PHOTO: Mike Duffy
Preserve the life and improve the playability of your instrument.
By Jeff Owens
One of the best and easiest ways to take care of your guitar is to simply keep it clean.
Dirt, dust, sweat, skin oil, spilled beverages, smoke and other gunk can prematurely age your guitar’s finish and hardware. Fight back—some basic cleaning know-how can go a long way toward keeping your instrument looking beautiful.
Wipe the strings, neck and bridge often with a lint-free cloth.
Wipe metal parts clean with a soft, dry polishing cloth. You don’t need to spray anything on them; simply wiping them off will usually suffice quite nicely.
Clean finished wood surfaces—the body of your instrument, that is—with cleaning agents made specifically for guitars; available at most music stores (visit the “Care & Cleaning” section of Fender.com for plenty of stuff to do this with).
Do not use anything other than what we just told you about to clean finished wood surfaces. Do not use glass cleaner (or anything with ammonia in it) or products containing abrasives or silicon (as some paste cleaners do). Play it safe by sticking to cleaners and polishes made specifically for guitars.
Do not expose lacquer finishes for very long to plastics, synthetics and surgical rubber tubing (stop snickering; it’s used on many guitar stands and straps), all of which react adversely with lacquer.