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View Full Version : What household products good for guitar cleaning/polishing


RevolutionMan
11-03-2007, 03:26 PM
Hey guys, Ran out of gibson guitar polish, have used that for years. Taking a few dusty ones off the rack today for new strings/cleaning, etc. have to get a few back in rotation.

What houselhold stuff is good for cleaning and polishing guitars? Is something like pledge ok to use on a fretboard?

rockon1
11-03-2007, 03:57 PM
I use pledge on my fretboards for years no problem. Spray on a rag then wipe em down-not directly on the board. For the finish I use Mothers car wax with cleaner. Super shine and takes out light scratching too. Both are readily available and work great. Bob

FJTurner
11-03-2007, 06:52 PM
Eric Johnson mentioned using Fantastic anti-bacterial on the the Harmony Central interview to improve his tone, but he was just kidding.
Do not try this at home!
Never used Pledge, it has silicone in it. Good for strippers,not so sure about guitars. Use Lemon Oil on Rosewood or ebony fingerboards.

Brian Scherzer
11-03-2007, 07:11 PM
Moved to correct topic area.

smorgdonkey
11-03-2007, 08:03 PM
Never used Pledge, it has silicone in it. Good for strippers,not so sure about guitars. Use Lemon Oil on Rosewood or ebony fingerboards.

Yes...there is often debate about that...I was told ages ago to never use wax or silicone on a guitar as it clogs the pores in wood...it is more applicable to acoustics but hey...wood doesn't need wax or silicone.

-Dunlop Formula 65 for the wood and finished stuff
-Dr Ducks AXWAX (no wax in it!?) for fingerboards
-Finger Ease on strings (yes, even new strings)

Household stuff? That's for household stuff...but if you must...clean rag and warm water.

gtr777
11-03-2007, 08:09 PM
most household cleaners and car products have silicone in them are should not be used on instruments. once the silicone gets into the wood you can't get it out completely. Always use silicone free products designed for instrument care.

9fingers
11-03-2007, 11:42 PM
Good old Zippo type lighter fluid (naptha) is great for removing any sticker residue, built up wax, excess fingerboard crud, & general "old guitar grime". It takes that oily coating off of chrome too & works great on gold hardware. It doesn't hurt even nitro & can clean gunk out of string windings too (great to freshen up wound bass strings). Clean a guitar with naptha & then hit it with non-silicone Preservation polish!!

gururyan
11-03-2007, 11:51 PM
@#$%!

(tosses Pledge out of the guitar room, makes note about silicon)

Funky Monkey
11-04-2007, 12:42 AM
Pledge anywhere near a stringed instrument=bad. I don't care what Roy thought (actually, fantastic musician as he was, I disagree with a bunch of choices he made. Anyway...) If you care at all about your instrument, do not let Pledge get into the bare wood. And on wound strings, in my experience, nothing deadens them quicker.

I recall that Tom Anderson recommended Meguiars Quik Detailer. I do use that every once in a while. Nice and thin with no buildup of its own. Smells nice, too. :D Otherwise, a bit of water on half of a plain white Viva paper towel followed by the other dry half is really all you need. If there's dirt buildup that plain water just won't cut, a light rub with plain white vinegar (again followed by a dry Viva) will work wonders and evaporate without a trace.

RevolutionMan
11-04-2007, 12:46 AM
Thanks guys! I knew you all would have some good ideas

walterw
11-04-2007, 01:15 AM
Pledge anywhere near a stringed instrument=bad. I don't care what Roy thought (actually, fantastic musician as he was, I disagree with a bunch of choices he made...
well yeah, including one very bad choice right at the end there.

a bit of water on half of a plain white Viva paper towel followed by the other dry half is really all you need. If there's dirt buildup that plain water just won't cut, a light rub with plain white vinegar (again followed by a dry Viva) will work wonders and evaporate without a trace.
never messed with the vinegar, but +1 to the water (and the viva or bounty paper towels). i've found that whatever naphtha won't get, water will, and vice versa, all with no leftover residue.

HarryJ
11-04-2007, 06:34 AM
The only household polish I used was Guardsman, put out by Lilly industries a company that makes products for the pro finishing industry.
It had no silicone, wax, or abrasives.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure they still make that one. It seems their newer household spray no longer mentions no silicone hummm....

HJ

Zelmo
11-04-2007, 07:22 AM
Excellent for strings = Blitz Cloth. One or two quick swipes does the trick.

