#1
Forgive me acoustic guitar forum, for I have sinned.

I have a cheap $50 classical guitar that I used to play about 4 years ago. Ever since I bought a new one it's been in its gig bag. I live in a humid town and I made the mistake of leaving this guitar in its case without any sort of moisture sink and without airing out for like 4 years. I also neglected to clean the fretboard.

Anyway, now it's covered in what appears to be white mould. I have made no attempt of cleaning it off yet, but I need the guitar in working order fairly soon. Any ideas on what I should clean it with?
#2
provided the fretboard isn't maple then lemon oil works well, about $8 in the guitar shop should take off mold fine.

I would be more worried about the neck being warped after sitting in the case for 4 years in a moist area, then again if you loosed/removed the strings before it's long storage it may be ok.
#3
Bleach kills nearly everything on the planet. (I'm not totally sure about viruses).

That being said, it would have to be in a very low concentration, (1 tablespoon per quart), used with a barely damp rag, and contact very limited to only the affected areas.. We're not going to let in soak in, right?

The second possibility, might be a plant anti-fungal agent, also used in a low concentration.

If the fingerboard wasn't cleaned before the guitar was put away, there's probably a fair amount of grease that need s dissolving also.

Whenever you try to clean something, start with the mildest solvent, (water), and work up from there, I'm thinking a mild isopropyl, (rubbing alcohol), for the grease.

One potential problem is, mold (fungus), breaks down wood for food. So, there may be some softened and porous rosewood happening.

I expect plenty of feedback and contention to this post.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 20, 2011,
#4
I don't know that lemon oil is an investment I'd be willing to make. This is a very cheap guitar, I'm apprehensive about putting new strings on it. I'm fairly sure the mold is dead, but if it isn't I don't even care. I don't need it dead, I just need it gone or at least not visible.

Any other household things I could use?
#5
Quote by Butt Rayge
I don't know that lemon oil is an investment I'd be willing to make. This is a very cheap guitar, I'm apprehensive about putting new strings on it. I'm fairly sure the mold is dead, but if it isn't I don't even care. I don't need it dead, I just need it gone or at least not visible.

Any other household things I could use?


Well you play other guitars as well so it's a good idea to clean your fretboard (on any guitar) every couple string changes. The bottle of lemon oil I have would probably last about a year maybe 2 it comes with a dispenser to make sure you don't put to much on.

I had only used water to clean my fretboard before and it doesn't get nearly the same amount of dirt off, the first time I used lemon oil the cloth I was using ended up half black from all the dirt that came off.

Personally I can't believe you wouldn't want new strings on, bad guitar or not I can't stand it when my acoustic strings get to dirty. Even though I end up changing out my acoustic strings once every month and a half or so I just can't sacrifice tone when I don't have to.
Last edited by BigHeadClan at Oct 20, 2011,
#6
I've used lighter fluid (naptha) to clean off serious gunk, then conditioned the fretboard afterwards.
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#7
I would be very careful. Mold isn't something you can take lightly. It can be a serious health hazard. Instead of using something like bleach or antifungal agent, try using some diluted vinegar instead. It's much less harsh than bleach, but just as strong in terms of killing bacteria.

As well... your guitar was in a condition wet enough to grow mold. You need to check the inside of the guitar for that as well. There may very well be water damage to the guitar body.

Remember, do NOT breathe in the mold. It's VERY bad for you.
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#8
hmm..guess that kills my idea of scraping and snorting....thought maybe a good buzz might make it look good enough to wanna string it. its a guitar...its worth the 8 bucks and a set of strings to try and save it.
#9
Quote by captivate
I would be very careful. Mold isn't something you can take lightly. It can be a serious health hazard. Instead of using something like bleach or antifungal agent, try using some diluted vinegar instead. It's much less harsh than bleach, but just as strong in terms of killing bacteria.

As well... your guitar was in a condition wet enough to grow mold. You need to check the inside of the guitar for that as well. There may very well be water damage to the guitar body.

Remember, do NOT breathe in the mold. It's VERY bad for you.

Thanks for the advice. In terms of the health issues, I'm trying not to take it lightly or get complacent, but I'm almost certain that it poses no harm. As for the moisture, the mold actually only grew on the sweat/gunk. The areas of the fretboard that were not played, such as the frets above twelfth on the EAD strings are completely clean. I am assuming that only the frets with gunk on them were moist enough for mold. Additionally, it looks like it's long dead. There is no fur or fuzz, or even any dust.

I will check the inside of the guitar just in case, and consider cleaning the fretboard with vinegar.

Any more advice from anybody else is welcome, of course.

Thanks.