When it comes to cleaning the guitar, I have no objection to the guitar lovers who clean the guitar every next day. Well, let us be honest. Things we love and care about are very special so we tend to do as much as we can. When it comes to giving the guitar a proper cleaning session, I think most people don’t know how often they should clean their guitar.
The best way to keep your guitar clean is to wipe it every time you are done playing it. However, doing this every day might not be possible. Even if you do, you need to deep clean the guitar every six to eight months. Deep cleaning indicates cleaning all the parts and making sure no dust remains.
In this article, you will get an overall idea about cleaning your favorite guitar. In addition to that, you will learn numerous tricks to clean your guitar. You will also do the cleaning procedure of different parts of the guitar. Lastly, I will also share information regarding polishing the guitars.
So, what are you waiting for? Keep on reading the article without skipping any part.
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How Often Should You Clean Your Guitar?
Cleaning the guitar every time after you complete playing it is not mandatory, but recommended. You can simply wipe the guitar with a soft microfiber cloth.
You can also take a soft used t-shirt as a replacement for a soft microfiber cloth. It will require a few minutes to completely wipe all over the guitar. This small trick can make sure your guitar is cleaned and ready for perfect tuning.
However, it is common to get lazy and skip cleaning the guitar every time after you play. So, I would recommend you to clean your guitar every six to eight months.
Remember cleaning the guitar is mandatory. When the strings are filled with dust, they will not tone better. You will feel uncomfortable playing it.
How To Get My Guitar Ready For Cleaning?
In order to clean the guitar, you will first need to prepare it so that proper cleaning can be done. Firstly, choose a location to place the guitar. It can be a table or desk, if not accessible you can always put it on the floor.
No matter which one you choose, remember to place it on a soft cloth or a mat on the surface because you do not want the guitar to get scratched. I will forbid you from keeping the guitar on your lap as there are chances of accidents.
Once you have placed the guitar in a plain location, you can move to the next step which is removing the removable parts. First, take off the strings and keep them aside. However, this is completely optional.
You can also remove all the tuning keys. Removing anything is completely optional. Nonetheless, removing these will make it easier to clean the guitar.
Once you are ready with the guitar, you can start the cleaning procedure. My advice to you is to be gentle. Never come to clean the guitar when you are in a hurry. Take your time and have patience.
How Should I Clean My Guitar?
Once you have your guitar prepared to be cleaned and the cleaning location is determined, you can begin the process. Cleaning the guitar is an easy task to accomplish.
Let me provide you with the step by step process of cleaning the guitar;
Step 1: Clean The Strings And Tuning Keys.
If you have separated the strings and tuning keys from the guitar, you can clean them with a microfiber cloth and then keep them aside. Keep them safe so that you do not lose them.
If you are against removing the strings and tuning keys from the guitar, you can still clean them with a soft cloth. My suggestion will be extremely gentle so that the strings do not break.
Remember strings get dirty very easily and quickly which further makes them tone badly. Thus, clean each string separately and use a fresh clean microfiber cloth. You can use rubbing alcohol for better results.
Step 2: Clean The Headstock
The headstock was wiped with a clean dry microfiber cloth. However, if you notice the headstock to be very dirty, you can use some water. I recommend you not to be harsh with it.
Step 3: Clean The Nut Slots
The nut slots should be cleaned using a string of dental floss. You can also use threads and tissue to clean the nuts.
Just fold the tissue paper into small and thin folds, and then using the thread push the tissue inside the nuts. Give a small twist and Tada! the nuts will be cleaned.
If you find some stubborn dirt attached to it, you are advised to use some water.
Step 4: Inspect And Clean The Fretboard
Check the fretboard for any kind of gunk or dirt. If you find it to be clean, just wipe the area to make sure there remains no unnoticeable dirt.
On the flip side, if any kind of gunk or dirt is found, spray some water into the microfiber cloth, and wipe the area. This step might kill some extra time depending on the level of gunk attached to it.
Do not leave any residue, that is, clean the fretboard perfectly so that even a single drop of water does not stay on it.
Step 5: Time To Clean The Back Side Of The Neck
Once you are done with the neck area, you need to make sure the back side of it is also cleaned. Sometimes the area might feel greasy or sticky.
Even if does not, take a microfiber cloth and dab some water. After completely removing the water from the damp microfiber cloth, wipe the area with proper dedication.
Step 6: Clean The Strap Buttons
Look carefully and inspect the strap buttons for any dirt or gunk. If found, clean them with a damp microfiber cloth.
Step 7: Clean The Pickguard Plastic And Screws
Clean the pic guard plastic with the damp microfiber cloth and keep it aside. Then take all the pickguard screws and check if they have got any dirt. Then clean them accordingly.
Remember the pickguards tool can be opened just by using your hands. So, try to avoid using any hard tools.
Step 8: Clean The Rest Of The Guitar
Your guitar might have some knobs and switchgear. Clean them appropriately. Then clean the back and front side of the guitar with the damp cloth and then with a dry microfiber cloth.
Step 9: Attach The Strings And Tuning Keys (If Applicable)
Following the preparatory phase, if you have detached the strings and tuning keys, it is time to reattach them to the guitar.
Step 10: Set The Guitar And Play
Now that everything is cleaned and the guitar parts are attached in their previous position, you can now string and tune up the guitar.
Thus, after completing all these steps, you will find the guitar to be looking like a new one.
Is Polishing After Cleaning The Guitar Required?
Undoubtedly, polishing is an integral part when it comes to cleaning the guitar. If you apply some polish to the guitar, you can even fool people by pretending it to be the new one. So, How To Polish My Guitar?
Find the exact color of the guitar or the color you want on your guitar. Then you can get the guitar ready for polishing. You can skip step 9 of the cleaning procedure which is attaching the strings and tuning keys, and apply the polish beforehand.
Now, use the polish you want and the steel wool to apply the polish because steel wool is softer and gets a better finish. Anyway, you need to be wearing kitchen gloves while applying the polish with steel wool.
Avoid polishing the pickguard screws with steel wool. Polishing the guitar after cleaning is recommended so try not to skip this step.
Do I Need To Clean My Guitar?
Cleaning the guitar is mandatory because a dirty guitar might not produce the perfect tone you desire. Mostly when the strings are all sticky and greasy, they will not tone flawlessly.
How Often Should I Wax My Guitar?
After cleaning the guitar you are recommended to polish or wax the guitar. However, you can wax the guitar every two to three years.
Does Cleaning Your Guitar Make It Sound Better?
A freshly cleaned guitar will surely sound better than one with sticky and greasy strings. Cleaning the guitar after every play is recommended; however, you can skip it. But you need to keep in mind for the guitar to stay at its standard, you need to clean the guitar every six months.
If you play your guitar regularly, make sure you wipe it with a clean cloth regularly to keep the dust off. Average guitar players need to deep clean their guitar every 6 to 8 months.
I think now you have got a complete idea on how often you should be cleaning your beloved guitar and how you can do it properly. Make sure you follow the steps properly. If you have any further queries, let me know in the comments below.