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Old 12-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
Camron62\m/
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Question What should i use to clean my guitar? :shrug:

I have a Jackson King V, and i'm looking to restring it again soon, and i wanted to clean it up. What should i use to clean it, and how should i use it? I want to clean up the body (mainly around the pickups) and wipe clean the entire fretboard and neck.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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Pressure washer...





No, not really...

Just use a clean, damp rag and wipe it off good.

If you absolutely MUST use something 'special' to clean it, Dunlop makes a good cleaning combination.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/6500/
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:44 AM   #3
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I quite like Gibson's cleaning product for body and fretboard. It's better than the Dunlop stuff IMO. But everyone has their preferences, one's not more right than the other.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:24 AM   #4
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A "damp rag" is not what you should be using.

For a gloss poly finish, Dunlop are the best polishes to use. Put a little on a dry, inkless and clean microfibre cloth (they're dirt cheap and you can buy them all over the place; opticians are usually the cheapest) and apply with smooth, soft circular motions. Keep chemicals away from the metal hardware and anywhere where some may contact the electronics (base of pots, pickup cavity, etc).
For the fretboard, if it's rosewood or ebony then you should use a second microfibre cloth and any number of fretboard conditioners; again, Dunlop do a nice one, and it's cheaper to buy all their stuff together.
One thing to note is that lemon oil is not a cleaning product. Lemon oil is a conditioning product. make sure you get an actual cleaner, not a conditioner (though of course you may wish to use a little conditioner after the fretboard has been cleaned).
If your guitar has a mple fretboard, do not use any fretboard cleaning or conditioning chemicals at all. Anythign listed as being for fretboards will be for rosewood and ebony fretboards. Treat finished maple fretboards just as you treat the finish on the rest of the guitar, but use even less polish.
With any fretboard, keep all chemicals away from the fretwire, binding and nut.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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I use FastFret for the strings and fretboard. I just use a cloth to clean the body really. Haven't got any body polish.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
A "damp rag" is not what you should be using.

...


Why? Nothing wrong with using a slightly damp cloth to wipe down the body of a guitar.

What I suggest is to wipe down the body twice, once with a slightly damp cloth, and once with a dry cloth. I'll use a guitar polish/cleaner once every year or so, but it's not that neccesary if you wipe down your guitar every time you change strings.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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There is so much wrong with that, I don't even know where to start.

Moisture staining the finish. Moisture encouraging swelling of wood. Moisture encouraging rust. Stray fibres getting stuck in hardware and electronics. Ridges, seams and debris leaving scratches.

Microfibre cloths cost about £0.40 each. A set of proper polish, cleaning and conditioning products costs <£20 and that will last you about six or seven years, if you're cleaning multiple guitars overly-frequently. There is absolutely no reason to use "a damp cloth", and many reasons why you shouldn't.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
There is so much wrong with that, I don't even know where to start.

Moisture staining the finish. Moisture encouraging swelling of wood. Moisture encouraging rust. Stray fibres getting stuck in hardware and electronics. Ridges, seams and debris leaving scratches.

Microfibre cloths cost about £0.40 each. A set of proper polish, cleaning and conditioning products costs <£20 and that will last you about six or seven years, if you're cleaning multiple guitars overly-frequently. There is absolutely no reason to use "a damp cloth", and many reasons why you shouldn't.


You are so full of shit that it's incredible you can walk...
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Last edited by Arby911 : 12-07-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
There is so much wrong with that, I don't even know where to start.

Moisture staining the finish. Moisture encouraging swelling of wood. Moisture encouraging rust. Stray fibres getting stuck in hardware and electronics. Ridges, seams and debris leaving scratches.

Microfibre cloths cost about £0.40 each. A set of proper polish, cleaning and conditioning products costs <£20 and that will last you about six or seven years, if you're cleaning multiple guitars overly-frequently. There is absolutely no reason to use "a damp cloth", and many reasons why you shouldn't.




Didn't you recommend Dunlop cleaning products in your first post? Aren't those water based
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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Guitar polish is great if you have excessively sweaty hands (like me). Tried the Fender/Meguiar's polish, but that left streaking on the finish. Can equally recommend the Gibson polish and this: http://reflectionpolish.com/index.html

The Reflection Polish has lasted me at least three years now, and that's polishing after every time I play. Removes all the sweat and grime, leaves no streaks, and makes the body nice and glossy.

For untreated maple boards, the FastFret stuff is great. It shouldn't be used on rosewood or ebony. For those, I like the Gibson Luthier's Choice fretboard conditioner. Use once or twice a year - cleans the board nicely and prevents the wood from overly drying out.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
For the fretboard, if it's rosewood or ebony then you should use a second microfibre cloth and any number of fretboard conditioners; again, Dunlop do a nice one, and it's cheaper to buy all their stuff together.

TS, don't use any fretboard conditioners or cleaners. These are chemical products that cause harm to the wood.

