How to Properly Clean Your Guitar Strings
Sep 14, · Wipe down your guitar before and after playing it to ensure no debris or moisture remains on the strings or pickups. Microfiber cloths are ideal to clean guitar strings since they do not leave a residue or lint material. In addition to wiping the instrument down, wash your hands regularly to remove excess oil and residue (or grease, sauce, etc.). Here is a quick way to clean your guitar strings that won’t be too costly or too long to complete: Before playing, apply a quarter sized drop of hand sanitizier on your hands and rub your hands together. The hand When you’re finished playing your instrument, wipe the strings of your instrument.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. Learn more. Wiping your guitar strings, fretboard, and neck after you play guirar one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ot you can do to:.
As with many things, it depends—on how long you play, how much you sweat, and how dirty your hands were when you sat down to play. Washing your hands before you play if practical is just one more measure you can take to extend the life of your strings and guitar.
All you really need is a soft cotton washcloth—the same how to sharpen fillet knife you use in the shower. I prefer washcloths over old cotton t-shirts how to keep your guitar strings clean I feel the little terry cloth loops do a better job of how to keep your guitar strings clean dirt and debris off the strings and fretboard.
You may be wondering about string cleaners. Just use a plain ole clean washcloth. No need for fancy wipes or microfiber towels here. How to assign a ringtone to a contact fretboard gets some contact with the towel as well, thanks to the terry cloth material.
You can use a little more pressure here, all the yuitar up and down the neck times is plenty. Notice the little yellow sticker on the back of my headstock? That tells me when I last changed my strings helpful if you have a lot of guitars. Strimgs the washcloth in the accessory compartment of your guitar case and kerp about your day. As you get close to the guitaar where the strings pass over headstock to the tuning clleanbe careful not to pull the string out of the string groove.
Do this sitting on the floor or couch—not setting on a chair like I am here. I only did this to pose for the photo, and I nearly dropped my guitar. You can use a little more pressure here. Again, all the way up and down the neck times is plenty. Toss the washcloth in the accessory compartment of your guitar case and be on your way.
They do have some limited effectiveness and are a good option if you want to squeeze a little more life out of your strings or just avoid changing them for a very long time. These cleaners are good for removing everyday sweat and grime guitag.
It does a good job and leaves the strings feeling slick again. Do you clean your strings? If so, do you use a string cleaner, or some other method? My dad has yokr vintage guitar that he wants to have how to keep your guitar strings clean and give to my son. Sounds whats the spread on the eagles game that vintage guitar will be an awesome gift! Good to see someone trying to find a good, easy answer to keeping the guitar strings clean.
I use Fast Fret, but after the design change, find that it dries out too quickly. Want to try the washcloth. Tell me: does it handle dried on dirt and grease? Hi Keith. Otherwise, you could try slightly wetting the washcloth with a bit of rubbing alcohol, or instead try something like a Blitz String Cleaning cloth.
Thanks for your response. It does not take long to do and does extend the life of the strings. The sticker on the headstock is a great idea. Are they special low tack or just what you might find at the office supply?
I usually write the date on one of the string envelopes and put it in the case. Lot of good info on your site. Hi Lee. However, to reduce the stickiness I stick and unstick them from my clothing times. Great tip! Do you recommend string cleaner clothes that you can buy online?
Also would be great if you had a blog on how to change fo on both a Ro Rose type guitar and normal guitar. I did once try a Blitz string cleaning clothand it worked really well. However, I found it to be a little messy left oily residue on my fingers and just how to keep your guitar strings clean required more effort than I thought was necessary.
Thanks for these tips for cleaning guitar strings. Hi Taylor. Just a light-to-medium amount of pressure. Hope that helps. He obviously played with a long sleeved pullover as the strings have a lot of nylon or wool fibres caught in the strings. I have failed to remove all of these fibres despite several attempts and wondered whether you could suggest something or am I better off replacing the strings? I would tell you to do the same thing either kee.
Depending on how long and how often you pay, guifar may be changing them anywhere from once guotar week to a couple times per year. Just popped in to find out how to clean the strings clexn a used guitar I just got today.
I liked your article, until I saw the pics of your dog. Then l loved it! Hi Kathy. We just love her to death—and her personality matches ours perfectly.
I am likely too intolerant of string decay as mine rarely last 3 weeks. So I guess my point is: I like your article and guidance.
I think it is a matter of experience until I feel like my jaggedy sand pearls up. I feel it is important to clean strings after each play and neck. But loopy cotton if you use a magnifying glass leaves micro pieces that eventually dampen the sound. What about Finger Ease? I would encourage you and gour else to guutar my Affiliate Disclaimer and Earnings Disclosures page.
