- Category: Guitar Care
Sure you might be into the grunge look, but if you want to keep your guitar sounding great for a long time it is important to keep it clean! Taking good care of your guitar is not only important because it keeps the instrument looking nice but also because it will help to stop any corrosion that will effect your guitar's sound. Here are the five most important things that everyone should know about guitar care:
1. Polish Your Guitar's Body: You should polish down your guitar's body often (IE: after every time you play). You can use any clear non-abrasive guitar cleaning spray ($5/bottle). That said, you should never use household cleaners, as they will erode the guitar's polish. To avoid scratching your guitar’s finish, it is best to use a microfiber cloth. This and a little spritz of cleaning spray will remove the dust and any smudges left on your guitar by your arms & hands.
2. Wipe Down Your Strings: In addition to wiping down your guitar's body, you should also wipe down your strings after each play. Cleaning your strings will remove the oil left by your fingers and will help to keep them sounding fresh. You should use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your strings just like you did for the body of the guitar. We don't recommend any string cleaning products, like "Finger Ease", because they tend to gum up the fret board.
3. Clean Your Fretboard: To clean the fingerboard, use a small amount of lemon polish and a microfiber cloth. You only need to do this every once in a while (IE: when you change your strings). Instead of trying to work the microfiber cloth under the strings, remove each string that you that hovers over the part of the fretboard that you are polishing. Please remember, that it's never a good idea to remove all of the strings at once because when your remove all the tension from the guitar's neck, it may bend out of shape. Only take one or two strings off your guitar at a time.
4. Feed Your Guitar: Due to the sensitive and porous nature of wood, climate changes, erratic temperature, and humidity can effect how your guitar plays. While you can't control the weather, you will want to keep your guitar "comfortable" by not allowing it to get too hot or cold. Also try to keep your guitar in a room that is not overly humid (IE: between 40-60% humidity). If you live in high altitude or an arid environment, running a humidifier where your guitar is stored may be a good idea.
5. Keep it Safe!: It’s always a good idea to keep your guitar protected in a case. Cases reduce the impact the environment has on your guitar and stops it from picking up dirty when you travel. Guitar case prices range from $20 - 200 dollars and offer a wide range of protection for your instrument. You don't have to spend a ton to keep your guitar protected.
While it won’t keep your guitar clean, the most important thing you can do is to take care of your guitar is to play it often! Regular practice sessions with your guitar will help develop the instruments tone and allow you to recognize when it is in need of maintenance. If you notice something is wrong, take your guitar to a professional guitar technician for repairs.
Until you hear something buzzing…