling your acoustic guitar. They may not manhandle it, but dings, scratches are not far from happening. Politely tell people that you simply don't lend your guitar, and they will understand.
- Keep your guitar away from direct sunlight. Or changes in extreme temperatures. This will cause warpage and completely ruin your acoustic guitar for good.
More than Just an Instrument An acoustic guitar is an instrument that is more special than any other. People who have these guitars have strong, special bonds with them because the acoustic guitar is an instrument that you can pour your heart and soul into. We sing and write songs in our solitude and play from the heart whenever we strap them on. So your special acoustic guitar deserves all the care you can give.