I created that page because I think strongs bloggers, YouTubers, and similar content creators should be completely transparent about earnings, incentives, sponsorships, etc.
That page lays it all out—probably more information than you ever wanted to know. I strngs only set the example. There is no product on the planet that will satisfy everyone.
Just a clean towel ot some elbow grease. Finger ease is a lubricant—not so much a string cleaner. We recently started recycling our old bath towels that we would have otherwise thrown out guitarr making them into a replacement for kitchen paper.
We keep it how to speak pittsburghese book a roll in the kitchen and it has poppers at each end so you can stringw a continuous roll. We sew bias binding all the way round the edge of each piece because otherwise the towelling starts to fall apart. Soft cotton bath towels, washcloths, etc. Your email address will not be published. Youe Davis is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, what to do if bee stinger is still in skin affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
The Procedure and Supplies. Lay it on top of the strings, and simply rub up and down the strings times… from the nut to the bridge:. First, pinch a string in the cloth. Be sure you have a secure grip and pull up slightly:. Rub the entire length of the string times.
Next, flatten the washcloth fuitar slip it under all 6 strings. Slide it up all the way up and down the neck, from the bridge to the nut, leep. Do this times. Now, carefully remove the wash cloth from under the strings and take this opportunity to spot-clean any areas on the fretboard that are especially how to keep your guitar strings clean. Lastly, give the back of the neck a good rub from the headstock to guitarr body times:.
What About Guitar String Cleaners? Check Price on Amazon. A very helpful blog with awesome tips to clean guitar. Thanks a lot. Thanks Lana. Any questions, just let me know. Hi Ken. Leave a Reply Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
The Procedure and Supplies
Nov 18, · Wiping your guitar strings, fretboard, and neck after you play is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest things you can do to: Clean your guitar strings so they last longer, sound better, and feel better; Reduce buildup of gunk on your guitar’s fretboard; Reduce the buildup of gunk on the back of the guitar neck. May 30, · Fill the container with enough boiling water to keep the strings submerged. Put the strings into the water. Let them boil in there for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how dirty the strings are. The hot, bubbling water will dislodge the dirt in the strings’ grooves. To clean your guitar strings, use a clean cloth to get all the gunk and dead skin from the strings. Start by giving them a general wipe down. After that, gently pinch each string between your thumb and index fingers with the cloth in between, and swipe up and down the string length.
Learning how to clean a guitar is an essential skill that every guitar player should know how to do. Cleaning your guitar is one of the most important aspects of proper guitar maintenance. Over time, with regular practice, your guitar will naturally accumulate dust, sweat, and grime. In addition, if you want your guitar to last a lifetime, then it is crucial that you clean it properly to ensure longevity. In this article, we will share with you the complete guide to cleaning a guitar, including how to efficiently clean the guitar body, neck, fretboard, pickups, and strings.
Start by choosing an area where you will place your guitar. Preferably, choose a well-lit location to easily spot the areas that need the most attention as well as all the imperfections. You can opt to place the guitar on a desk, workbench, or even your lap.
This makes it much easier to access the tuning pegs and other parts of the guitar. It just makes the guitar a lot easier to handle.
You can find my personal recommendation for a work mat and neck support cradle here on Amazon. When cleaning the guitar, it helps to have ample room to move and neatly organize your tools and cleaning supplies. You do not want to worry about your guitar sliding, falling or banging into anything. So, clear your work desk or bench, clean off all the dust and gunk and then place your guitar on the table. Arrange all other supplies right next to it.
Ensure the area is clean by dusting it. After that, wash your hands before handling your guitar. Once you have your station and all the necessary tools and products for cleaning set up, remove the guitar strings.
Removing the strings is crucial as you do not want them to come into contact with cleaning products. It also makes cleaning your fretboard a lot easier. If you opt to clip the strings, make sure to loosen the tension first. We highly recommend conducting your thorough guitar cleans when you want to change your strings. This part is subjected to the most wear. A guitar fretboard requires to be cleaned once or twice a year. Excessive dust and sweat build-up can cause permanent damage to your guitar if not properly cleaned.
Usually, when sweat buildup dries up, it evaporates and dehydrates the wood, leading to cracking, which can form permanent marks. Since fretboards come in different materials, you need to adopt the right cleaning method for each material for longevity. But if you have been too busy to clean it and a lot of dust and gunk have built up on the fretboard, steel wool might be essential to use in this case.
Just make sure to rub it in the direction of the wood grain. As you rub, you will literally see the wood becoming clean under your fingers. Vacuum or blow dry the steel wool filling off the fretboard, table, and the surrounding area. After that, wipe off any debris left on your frets to ensure the surface is clear.
