3 Acoustic Guitar Cleaning Tips

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Here’s some tips we suggest regarding the best ways to clean your acoustic guitars.

1. Use A Soft Cloth
Most musical instrument manufacturers produce accessories that help maintain your acoustic guitar, but using a soft cloth such as a 100% cotton t-shirt is also a great wiping tool, polisher, and cleaner. The older the T-shirt, the less lint it will collect. Lacquer or shellac French polish are finishing touches to a guitar, but even with the coating, the guitar’s surface is still sensitive to rough material such as paper towels that can scratch and scuff your instrument.

2. Use A Small Amount of Moisture
Dust, dirt, smudges, and fingerprints can remain on your guitar even after you wipe the instrument down. Most spots can be easily removed with a small amount of moisture such as a “huff” of warm breath. Just a little bit of condensation will provide enough moisture to touch up the dirty area. If a bit of warm breath isn’t enough to clean your guitar, you may use a dab of detergent and water – but only enough to slightly dampen the cloth. Do NOT directly wet your guitar. You should use as little moisture as possible to obtain a clean and smooth finish without scratching the surface. If you should see any streaks on your guitar after cleaning, wipe it down with a damp cloth and buff it lightly. Use a dry cloth right after wiping it down. This will remove any streaks and minor blemishes.

acoustic guitar cleaning

3. Consider Commercial Polishes & Cleaners
If you’re looking for commercial guitar polishes and cleaners, there are three different kinds that can be used. You can purchase water-based cleaners to clean your guitar. Water-based cleaners are the best cleaners to remove soluble dirt. They are semi-transparent and less likely to scratch or stain your guitar. Creamy polishes are effective but too much polishing with this cleaner can cause shiny patches to form in your guitars finish, especially if your guitar has a matte or semi gloss finish. If you use oils to clean your guitar, you are more likely to remove smudges, but oils have little effect on water-soluble dirt.