My guitar has a finished maple fingerboard that doesn't require any special care, but I've set up some guitars with rosewood fingerboards. I used to clean them using Dunlop products (those two blue bottles), but then realised that these products were not good for the guitar, so I eventually started using a more natural method. Firstly, I use a wet microfibre cloth to wipe the fingerboard down, then I use the dry side of the cloth to get rid of the excessive water. The wood is then clean, beautiful and most importantly, looks healthy.

Chemical cleaners are crap. Stay away from them.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terribleguitar
Chemical cleaners are crap. Stay away from them.


I couldn't disagree more. Certain chemicals, when used sparingly, remove corrosives and oils that can discolor and degrade wood. Now if you're talking about cleaning the fretboard after every playing session, that's different. A dry cloth will do the trick. However, if you live in an area where humidity drastically fluctuates from summer to winter, it is a smart idea to use a fretboard conditioner twice a year (for ebony or rosewood).

How do I know this? I had a guitar with an ebony board that developed a hairline crack from about the 12th fret to the 16th fret. In dry times, the crack would widen and separate. However, using some fretboard oil noticeably reduced the appearance of any separation after a few days.

I'm not saying everyone believes in this philosophy, just my personal opinion based on experience
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:09 PM   #14
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Do ebony fingerboards ever need oiling? I have always thought ebony is a poreless wood with low oil content in it? That sounds very confusing to me.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terribleguitar
TS, don't use any fretboard conditioners or cleaners. These are chemical products that cause harm to the wood.
Quick, someone phone Gibson, PRS, Fender, Ibanez, ESP, Schecter, Mayones, Gretsch, Carvin and G&L, apparently they're all damaging their fretboards!

**** sake.

Quote:
Firstly, I use a wet microfibre cloth to wipe the fingerboard down, then I use the dry side of the cloth to get rid of the excessive water.
Considering microfibre cloths are typically less than 1mm thick, I'd be interested to hear how you can get one side wet while keeping another side dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby911
You are so full of shit that it's incredible you can walk...
Considering I spent the last year damn near crippled and only now after extensive surgery can actually walk again, that was actually nicely chosen, well done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terribleguitar
Do ebony fingerboards ever need oiling? I have always thought ebony is a poreless wood with low oil content in it? That sounds very confusing to me.
They do, but much less than rosewood. At most, rosewood needs oiling once every 9-12 months. Good quality rosewood which is played frequently only needs it every 12-18 months. Ebony is more like 18-24 months, even the cheap stuff.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zl1288


Didn't you recommend Dunlop cleaning products in your first post? Aren't those water based
The polishes for finished surfaces are water-based. The products for exposed wood are oil-based.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Quick, someone phone Gibson, PRS, Fender, Ibanez, ESP, Schecter, Mayones, Gretsch, Carvin and G&L, apparently they're all damaging their fretboards!

1. They do that procedure only once, that doesn't have such a negative impact. Regular use of cleaners has.
2. You don't know exactly what they use.
3. Guitar industry is ****ed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Considering microfibre cloths are typically less than 1mm thick, I'd be interested to hear how you can get one side wet while keeping another side dry.

You can keep one part of a cloth wet while other's still dry.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terribleguitar
TS, don't use any fretboard conditioners or cleaners. These are chemical products that cause harm to the wood.

My guitar has a finished maple fingerboard that doesn't require any special care, but I've set up some guitars with rosewood fingerboards. I used to clean them using Dunlop products (those two blue bottles), but then realised that these products were not good for the guitar, so I eventually started using a more natural method. Firstly, I use a wet microfibre cloth to wipe the fingerboard down, then I use the dry side of the cloth to get rid of the excessive water. The wood is then clean, beautiful and most importantly, looks healthy.

Chemical cleaners are crap. Stay away from them.

Dude, mineral oil is the main ingredient of most fretboard conditioners. You can literally just buy a bottle of pure mineral oil and use that. There is nothing unnatural or damaging about it.

And oily woods, like rosewood and ebony for example, do dry out over time. They need to have oil added to prevent the negative effects of drying. But it also depends on the wood itself. I've had rosewood fretboards that never needed oiling, and others that needed it.

Also, stop adding water to fretboards.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #18
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I'm talking more about fretboard cleaners. These are not mineral oil and cause damage. I know that from personal experience. I once used such fretboard cleaner on a Yamaha RGX2A that had some dirt on the fretboard, the next day I noticed that the fretboard became dry and lifeless, I guess that's because the cleaner contained some alcohol.

And there is nothing wrong in using water if you don't allow it to build up into pools and wipe the excess water down after a few seconds. Water is natural and such.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #19
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If a fretboard becomes unnecessarily grimy and oily, a fretboard cleaner will strip the crap off. However, this should only be done every few years, if even that frequent. Reputable luthiers like Dave McNaught use napthalene to accomplish this. These cleaners will cause drying. That's why a mineral oil or similar conditioner is required: to replenish moisture in the board so that it won't dry out.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #20
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I use general purpose cleaning polish for de-greasing the body and lemon oil for a Rosewood fretboard. Maybe some cotton buds dipped on cleaning polish for the difficult to get to bits. You can then use a proper guitar polish to finish it off.
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