At this point, your fretboard might be looking a little too pale and ashy. Conditioning your fretboard will help hydrate the wood and deeply cleanse it, leaving it looking bright and new.
Generously dampen a clean cloth or toothbrush with lemon oil or a conditioner of your choice and rub it into the board. Therefore, you may need to clean it a little more often. Just make sure not to use any conditioner products on this wood. Lacquered maple fretboards should only be cleaned with a damp or dry cloth.
Using steel wool, no matter how fine, will take away the shine, leaving a matte-like finish. Lemon oil will also take away the sheen. So, strictly use a lightly dampened or dry cloth to clean a maple. Once the fretboard is clean, move down the length of your guitar to clean its body, including the back, front and sides. Gloss and poly-finished guitars — The majority of guitars are finished either with a polyurethane or polyester finish, which gives them a glowy protective layer.
As a result, it makes it the easiest finish to clean since it does not leave the wood absorbent or porous. Hence, you can comfortably use different polishes and waxes to give your guitar a look worthy of being in a showroom.
Matte and Satin-finished guitars — Matte finish can only be cleaned with a dry piece of cloth. Does your guitar neck feel greasy and sticky? Now is the right time to clean it. You need to use a gentle solvent that is gentle on most finishes and works well to remove the dirt and oils that accumulates on the back of a neck. Dampen a clean cloth with a solvent of your choice. Lightly wipe down the neck, turning the cloth as you work your way down to keep the soil you remove from getting back on the neck.
Do not rub too hard as it will only polish the neck and make it even glossier. If you are cleaning a guitar neck with an old distressed finish, do not rub it too aggressively. Rubbing too aggressively might rub it off, forcing you to refinish the entire neck. Pickups are located on the body of an electric guitar. If the pickups on your guitar look slightly grimy, a damp cloth will do a great job of wiping it clean. But if you notice some rusty spots on your pickups, it is crucial that you carefully remove them.
Start by unscrewing the pickups. Clean each pickup with a rust dissolving solution or a white pencil eraser. Once you have cleared all the rust spots from your pickups, screw each of them back and wipe them with a dry cloth. If you change your strings at least once every month, it may not be always necessary to clean them. That said, dirty guitar strings tend to lose their tonal quality after being played for a month or so without cleaning.
Over time, these oils and dust create a grimy build-up that corrodes the strings, affecting its tone. The grime also makes the strings wear out faster than normal. To combat the grime buildup menace, consider wiping your strings every so often.
To clean your guitar strings, use a clean cloth to get all the gunk and dead skin from the strings. Start by giving them a general wipe down. After that, gently pinch each string between your thumb and index fingers with the cloth in between, and swipe up and down the string length. This cleans the string all the way around its circumference and clears off any grunge. If you are looking for a more thorough clean, you will need to use a cleaning solution.
Just make sure not to use rubbing alcohol. A guitar that is overly dry tends to get damaged easily. Instead, use cleaners that are specifically made for guitar strings. I do, however, give my strings a quick wipe down after each playing session. This will lead to corrosion and shorten the life span of your guitar strings. I like to change my guitar strings fairly often since I like the feel and sound of fresh strings.
In addition, you can use it as the perfect opportunity to clean the rest of your guitar as well since the strings will already be off of the guitar. Guitar experts recommend against polishing your guitar too often. This is because although it will leave your guitar looking nice cosmetically, it might dampen its sound. If you opt to polish your guitar after cleaning, use polishes that contain carnauba wax and not petroleum or solvent products.
Spray the polish in a clean cloth and wipe it down your guitar. Also, do not polish a guitar with a satin finish as it will make it look blotchy. The same applies to vintage guitars. Nitro finished vintage guitars tend to develop a sheen or change color over time. So take extra caution with vintage guitars. Also, avoid polishes on these guitars as they can remove the finishes faster. Instead, simply clean it with a clean cloth that is slightly damp.
Finally, always make sure to store your guitar whenever it is not in use. Putting it back in its case not only keeps it clean for longer, but it also protects it from damage. I hoped you enjoyed reading this comprehensive guide on how to clean a guitar. Keeping your guitar clean is a major aspect of maintaining your guitar that most people tend to overlook. It affects how your guitar feels, sounds, and looks.
Properly cleaning your guitar twice a year will ensure that your guitar lasts as long as it possibly can. It may seem like a chore, but next time you go to change your strings, just clean the rest of your guitar as well. Skip to content Learning how to clean a guitar is an essential skill that every guitar player should know how to do.
Table of Contents. About The Author. I love recording music and filming guitar covers and I occasionally post them on YouTube. Get the best deals on musical instruments and recording equipment at Sweetwater!