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/campingsurvival_1970_3477089 (http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/campingsurvival_1970_3458500)

George Johnson
11-04-2007, 07:30 AM
FWIW, Lemon Pledge is the product of choice for final wipedown of instruments leaving the PRS factory.

beej
11-04-2007, 07:33 AM
I can't believe nobody's said this yet ... Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes. Dispenser is like those sanitary wipes, they've got a string cleaner, fretboard conditioner and polish. Great product!

edwarddavis
11-04-2007, 07:37 AM
I just buy a new guitar after its played more than a hour , cant be to careful , expensive but actually kinda fun.

HipKitty
11-04-2007, 07:48 AM
Good old Zippo type lighter fluid (naptha) is great for removing any sticker residue, built up wax, excess fingerboard crud, & general "old guitar grime". It takes that oily coating off of chrome too & works great on gold hardware. It doesn't hurt even nitro & can clean gunk out of string windings too (great to freshen up wound bass strings). Clean a guitar with naptha & then hit it with non-silicone Preservation polish!!


+1 to naptha for the gunk.

+1 for mequires

HarryJ
11-04-2007, 07:54 AM
Naphtha is a great all around cleaner used in the wood working industry. Won't harm lacquer either. But it's a good idea to apply lemon oil to rosewood after as you will see it will dull it down a lot.

HJ

RandyO
11-04-2007, 08:03 AM
FWIW, Lemon Pledge is the product of choice for final wipedown of instruments leaving the PRS factory.
Correct. In addition, PRS treats their rosewood fretboards with a combination of Pledge and linseed oil.
I've used Pledge for years on my Strats, LP Jr., and PRSi with no problems.

HarryJ
11-04-2007, 08:06 AM
If you ever need to touch up the lacquer, you will have a tougher time after using silicones

Hj

bluesjuke
11-04-2007, 08:15 AM
Hot breath and a soft polishing cloth for the body and back of neck.
Fret Doctor for the fret board.

I keep all three in the house (the hot breath only when I'm home) so they qualify as household products.

a nobody
11-05-2007, 08:22 PM
what about Murphy Soap/Oil ?
It seems like we always have some around the house and the lable says pure vegtable oil.

willhutch
11-05-2007, 10:14 PM
+1 Meguiars Quik Detailer.

Lemon oil for rosewood fretboard....occasionally, like once a year.

HEY!YOU!
11-05-2007, 11:01 PM
Spit and a soft cloth.

Crunchyriff
11-06-2007, 02:27 AM
Anderson Guitarworks supported the use of Kleen N Shine for their guitars years back- I dunno if they have changed that or not; but I wouldn't use it on lacquer..

mc5nrg
11-06-2007, 04:00 AM
what about Murphy Soap/Oil ?
It seems like we always have some around the house and the lable says pure vegtable oil.

Early 80s I worked at a music store in Ann Arbor.MI. One if my coworkers, a young guy named Rich, had a black LP Custom that was about the cleanest well taken care of guitar I'd ever seen. He told me he used MOS on it.

Years later I actually tried it and it worked great. The catch is I used the formulation they seem to no longer make- the thick paste version that came in a tub-just gooped some on with a rag*. At this point I have no idea if my coworker from the distant past used the liguid or what. I do know they make instant floor cleaner products and I sure wouldn't try that but the regular liquid soap maybe.

*On various nitro and modern guitar finishes, not fingerboards of course.

mainsale
11-06-2007, 09:38 AM
VIVA brand paper towels are great for polishing cloths. Disposable and does not leave any lint.

jeffwith1f
11-06-2007, 08:18 PM
I noticed that most of the guitar polish that I used when cleaning my instruments would generally just kind of gunk up my Gibsons (worked a charm on the Fenders though). They'd be nice initially, but it seems they would start to take fingerprints even faster.
it got to the point where I just stopped attempting to polish them, and this worked well, and the gunk seemed to kind of settle to a general background noise level.

one day after getting home my new (very used) Gibson RD, which had had several years of grime and some price tag stikers on it, I grabbed Goo-Gone out of the closet to get the sticker residue off it. I dabbed a tiny bit on a facial tissue, and rubbed off not only the sticker residue, but it cleaned up the fingerprints right nice. I tried it on a couple of other of my Gibsons, and it seemed to take off all the grime, and it has not come back.

I'd recommend it, I suspect it works in much the same way as Naptha does.

That being said, I'm not in a rush to use this often. Fortunatly it seems to really clean things up, and I don't feel I have to.