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Old 12-14-2014, 06:31 PM   #1
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Vintage guitars: polish and cleaner?

I have a '70s Strat that needs cleaning. Most people say leave the funk on there but I'd like to clean it. Maple body and neck, clear coated so that shouldn't be an issue. I also have a couple Gibsons and may add some acoustic guitars to it as well. What would be a good cleaner for this? Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:34 PM   #2
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I use Gibson polish. Dunlop makes a cleaning kit that is pretty nice
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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I use the Gibson polish as well, plus this http://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...a%20wax&index=2
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:14 PM   #4
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Virtuoso stuff gets recommended a lot.. I use just Meguiar's if I can't get it off with a micro-fiber cloth. Also use the Dunlop Carnauba wax.. only like twice a year per guitar though.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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anything silicone free like Turtlewax super hardshell (only super hardshell) if it's a gloss finish people will swear it's new instead of some overpriced "just for guitars" marketed crap.

Avoid the swirl and scratch removers by the way. I'd polish a finish with them only. Thinking very long term they are a bad idea to use swirl and scratch removers. The only time you should ever use it on a guitar is to buff a finish scratch free when finishing a build.

no harm in a bit of windex on a shop cloth to get rid of the dirt at first.Kills germs than a few drops of polish. The only thing bad I can say about that particular turtlewax is that you've got to make sure it all comes off, if it hardens on a knurled knob or whatever it's a headache to remove. So remove as much hardware as you can or use small amounts.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
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I used to use this Meguiar's Show Car Glaze on my other guitars... worked extremely well on gloss finishes, never considered using it for older finishes or satin-type finishes. I'll get some Gibson stuff, I was leaning toward that anyway for my Gibsons.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:08 AM   #7
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I don't know if they are still available but a few years ago I bought two sets of a Fender three bottle set of Meguiar's polishes that are pretty good. One is a mist polish that is good for a quick wipe down of the guitar after playing, one bottle is a cleaner and one is a polish. They work well and the sets I got have such large bottles that I haven't used up my first set yet after about five years.

I hesitate to recommend this but I also suggest that if you have a pretty grungy guitar to start with get some Naphtha (lighter fluid) and wipe down the finish with that first. Be careful to do it in a well ventilated room with no possible open flames. The naphtha will remove any old polish and gook without damaging the finish. It dries in seconds. Then polish your guitar. I find that removing old polish with the Naphtha gives the guitar a better surface for new polish to adhere to.

Last edited by Rickholly74 : 12-15-2014 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:50 PM   #8
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I just use a damp soft cloth, like an old T shirt. Once they start getting old enough to develop holes I Use them as guitar cleaning rags. I keep one in every guitar case, I've never used any kind of polishes or waxes. Except when I was a kid, I used plain old Johnson's paste wax on my Silvertone acoustic. Never used anything on other guitars since i tried the Gibson polish a few years ago and it seemed to leave a dull finish on my Takamine. Stopped using it, nothing but a damp cloth ever touches my guitars any more..
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
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