Guitar Care

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ZeeBee, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. ZeeBee

    ZeeBee Member

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    I'm curious to know what many of you use to care for your guitar ...

    What is the best polish/cleaner for nitrocellulose laquer finishes? I know they require a bit more care and concern.

    What do you like best for rosewood fingerboard cleaners/polish?

    And how about the maple fretboard ... any special things you do to keep it clean and looking good?

    Thanks in advance to the many "knowledgeable ones" here at TGP. :RoCkIn
     
  2. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

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    I don't own nitro finished guitars. I use a Dunlop pre-treated cloth to wipe it down regularly. GHS polish when it needs it.

    The ONLY thing I ever recomend on the fretboard is this stuff: Fret Doctor

    Forget the fast fret and all that other garbage.....that stuff is the real deal. You'll be amazed at what it can do.
     
  3. DrGonzo

    DrGonzo Gold Supporting Member

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    Virtuoso Polish and Cleaner are the only products I will use on my guitars.
     
  4. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin Member

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    Spit and a shirt sleeve.
     
  5. DavidH

    DavidH Member

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    Just a cloth usually (actually usually the t-shirt i'm wearing-anything 100% cotton is fine),and some breath.A damp cloth if it's got especially manky.

    Virtuoso cleaner and polish very occasionally if i can be bothered and a very sparing amount of fret doctor for rosewood.
     
  6. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    Martin or Gibson polish works just fine, and a microfiber cloth. As long as you get a polish that won't damage the nitro, I don't find that much difference. However, flannel is more apt to leave little scratches than microfiber. And even microfiber washed with laundry detergeant will leave tiny scratches, which is why I wash my polish clothes with auto dishwasher detergeant.

    We all have our particulars, don't we?

    Lemon oil on rosewood and ebony fretboards. When I had a maple fretboard, I used it on there too, although more out of habit than any need to moisturize. I sorta wonder if I should find something else for the ebony boards since I clean them a couple times a year and they probably don't need that much oil....
     
  7. jeffwith1f

    jeffwith1f Member

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    I have found that Martin Guitar polish when used on my Gibson's will make them clean initially, but make grime build up on them even quiker than before. Seems to work fine on the Fender.

    I've found that the instrument is better off using nothing.
    If I am finding that it's really grimy, I have taken to using just a dab of Goo-Gone on a kleenex, and that seems to clean it up right nice.

    so far I have not done any apparent damage to my finishes doing this, and it has done a spectacular job of cleaning up instruments that have many many years of grime on them, but it is not something I do lightly.
     
  8. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    I have an ancient spray bottle of Gibson Guitar Polish that I use on my Strats and my Les Pauls. I generally put a squirt or two on a polish rag and wipe down fingerprints and sweat-spots and the back of the neck. Doesn't take any elbow grease at all, and seems fine on both the Fender and Gibson finishes after years of use. Some guys say they very rarely polish, but I really feel the need to after a 3-4 hour gig or practice. I may be over doing it, but the finishes all look good so far.

    Strings and fretboard I wipe down after playing, and often hit them with my Fast Fret dispenser so they're clean and ready to play. Fast Fret seems to keep the rosewood fretboards nice and happy.
     
  9. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

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    I'm telling you......try the Fret Doctor stuff. You think your fretboard is happy now? Just wait. I have no affiliation with them....just love that little bottle of oil.
     
  10. les

    les Gold Supporting Member

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    +1

    Plus I use a baby blanket (100% cotton, very soft).
     
  11. Daren Anderson

    Daren Anderson Member

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    I use Virtuoso Polish and Cleaner, and Fret Doctor on all my guitars (nitro and poly). They work quite well.

    Although the other day, I was restringing, lubricating the nut, cleaning, polishing, etc. I was being so careful, spending an incredible amount of time detailing the guitar. When I finished, I found a little dent (the first one) I had some how put into this beautiful guitar. Damn, I was so pissed at myself.

    Word to the wise, choose a nice clean, safe work area so that you don't make the foolish mistake I made.
     
  12. blueslover

    blueslover Member

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    I like the fender meguiars kit. It works on both nitro and poly guitars.
     
  13. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    The less you rub stuff on the finish, the better. This goes for stuff and rubbing and body sweat, etc. The cleaner you keep a nitro finish, the better. You want the finish to stay nice and hard. That's the goal. Too much sweat and dirt and guitar polish can soften up the finish. Not good.

    Poly finishes (plastic) are mighty tough.

    Some nitro finishes are so thick and poorly applied that they never really "cure" or are loaded with a lot of plasticizers and don't really harden.

    Nitro: Wipe off the finger prints with a soft, clean, lintless piece of cotton. I suppose some of the microfiber materials may have benefits here. But you want something you can wash eventually, and see that even here people can be picky. A little breath fog can do the trick. Or just a couple drops of water on the cloth.

    Gibson and Martin polishes are formulated different. Martin stuff has more water in it.

    Nitro maple neck boards. just keep 'em clean. Rosewood. A little lemon oil. Not too much. Don't let it get in the end grain where each fret is applied. Once a year.

    I make sure guitars are properly humidified.

    I keep the strings really clean by wiping them and the frets and fretboards after each play. I like fast fret. It's just white mineral oil and acts as a lubricant to remove the dirt and repel moisture. It can be great stuff when applied with care. I don't spray stuff on my strings. Uh Uh. Get all over the place.

    If you like, you don't have to do any of this stuff. Many don't and they're stars. But some folks get pleasure from giving their instruments this care. And it's a good passtime.

    You can learn a lot about finishes from checking out the subject on the internet.
     
  14. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    +1 on the Fret Doctor. Can't say enough good stuff about it.

    Gibson makes a $6 spray bottle of polish which contains a minute amount of nitro. I was incredibly impressed with how nich it made my LP. Also highly recommended.
     
  15. ylo

    ylo Member

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    Setwart-MacDonald Preservation Polish (No Silicone!), good stuff, very non-abrasive, won't hurt your finish.

    In addition, wipe your fretboard with a clean rag after playing, and keep the guitar in a case or gig bag out of the light, which will eventually fade the finish of many guitars, including some with the newer poly finishes.
     
  16. geetarman

    geetarman Member

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    +1 Virtuoso polish good stuff.
     
  17. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    pure lemon oil on all raw woods, be it fingerboards or bodies. Oil on rosewood,ebony,maple, no matter. All finishes are usually wiped clean with some water and a microfiber cleaning cloth. no need to use any fancy polish really if your just trying to keep stuff clean. otherwise i bought a bottle of prs polish when i bought my prs back in the day. Its probably 8 years old and more than half full. it works ok i guess.
     
  18. ChmpgnSupernover

    ChmpgnSupernover Member

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    I use Virtuoso Guitar Cleaner on my nitro strat but don't bother with the polish. I don't use any chemicals on the rosewood fingerboard.. I might rub my palm across each open space of fret board between each string change to keep it somewhat oiled, but nothing more then that.
     

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