Musical instruments are not well-known at the B&H SuperStore. Though our audio department has offered synths, keyboards, controllers, and digital pianos for a long time, we’re probably not the first place you think of when you’re thinking about guitars, basses, or their care and maintenance. How to clean a guitar without polish? In addition to stringed instruments, B&H carries a few products for cleaning and caring for them. You can clean and polish your prized stringed instrument with these simple tips.
Tee Shirts or Diapers?
Each guitar player will have a different opinion about cleaners and polishes for guitar finishes, but you can find plenty of information online. Most luthiers (people who build and repair guitars) will tell you the correct cleaner is a soft, damp cotton cloth – wrung out, not dripping wet – such as an old tee shirt. Then use a soft, dry cloth to absorb excess moisture and buff your guitar after wiping off skin oil, grime, and smudges. The old baby diapers washed many times are just suitable for this task.
There is a multitude of microfiber polishing cloths on the market that are pretty soft and explicitly designed for this purpose. This is because you are hesitant about cleaning with used diapers. Be careful not to use the knobby microfiber cloths commonly used to dust and polish furniture since their rough texture will leave scratches on your guitar’s finish. I know this from personal experience, so don’t do it! A soft, chamois-like or flat, shiny cloth is both suitable. Cleansing lenses with lens-cleaning cloths are incredibly gentle on their surfaces.
Cleaners and Polishes
How to clean a guitar without polish? Many guitar-cleaning solutions and polishes can clean and shine your guitar if you feel that a damp cloth is insufficient and you need to remove EVERY last spec of dirt and grime from your instrument (a topic that still comes up in therapy). It will remove gunk, fingerprints, smudges, and skin-oil buildup while shining it up at the same time. Several polishes are designed to conceal superficial scratches in nitrocellulose or catalyzed lacquer finishes. Some polishes buff out to a gleaming finish. Please read the label before you buy to find out what’s in it.
Look for something else that is silicone-free if the formula contains silicone. The silicone will remove grime from your guitar and some finish, but it can build up in difficult-to-reach places such as the neck-heel joint or along the bridge edge. This finish will not adhere to silicone buildup if you need to refinish your instrument. Some cleaners and polishes come in complete care kits, including polish, fingerboard conditioner, and a polishing cloth.
Lacquer Checking? Hold the Polish!
Vintage guitar owners should avoid using white cream cleaners or polishes if their instrument has pronounced lacquer checking. How to clean a guitar without polish? The light that strikes the lacquer checks from a certain angle can quickly reveal cracks or fissures in the finish caused by lacquer checking. Frank Ford, of Gryphon Stringed Instruments, in Palo Alto, CA, publishes a website on repair and care for luthiers and musicians that includes a clear image of lacquer checking on a guitar.) He is the Professor Dumbledor of guitar repair and restoration.
Acoustic and electric guitar strings have tiny spaces between the windings that tend to collect oil and gunk from your fingers. Once you build up enough finger odors, you’ll notice your strings become dead and sound dull before you can play “Beaumont Rag.” Cleaning your strings after you play is still manly (like wiping your guitar down after sweating, drooling, or spilling beer on it), and you have a few options here. Use your all-purpose microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe down the strings, top, and bottom, or use liquid string cleaner and lubricant.
Suppose you’re in a grunge band, like your guitar heavily relied on, or you’re Willie Nelson. In that case, you probably want to keep your guitar performing at its peak for its well-being, enjoyment, peace of mind, public image, or, like me, to keep your neatnik tendencies in check. how to clean a guitar without polish? Your instrument will look its finest if you follow these simple cleaning steps. Following these simple steps, you can play it longer between string changes. When you decide to sell it someday, a potential buyer will see that pretty guitar and think, “This person took good proper of their guitar.”What are your favorite cleaning techniques, or do you have any questions? Please post them in the Comments section below.